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Stair Stepper Vs Elliptical: Which Cardio Machine Is Better?

Last updated: May 23, 2022

Stair steppers and elliptical machines are two pieces of equipment for a cardio workout. Both of these machines work in a similar manner, but they differ slightly. So, if you're looking to purchase one or would like to know which one is better to spend your time at when you visit the gym, read this brief review of a stair stepper vs elliptical. It'll cover the following topics:

man on ellipticalDifference Between Stair Stepper Vs Elliptical

A stair stepper is a machine that's meant to mimic the benefits of climbing the steps. It has two pedals. The pedals will rise and fall as you place weight on each one. The machine can move at different speeds to alter the intensity of your workout. Some have armrests or handles, while others only have foot pedals and can be used while you're at work if you work in an office setting. You can also find ones with exercise monitors that allow you to see how many calories you've burnt, the distance you've gone, and your heart rate.

When comparing a stair stepper vs elliptical, it's vital to know that this machine is also one intended to mimic climbing steps. The foot pedals on this machine tend to be longer than a standard stair stepper. And usually, this machine places you in a seated position or standing position. Either way, it has air rails. Rather than moving your legs up and down only, this machine has your legs moving in an elliptical motion, thus the name.

A stair stepper is a machine that's meant to mimic the benefits of climbing the steps. It has two pedals. The pedals will rise and fall as you place weight on each one. The machine can move at different speeds to alter the intensity of your workout. Some have armrests or handles, while others only have foot pedals and can be used while you're at work if you work in an office setting. You can also find ones with exercise monitors that allow you to see how many calories you've burnt, the distance you've gone, and your heart rate.

Stairmaster Benefits

A Stairmaster provides you with a cardiovascular workout, meaning it gets your blood pumping and works your heart. Therefore, when you perform it on a regular basis, it can help reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. It also works various muscles, including the following:

  • Quadriceps
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

Not to mention, a stair stepper strengthens your core muscles because of the position you must remain in as you perform the exercise. It's a weight-wearing exercise and strengthens your bones. Plus, it provides low-impact exercise.

Elliptical Benefits

In order to compare a stair stepper vs elliptical, you should know that an elliptical also is an aerobic exercise, meaning it provides cardiovascular benefits as well. It works your lungs and strengthens your bones. It also provides a low-impact exercise.

Like a Stairmaster, an elliptical works the core muscles since you must remain upright. In addition, it works the leg muscles, such as the following:

  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings

It also works your biceps and triceps, which a stair stepper doesn't do.

Stair Stepper Vs Elliptical

As you can see, these exercise machines are similar to one another. They work the same muscle groups and both work them in a manner that's slightly different from walking or running.

Calorie-Burning Capabilities

With that being said, which one is best for you depends on your fitness goals. For instance, if weight loss is the goal, you may benefit more from an elliptical than a stair stepper. During a 30-minute workout with a stair stepper, you'll burn around 211 calories. Keep in mind, though, that you may burn more if you weigh more, are younger, and perform the workout at a higher intensity level. On the other hand, you'll burn about 324 calories on an elliptical in the same 30-minute span. However, this rate varies as well based on the aforementioned factors.

Overall Workout

Overall, an elliptical tends to provide a more intense, well-rounded workout than a Stairmaster. Since it still provides low-impact exercise, it may benefit you more to use this machine if you have problems with your lower joints. You'll be able to get a more intense workout that impacts more parts of your body.

On the other hand, if you're choosing between a treadmill and a stair stepper, your best bet would be the stair stepper.

Price

These two machines are similar in price, though you save the most money by purchasing the stair stepper that's only the foot pedals without the arm rails.

You can save the most money when exercise machine shopping by purchasing it used. Often, a person will begin exercising with a machine and either get bored with it or won't have time to work out on it. They'll then want to get rid of it to make space. So, you can often find both types of machines at low costs.

FAQs About Stair Stepper Vs Elliptical

It may help you better choose between the two if you read some of the most frequently asked questions about these two cardio machines, and not just the elliptical and Stairmaster benefits.

Are ellipticals good?

Ellipticals are good machines if you're looking for an exercise to work both your arms and legs simultaneously. They have cardiovascular benefits and can help you lose weight without putting excess stress on your knees as running would do.

Are ellipticals worth it?

If you're serious about working out and want to burn calories, achieve better cardiovascular health, and not harm your lower joints, an elliptical is well worth it.

Are stair steppers good exercise?

Yes, stair steppers are good exercise. They mimic the effects of running up and down the stairs without the risk of falling. They provide aerobic exercise, and you can perform them either rain or shine since you use the machine indoors. They burn calories while also working your leg muscles.

Can I use a stair stepper everyday?

When done in moderation, you can use a stair stepper every day. That means you'd need to use it for a short period each day rather than an extended period. If you plan to use it for more than 30 minutes per day, you should use it every other day to give your body time to recover. The same applies to an elliptical.


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