Stair Climbers

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Stair climbers, also known as steppers, provide a cardio workout that targets the lower body, namely the glutes, thighs and calves. When used in conjunction with fitness equipment that works the upper body it can be an important part of a total body exercise program. Many people like to use them when they feel that the lower body needs a little extra conditioning.

The Stepping Action Produces Results

Stair steppers come in two different varieties--dependent and independent. With a dependent stair climber, the pedals are linked together, so that when one goes up the other goes down. The pedals on independent steppers are not linked, which means that the user cannot let the machine do the work for him. Each downstroke on the pedal must be made by the user without the help of the machine.

Resistance on the pedal can be adjusted on most models of stair climbers. Air or hydraulic fluid provides the desired level of resistance with the turn of a knob on the control panel. In this way, the user can increase the intensity of the workout as he or she gains strength and endurance. It is often possible to get pre-programmed workouts that vary the intensity to keep the workout more interesting and efficient.

A high-quality stair stepper should give the user years of cardio exercise with minimal impact on the joints. This is one of its advantages; it is a simple and easy to use piece of fitness equipment that utilizes a movement that people do every day. With the stepper, however, the act of climbing stairs is made more effective as a workout, and allows the user to get results more quickly.

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