If you are looking to tone up your legs and tighten your tush, then look no further than the stair climber. This often-underrated cardiovascular machine strengthens your glutes and leg muscles and burns more calories than walking or jogging. As you feel the burn, you know you are toning up and slimming down. To maximize your benefits, make sure to climb three to five days a week for at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace
A stairclimber simulates the motion of walking or running up the stairs. As you step against the machine’s resistance, you build muscular strength in your quadriceps and glutes. During this low-impact workout, you shift your body’s weight from one leg to the other as you step. On the stair stepper, you have control over the machine’s level of resistance and the higher the resistance, the greater the calorie burn. According to the Health Status website, a 175-pound person can burn 556 calories per hour on the stair climber.
On the Women’s Health website, Amy Gantwerk, certified personal trainer at The Sports Club/LA, says that people often make mistakes with their form, which costs them all the body-toning benefits. As you step, keep your abdominal muscles engaged and your body upright with your hips centered over your legs. Try not to lean on the machine; instead, gently place your hands on the rails only for balance. Once you get comfortable with the stair climber, swing your hands by your sides similar to what you do when running.
The University of Ulster at Jordanstown in the United Kingdom conducted a seven-week stair-climbing program where they separated sedentary participants into two groups. One group did nothing to change their lifestyle habits, while the other group participated in a stair-climbing program. The individuals who were part of the stair-climbing group experienced a rise in HDL, the good kind of cholesterol, a reduction in LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol and a decrease in heart rate.
Gantwerk designed a 35-minute stair-climbing workout that burns fat and sculpts your thighs, buttocks and hips. Begin with an easy five-minute warm-up and then increase the resistance by 1 percent for a minute. After a minute, lower it back down to your warm-up level for one minute. Then increase the resistance by two levels for another minute, and then lower it back down to your beginning level for a minute. Repeat this entire set a total of six times, but on each hard interval, try to increase the resistance higher than before.
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.