The beauty of mini stepper machines are that they are cheaper than lots of other fitness equipment and are small so easy to store or move around. Do these obvious benefits of a compact stepper include any health benefits?
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How Do You Use Them?
Compact step machines are pretty straightforward to use. You simply step onto the footplates and power the footplate’s downward alternatively with each foot in a stepping motion. The footplates offer resistance through hydraulics, which on many machines can be regulated depending on your fitness levels. The secret to getting the most out of the machine is to avoid cheating by bouncing the foot-pedals, you need to use thigh and leg power to depress the footplates rather than body weight.
There are more advanced portable step machines on the market now which allow you to carry out basic upper body exercises using resistance bands built into the stepper. With these bands you can do arm curls and the like whilst stepping through your routine.
How many calories can you burn?
As we can see from the run down on how to use a mini exercise stepper the type of exercise you are going to get will be low impact cardiovascular exercise with a dollop of light resistance exercise. This cardio exercise will burn calories. Burning calories in exercise depends on factors such as your current weight, duration of exercise etc. Not all fitness machines or types of exercise burn calories at the same rate per hour. For a general idea of how many calories you might burn on a stepper with moderate exercise for 30 mins you can check this link : Calories Burned Estimator. If you compare calories burned compared to other machines the results are interesting. For myself, a 180lbs individual, I might expect to burn 286 calories in 30mins using a stepper. This would be the same if I was using a rowing machine, doing light jogging, or carrying out low impact aerobics. However, on an exercise bike at 10mph I might burn closer to 450 calories in 30 mins. So you will burn calories but maybe not as much as on other types of exercise machines.
Can you lose weight with these machines?
If you can burn calories you can lose weight. Simply put, if you absorb more calories through diet than your body uses in normal daily functions your body will store excess calories for later use in the form of body fat.
Regular use of a portable home stepper will help you use more calories than you would normally use. It is generally recommended that you should only look to lose one pound of body weight a week. To achieve this you would have to burn 3500 calories by exercise over the course of the week, to achieve this with a mini stepper i would have to do a 52 minute workout each day. Alternatively I could cut my calorie intake by 250 calories a day and do a shorter 30 minute workout and get the same result. Either way use of a mini stepper can help you lose weight but you have to be disciplined in your approach and use of the machine.
Good For Toning Thighs?
As well as helping to lose weight a portable step machine can be used to tone up your legs. The resistance your legs meet when forcing the footplates downward not only give a cardio workout but also help strengthen and tone the various leg muscles used in the stepping action. The main muscles used are the thigh muscles but calves, hip muscles and gluts also get worked out. Within about a month of regular use you should notice thighs and legs becoming more toned.
To conclude you can get some benefits from using this type of equipment. You should be able to lose weight and tone your legs, hips and rear with consistent use. The machine will also offer a light but useful work out for your heart and lungs. You can get equipment that will work all these areas quicker and harder but for a cheap and easy to store machine the stepper offers some unbeatable benefits.