What are the advantages of the StairMaster?

Stairmaster has been manufacturing gym flooring worldwide for years, and for good reason.

By simulating the motion of climbing stairs, the Stairmaster is welcoming to all fitness levels, provides a solid cardio workout and can improve core and lower-body strength.

It may not be the trendiest piece of equipment or the most effective cardio machine at the gym — but it’s still worth stepping on the Stairmaster if it’s a workout you enjoy. Here’s why.

5 key Stairmaster features

Whether you make the Stairmaster your main course at the gym or run for a few minutes of cardio after a vigorous workout, here are its biggest benefits.

1. Skip the learning curve

Climbing the stairs is a natural and simple movement — even fitness beginners already have a Stairmaster, well, Mastery.

Simply adjust the resistance to match your fitness level, and ramp it up when you need a challenge.

2. Engage the lower body

According to Tom Holland, MS, CSCS and its author, the Stairmaster is an effective way to strengthen and tone your legs, thighs, and butt. beat the gym.

With each step, you’re lifting your body weight and activating the major muscle groups in your lower body—including your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

Engaging these muscles will increase strength and endurance in the lower body, adds Noam Tamir, CSCS and owner of TS Fitness — and that can translate to a higher calorie burn during future endurance workouts that target the lower body.

3. Increase core strength

You need to engage your core to maintain your balance on the Stairmaster.

“Lifting your body up in a stepping motion effectively engages your core muscles, strengthening the front and back of your midsection,” says Holland.

The less you rely on the machine’s rails for hand support, the more your core will be activated (although Holland recommends lightly touching the rails for safety reasons).

4. Improve cardiovascular health

The health benefits of Stairmaster are not only visible in the body, they extend to the heart as well.

During exercise your heart rate increases, your heart gets stronger and cardiovascular health improves.

“Stair walking is cardiovascularly challenging, more intense than walking on a flat surface, and burns several times more calories,” says Holland.

5. Protect your joints

As a low-impact workout, the Stairmaster is relatively gentle on your joints, which can help you exercise longer and more frequently.

This can be especially helpful if you’re just getting started with fitness.

“Low impact is great for people who have just started exercising and don’t have the endurance but want to build it up,” says Tamir.

How many calories can you burn on the Stairmaster?

Lifting your body weight is a challenging activity that can burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time, Holland says.

According to this calorie burn calculator, a 150-pound person working out at light intensity will burn about 208 calories in 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.

At high intensity, they will burn 372 calories in 30 minutes.

Can you burn belly fat on the Stairmaster?

Stairmaster burns a significant number of calories in a short period of time, which can contribute to fat loss.

“The more calories you expend, the more fat you lose,” Holland explains.

And even if you can’t lose belly fat, the Stairmaster strengthens your core, and — like any moderate to vigorous exercise — can help lose visceral fat around your midsection.

Although the Stairmaster is a less impactful exercise than the treadmill, it has the added benefit of building lower-body strength.

(And it’s a bit kinder on the joints than running, notes Holland.)

It may not be the most exciting workout, but it’s a great option for improving your cardiovascular health and endurance and building a strong fitness foundation.

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