Benefits of a stepper machine | Does a mini stepper help you lose weight?

A stepper machine is an elegantly designed exercise device that simulates the vertical trajectory of climbing stairs. This exercise machine promises a challenging and low-impact workout to help you lose weight. But is the stepper machine workout really worth the sweat?

In this article, we will have a detailed look at how a stepper machine works, its health benefits, and its role in weight loss. At the end of the article, we will also debunk some common myths about stepper machines that you should stop believing. So, let’s just dive into it!

What is a stepper machine and how does it work?

A stepper machine, also known as a stair stepper machine, is exercise equipment that simulates the motion of climbing the stairs. Using a stepper machine for a workout is quite simple. All you need to do is to step onto the platform, specially designed for each of your feet, stand in an upright position, and start taking even steps at a chosen speed.

Exercising on a stair stepper targets your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. That’s why stepper exercise is considered an effective lower body workout that can also help strengthen the hip and knee extensors.

Stepper machine for weight loss

Is a stepper machine good for weight loss? The answer to this question can be “yes” but depends on several factors, such as the pace and duration of the workout, and the weight of the person.

Stepper machine exercise is a low-impact cardio workout that is good for your joints. Using a stepper machine demands energy and, therefore, helps burn calories. But to lose weight, you need to burn more calories by exercising at a faster pace.

According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, you should burn about 1,000 calories more than you consume per day in order to lose about one pound per week.

On average, a person weighing 185 pounds can burn 252 calories in a 30-minutes stair climber workout.

Therefore, to lose weight with a stepper machine you should perform at least a 30-minute workout, preferably going at a faster pace every day. Evidence suggests that increased amounts of stair climbing is associated with reduced weight and improved health.

Other potential benefits of the stepper machine

The benefits of the stepper machine are not limited to weight loss. Other potential benefits of the stepper machine include:

  • Tones leg muscles

A stepper machine workout targets the muscles in your legs and hips. The continuous passive-partial contraction of these muscles increases their mass and reduces fat to give you perfectly shaped, beautiful legs.

  • Strengthens core muscles

Using a stepper machine not only shapes your leg muscles but also strengthens your core muscles. During stair climbing, you need to balance your body, which requires you to engage your abdominal muscles. The repetitive movements during the workout increase the muscle mass and therefore strengthen the core muscles.

  • Healthy bones and joints

Using a stepper machine is a weight-bearing workout that reduces the risk of osteoporosis. This exercise puts stress on the bones and stimulates bone strengthening by compressing the bone matrix and stimulating the cells to take in minerals, thus increasing the bone density.

A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that physical activity such as stair climbing is associated with increased bone density in the whole body in post-menopausal women.

Stepper machine myths debunked

Here are the myths about the stepper machine that you should stop believing!

Myth # 1. The Stepper machine makes your legs bulky

The stepper machine is not designed to make your legs bulky and bigger. Stepper workouts only sculpt and tone the muscles of the lower body. If your legs seem bigger after a stepper workout, it is due to the dilated blood vessels that supply unusually large amounts of blood to provide oxygen to the leg muscles. Once the leg muscles recover, this sensation goes away.

Myth # 2. The Stepper workouts are bad for your joints

It is generally believed that step exercise is hard on knee joints. Anyone who is already suffering from joint problems such as arthritis, gout, and ligament injuries cannot perform a stepper workout due to the pain in weak joints. However, people with healthy joints who follow the right directions to perform stair climbing are less likely to injure their joints. In fact, a stepper workout targets leg muscles that stabilise the knee joints and increases their range of motion.

Myth # 3. You can only work out your lower body

Using the stepper machine works out more than half of your body. This exercise engages your lower body and abdominal muscles to balance your body. Although a stepper machine helps tone your lower body muscles, it is also a low-impact cardio workout that burns calories. This means that stepper exercise induces lipolysis in any part of the body to produce energy, so it is not only a lower body workout.


A stepper machine is an elegantly designed piece of exercise equipment that simulates the motion of climbing stairs. Using a stepper machine strengthens the abdominal and lower body muscles and helps sculpt your body. Stepper machine exercise is also a low-impact workout that is not only effective for losing weight, but also tones your legs, strengthens your core muscles, and stabilises your knee joints.

About the author: Areesha Saleem is a medical writer, a fitness enthusiast, and a contributor to the FitnessFighters.

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