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Stair steppers allow you to move your feet as if you are walking up stairs.
The stair stepper machine, also called a pedal stepper, helps tone your lower-body muscles without placing excessive stress on your joints or wearing them out. Because it mimics the motions of climbing and hiking, it is an excellent choice for those preparing for a mountain-climbing trip. For maximum benefits, exercise on the stair stepper four times a week. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new routine, especially if you have a prior lower-body injury or medical condition.
The stair stepper works the muscles that are required to climb mountains, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Stair stepper workouts also help increase the flow of oxygen throughout your body and improve your cardiovascular system, which helps boost your energy levels and makes mountain climbing easier to tackle. In addition, stair stepper workouts burn a high number of calories in just one session. For example, a 155-pound person can burn 223 calories in 30 minutes.
Exercise How To
For best results, always practice proper form when stair stepping. Stand up straight and place one foot on each step. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and gently grasp the handrails. Press down on one step with the heel of your right foot. Continue alternating feet as if you are walking or running up a staircase. Step for at least 20 minutes. Don't worry about stepping fast -- go as slow as you need to. For best results, focus on squeezing the muscles of your legs and buttocks every time you step.
If desired, hold a pair of 5-pound dumbbells or wear a light backpack as you step. Gradually work your way up to the amount of weight you normally carry when mountain climbing. For best results, press your entire heel down every time you step. This engages your hamstrings and glutes rather than just your calf muscles. Don't take quick, short steps, which are hard on your muscles and decreases calorie burn; focus on deep, even steps.
Keep your back straight as you step. Never lean forward, arch or curve your back, which will put pressure on your spine and can lead to back pain and injury. Don't lock your knees as you exercise, as this will strain your knee caps and can cause your back to arch. Try not to let the step come all of the way up or down, which can cause your pelvis to sway vertically and lead to soreness and injury.