All types of stairclimbers provide a workout packed with cardio and strength building.
All stair climbers provide a workout that can blast calories and fat while toning your glutes and thighs. But the features of each machine differ. Knowing the differences between machines will help you decide which machine best suits your needs.
Pedal Stair Climbers
Pedal stair climbers consist of two separate step pedals that move up and down when the participant climbs. Pedal climbers typically put less stress on the knees, which is a benefit to people who struggle with joint problems. Pedal stair climbers come equipped with hand rails, which is helpful for maintaining balance. It also allows you to determine the resistance level.
Stepmills realistically mimic the motion of climbing stairs with a cascading staircase that constantly moves downward, much like an escalator. Stepmills force you to maintain your set pace by continually rotating the staircase. Most models allow you to set the pace by speed or steps-per-minute. You have the ability to vary your climb by going forwards, sideways, skipping a stair or climbing backwards.
Mini-steppers are similar to the pedal stepper as they contain two separate stepping pads that move up and down with movement. However, mini steppers are much smaller and portable. Mini steppers sit low on the ground. Depending on the model, your mini-stepper may have attachable handles. But unfortunately, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, "the mini stepper design creates an unnatural restriction of motion that few consumers can tolerate."
Electric Versus Manual Power
All types of steppers are available in manual or electric versions. Manual stair steppers are driven by air pressure pistons to regulate stepping motions. Manual models are generally less expensive than electric models. Electric stair steppers contain a motor that regulates the movement of steps and provide a smoother step.