If you're dying to whip your rear end into shape, the stepper is here to help. Working your glutes and legs, this machine builds muscle tissue to perk up and shape your bum. To be clear, the stepper does not remove fat from your derriere or anywhere else -- no exercise does. If you want to trim the padding back there, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn, which leads to overall fat loss. Then count on the stepper to add shape and definition.
How Steppers Help
With each motion on the stepper, you'll contract gluteal and thigh muscles. This strengthens and tones your butt, providing some lift over time. For a fuller workout, you can even use the stepper backward if your model allows it safely. You'll still engage your glutes but will reach different areas. The stepper also counts as cardio activity, a plus for heart and lung function. You need 30 minutes of moderate cardio five days a week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. If you ramp up your stepping to a vigorous level, you can shorten workouts to 20 minutes if you please.
Types of Steppers
If you use the stepper at the gym, you may be familiar with the electrical variety or the stair treadmill. These are typically more expensive than manual steppers, which are less flashy but perfect for home exercisers on a budget. Manual steppers use air-pressure pistons instead of a motor. Regardless of which type of stepper you use, you can get a killer glute workout from any full-size model. Beware of mini-steppers -- the stunted range of motion forces you to move in an unnatural way, causing discomfort for many people.
Stepping seems pretty self-explanatory -- after all, you've been doing it since you learned how to walk. But proper form on the stepper machine can make all the difference in your results. Refrain from shifting your weight onto the railings, and instead force your legs to do the work. Step as high as you comfortably can, and keep your back straight. If you have knee problems, it's a good idea to check with a doctor before starting a stepping routine.
You can step for days on end and still not lose a pound if you eat the wrong foods. If you want a slimmer rear, you need to focus on total fat loss, which involves creating a calorie deficit. Eat 500 fewer calories than you burn each day to lose a pound a week, a reasonable and safe goal.
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.