Choosing workout equipment can be difficult. Between the big and vast rowing machines to colorful and portable dumbbells, you could spend hours finding the right equipment for your home gym. And while there isn’t a piece of fitness equipment that’s a catchall, we do think there are some machines that can appeal to a wide range of people. That’s why we champion the stepper.
Yep. From its size to its workout versatility, we think the stepper can be one of the greatest assets in your home gym.
1. IT’S COMPACT
Compared to other equipment, like treadmills, rowers, or ellipticals, the stepper is lightweight and has a small footprint. Steppers, especially mini steppers, can be used in virtually any space. So, if you don’t have room for big equipment in your home, it’s likely you can spare less than a square foot for a stepper. Or, if your home gym is large, adding a stepper to the mix would hardly pose a problem. Now that’s true workout versatility.
Its compact frame also makes this stepping machine easy to store after you’re finished using it. Feel free to slide it under your bed, throw it in your closet, or even toss it in the trunk of your car (all with caution, of course). Simply put, this is one piece of equipment that you can use anywhere, without taking up everywhere.
2. CONDITIONS YOUR LOWER BODY
If you’re ready to step up to the proverbial plate, then you’ll probably like stepping. When you perform the up-down stepping motion, you target muscles like your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps—all in one simple motion.
Some steppers even take the movement to the next level. For example, the EFITMENT S023 Twist Fitness Stepper features a twisting stepping motion. Instead of simply stepping up and down, its angular stepping motion can encourage a greater degree of difficulty and recruit muscular activation in the thigh muscles.
3. TARGETS YOUR ARMS AND CORE
Yeah, we know your upper body the first thing that you may think of when you think of a stepper. However, when you use a stepper you have the option of using auxiliary accessories to strengthen your arms at the same time. Some steppers come with attached resistance bands, which are ideal for performing upright rows and arm curls while you’re stepping. You can also be creative with exercises and add a light dumbbell or kettlebell to your stepping routine to perform torso twists and shoulder presses.
4. CONSISTENT AND EFFECTIVE RESISTANCE
We love how steppers don’t require a lot of maintenance. In fact, the main source of resistance on a stepper is your own bodyweight.
When you step up and down (or side to side with a twist stepper) you’re pushing against your own bodyweight. This is achieved by the stepper smooth and quiet hydraulic drive system, which works you as fast and as hard as you work it. This mechanism gives you complete control of the intensity of your workout.
5. IMPROVES BALANCE
Stepping Machines like the EFITMENT S021 Fitness Stepper come with oversized and slip-resistant foot plates that can keep you steady throughout the duration of your exercise. But that’s not the only reason you’ll improve your balance on this machine.
In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that older individuals who practiced stepping reduced their risk of falling nearly 50 percent. The researchers suggest that stepping exercises can help improve stepping gait, balance, and balance recovery.