Top 5 Benefits of Using a Stair Climber – Is the StairMaster Best?

top health benefits of using a stairclimber

If you’re planning to invest in a stair climber to get yourself in fantastic shape (or even just to shed a few excess pounds), then you’re certainly making a great choice. While there is no end to the fancy and complicated cardio machines you’ll find in your local gym, the humble stair climber has long been a staple workout for anybody who wants to get the best bang for their buck.

In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at the top five benefits you’ll experience when you make the stair climber a regular part of your workout schedule. Keeping this in mind, let’s get straight to it.

What is a Stair Climber?

While most gym goers are familiar with typical workout machines like the treadmill or the elliptical trainer, the stair climber is a somewhat lesser-known cardio machine, so there’s certainly no shame in being new to the concept of stair climbing as a workout.

But as the name suggests, the stair climber machine simulates the motion you would perform when climbing a flight of stairs, and the machine will use either a revolving set of stairs or two moving footplates that allow you to take steps one after the other.

While these machines may not be as popular as stationary bikes, treadmills, or elliptical machines, there’s no denying that they provide you with a fantastic workout along with many unique benefits, so let’s take a closer look at some of the main benefits that the stair climber machine can offer you.

Top 5 Health Reasons to Use a Stair Climber

1. Low-Impact Training

When you’re just starting out in the world of exercise, or if you are heavier than you’d like to be, then it’s often wise to begin with a low-impact exercise routine that goes easy on your joints and doesn’t ground you into the dirt before you even get started.

Fortunately, the stair climbing machine gives you an excellent combination of intense (yet scalable) exercise combined with low impact on your joints, which is ideal for people with sensitive knees and ankles as well as people who are overweight.

But even if you are a seasoned workout veteran, there’s no denying the benefits to making a low-impact routine part of your schedule. For example, if you are a runner who has been training hard for an upcoming marathon, it can be wise to use a stair climber to ease the pressure on your joints and keep yourself in good condition for the race coming up in the next few weeks or months.

2. Lower Body Conditioning

Regardless of whether you’re trying to get into better shape overall or you simply wish to lose a few excess pounds, working large muscle groups in the body is one of the best ways to do it.

Of course, using your quads, calves, and core muscles altogether will go a long way towards burning as many calories as possible, and climbing stairs gives you the perfect lower body conditioning workout that’ll whip you into shape in no time at all.

Climbing stairs is often harder work than simply running along a flat surface, so the extra work received by your quads, in particular, can be fantastic for flat sculpting your legs, calves, and glutes into the shape you’d like them to be!

3. Fast Way to Improve Your VO2 Max

One of the most common ways to calculate the results of improved fitness is by tracking your VO2 max over time. Simply put, your VO2 max is your body’s ability to use oxygen effectively during an exercise, so it’s a shorthand way to measure the effectiveness of your heart, lungs, and muscles working in synergy with each other.

As your overall work capacity increases, your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) improves, allowing you to work out for longer durations and at higher intensities.

Studies show that using a stair climber for short durations for five days each week can improve your VO2 max by an average of 17%, according to the findings of an eight-week study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

These improvements are certainly very impressive, and it shows that the stair climber is a serious contender when it comes to vying for the top position amongst all the available cardio workout machines at your gym.

4. Unrivaled Versatility

a woman uses a stairmaster in her home gym

A great difficulty that many people run into when they are beginning any workout routine is finding the sustained motivation to show up every single day and do the necessary work to get into better shape.

What’s more, most people who have ever tried using a cardio machine such as a treadmill or elliptical trainer know how monotonous and boring the activity can become, and this often makes it harder to stick with over the long haul.

However, there is a wide range of different workouts you can perform on the stair climber which make it far more user-friendly and engaging for the average user.

For example, it’s possible to increase the resistance to allow for much higher intensity, and this will also work your lower legs and glutes far more effectively, allowing you to build muscle and tone up as well as lose excess body fat.

You can also use the stair climber to perform certain resistance-based exercises such as alternating leg raises, squat steps, lunges, sumo steps, and more.

Additionally, stair climbers are perfect for interval training, which involves alternating high bursts of climbing activity with slower, gentler paces while you recover from the previous intensity.

Furthermore, the simple act of engaging your lower body in this way can go a long way towards improving your posture, and this is great news for anybody who has issues with hunching over an elliptical trainer or a stationary exercise bike.

5. Great Way to Burn Calories

If you’re spending a lot of time using the cardio machines in your local gym, then you’re probably focused on losing excess weight above all else.

With this in mind, spending a great deal of your time on a stair climber is a wise decision to make, as studies show that stepping on a stair climber tends to burn far more calories than alternative machines.

As an example of this fact, the average person taking just 10 steps on the stair climber is equivalent to taking almost 40 steps on a level surface. Ultimately, this means that a stair climber workout can be around four times more effective than a typical treadmill workout.

So, if you’re able to exercise for around one hour on a stair climber, you may be burning up to 90 calories within each 10-minute interval, meaning you can burn anywhere up to 540 calories during each session (not to mention the lower body strength workout you’ll also be getting).

What’s the Best Stair Climber Should to Buy?

the maxi trainer is the budget friendly stair climbing option

The MaxiTrainer is an option for people looking for a budget-friendly stair climbing workout.

When it comes to stair climber or stair steppers, there are a number of different options that you can go with. If money isn’t an issue, the Stair Master is hands down the most versatile stair climbing machine you can buy. That said, they can run anywhere from $2500 to $4000 or more.

The TreadClimber is a stairclimber/treadmill hybrid that brings the benefits of the stair stepper a combines them with a treadmill. It is also a great option, so be sure to read our review if you want more information about them.

Looking for a budget option? The Maxi Climber (review here) provides an amazing stair-climbing type workout, while also bringing your arms in the mix, making it more of a full-body workout.

Either way, there are plenty of great machines out there, so just find one that fits your workout needs and budget and get moving!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see that the stair climber is one of the most underrated yet incredibly effective workouts you can do in your gym, especially if you’re looking to shed excess body weight and get into better overall shape.

So, if you are sick and tired of the treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes, it’s well worth investing your time and effort into a stair climber.

It’s also worth noting that most people find these machines far more engaging and rewarding to use as the act of stair climbing has a certain motivating factor that makes it less monotonous than alternative cardio machines.

Now that you’ve read this guide, you should understand why stair climbers a great investment for your long-term health, regardless of what your overall health and fitness goals may currently be.