Ready to step up your fitness and torch some serious calories? Do it figuratively and literally with one of these stair-stepper machines. These cardio machines are built around one of the most functional movements: stepping.
“Functional movement training offers so many benefits, from improved posture, gait, and stability to increased muscle memory, increased bone density, and working multiple muscle groups at once,” says Sergio Pedemonte, a certified personal trainer and owner of Your House Fitness.
Plus, “stairmasters and steppers allow you to get some resistance while doing your cardio,” says DJ Zmachinski, assistant personal training manager at Life Time. “It’s like doing hundreds of bodyweight step-ups on small steps.”
The uphill aspect of the stepper, though, makes it more challenging than a treadmill, while cutting out the jarring, repetitive impact of running. “This is great for folks recovering from injuries or with pre-existing joint pain, especially in their knees or hips,” says Pedemonte.
In search of a commercial-grade stair-stepper you can use at home? Look no further than this option from StairMaster. The smallest offering yet from the OG stepper company, the SM3 is packed with premium and durable commercial-grade components, but won’t hog space.
This model features 10 pre-programmed workouts, 20 resistance levels, and a step range of 26 to 162 steps per minute. There are heart rate pulse grips mounted to the handrails, but it’s also compatible with Polar heart rate monitoring devices like chest straps and watches, so you can really zero in on your training zones.
StairMaster SM3 StepMill