There's no doubt about it, climber exercise machines offer a vigorous workout. Climber machines work the upper and lower body at the same time. You can also get a fat-blasting cardio workout if you step up the pace. Climber exercise machines are low impact, so they are easy on your joints. Try out new machines at the gym before you buy so you know a particular climber is right for you.
Stair climbers and stair steppers provide a sweaty, fat-blasting aerobic workout that you control. Most stair steppers do not have a motor, but are operated by your own body power. You set the resistance and you determine the pace of your workout. You push down with one foot, which raises the other foot platform. Push down with the other foot in an up-down stepping motion just like climbing stairs. Stop stepping when you want to stop working out.
If you've ever climbed up a down escalator, then you know how a stepmill exercise machine works. A stepmill is a moving set of stairs that you climb. You control the speed and can slow down if the workout gets to be too difficult. You can speed it up when your endurance improves and you want to feel the burn in your legs and butt. The action of a stepmill is more like actually climbing stairs than other climber machines. Hold onto the handles and go slow if you've never used a stepmill. You can also program stepmills to speed up and slow down automatically for a good interval workout.
A ladder exercise machine is probably one climber you might not imagine yourself using, but it isn't as complicated as it looks.These machines are expensive. Definitely try it out in the gym before you even consider buying one for your home gym. The ladder works like a treadmill, except you climb using your hands and feet at a 40-degree incline. The rungs of the ladder are mounted on a belt, which is driven by your body power. You can set the speed as you climb up the rungs. The faster you climb, the faster the belt turns the rungs under you.
Step Machine Safety
Always keep safety in mind when working out on exercise machines. Follow the instructions before using a climber. When you use a climber at home, don't wear loose clothing that can get caught in the machine's moving parts. Keep kids off the climber. If your machine comes with a locking mechanism, make sure it is locked so that the steps cannot move. Wear non-skid shoes when exercising on your climber and never exercise barefoot or in your socks.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Selecting Home Exercise Equipment
- American Council on Exercise: What's the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- University of Massachusetts Amherst: Selecting and Effectively Using A Stair Stepper/Climber
- Jamie Atlas: Stepmill: Most Underrated Machine in Your Gym
- Exrx.net: Stepmill
- Reuters: Jacobs Ladder Climbers Reap Tough Fitness Rewards
- Jacobs Ladder: Product Info: For Training
- Consumer Reports: Sports and Exercise Equipment
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.