Stair steppers were made for glute sculpting, and even the mini versions give your buns a workout -- if you're able to use them, that is. These machines are relatively tiny and have a more limited range of motion than full-sized steppers, making them feel awkward to many people. However, mini steppers can be convenient, and if you feel comfortable on one then go right ahead and use it to work your glutes. Plus, mini steppers provide the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise. If you're new to exercise, see a doctor before starting a new workout routine.
About Mini Steppers
There are several versions of the mini stepper, but all emulate the motion of walking up stairs. Using them, you'll heavily engage your glutes and hamstring muscles. Some mini steppers come with attachments for pole or cable handles, allowing you to work your arm muscles as well. Steppers may not be suitable if you have knee problems, although you may be able to curb any pain by lifting your feet all the way off of the pedal as you step.
Mini steppers fit nicely into cramped quarters, and may even be small enough to slide under the bed after your workout. At less than $50 a pop, they're also among the most cost-effective pieces of exercise equipment you can buy. Plus, if you're one of those folks who leans on the railing of full-size steppers, you could get a better glute workout on the mini version since it doesn't have rails. It's challenging to work your lower body with all of your weight on your arms, after all.
The main drawback of the mini stepper is that the size constricts your movement, making the motion less natural-feeling than with a full-sized machine. That's why the American College of Sports Medicine notes that mini steppers are uncomfortable for most people. These pint-sized machines only allow you to move your feet up and down, which means you'll use fewer muscles than on equipment that allows you to step forward as well. You can get a superior -- and free -- workout by walking up and down stairs, which also engages core muscles.
Other Glute Exercises
If you're looking for simple, at-home glute exercises, there are plenty of body-weight options. Try supermans, squats, lunges and bridges, to name a few. Other cardio activities, such as running and jumping rope, also work your glutes and legs. Rather than focusing exclusively on glutes, exercise all major muscle groups for a balanced routine. These include arms, chest, back, abdomen and legs in addition to buttocks.
- BabyCenter.com: How to Exercise With a Baby in Tow: Products that Help
- BodyResults.com: Stair Stepping Effectiveness
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using an Elliptical Trainer or Stair Climber
- American Council on Exercise: Butt & Hip Exercises
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.