With only 23 percent of Americans working in occupations where there was low-activity in 1950, there was little concern about obesity. By 2000 that figure was up to 44 percent. It’s no wonder that taking exercise is now vital to avoid obesity and other health issues.
There are many different exercises you can do on a stair climber. Whatever your exercise goals a stair climber can help. Read on to learn how to get an amazing stair climber workout.
Stair Climber Workout Goals
Whatever exercise method or machine you use it’s important to have goals. They help you decide what type of workout you need and whether it’s working for you. Measuring your progress helps you stay focused and encourages you to commit when the going gets tough.
These stair climber workout exercises provide what you need to achieve your goals for weight loss, fitness, shape and strength. They also help with your posture and recovery from injury. Try them and learn how important a stair stepper can be in your fitness regime.
Weight gain is sometimes a simple imbalance in the ratio of calories consumed against calories used. Because many people work in sedentary jobs and drive to work they don’t use many calories up as part of their daily activity. At the same time, they eat calorie-rich foods and drink high-calorie drinks.
The result is the body stores the excess calories in the form of fat. This imbalance can be corrected by eating fewer calories and by taking more calorie-burning exercise. Use a stair climber as part of your exercise routine can help you balance your use of calories and lose weight.
Working large muscle groups such as your quads, glutes, and core consumes calories while you exercise. It also increases your metabolism so you burn calories after your workout.
Interval training is best for weight loss. Start with a gentle warm-up for 2 minutes.
Complete 10 intervals of one-minute duration working at 70 percent of your maximum effort. Reduce your pace to a moderate level for half a minute between the high-intensity sessions. Cool down for 3-minutes of easy climbing after the workout.
Return to Cardio Vascular Fitness
If you have low levels of cardiovascular fitness or are returning to exercise after a break the stair climber can be a gentle introduction. A step climber was used in a study published in the British Medical Journal for previously sedentary people to improve cardiovascular fitness.
Start with two-minute sessions for five days a week. Try one session at a time and then increase this until you are doing five sessions with a short break between sessions. It’s important to maintain progress rather than to rush into a very demanding exercise regime.
Target Your Thighs and Butt
Many gym-goers have specific goals to work on their thighs, butt and their core. These are big muscle groups so a workout that targets them is great for using up calories. A workout targeting these areas is also great for sculpting the body shape you want.
As with other exercise routines incorporate a warm-up and cool-down session.
To target, your glutes and hamstrings skip a stair every step for one minute of the workout portion of this session. Push through your heel rather than the balls of your feet and feel how this exercises the backs of your legs. Work at 60 percent of your maximum effort.
Try stepping as if you were walking up a flight of stairs taking single steps. Keep your hands by your sides. Do this for one-minute working at 70 percent of your maximum effort.
Cross over your steps laterally walking sideways up the steps. Swap over to cross over on the other side. Take one minute on each side working at 40 percent of your maximum effort.
Return to the single-step exercise for one-minute but work at 90 percent of your maximum effort followed by a minute at 30 percent of maximum effort.
Repeat these three times and then cool down.
The way you place your foot on the steps of the stair climber determines what part of the body is being exercised. To develop muscle strength in the quads, place the ball of the foot on the step and push off with it too.
To target the back of the leg, that is your hamstrings, don’t let your heel overhang the step. Instead, place the heel on the step and push off feeling your weight through your heel as you extend your leg.
Skip steps and get more extension in your legs so as to focus more attention on to the back of your legs and your glutes. Skipping every alternative step as well as consciously squeezing your glutes as you lift will work them harder still.
A poor body posture on a stair climber will limit its effectiveness as an aid to fitness improvement. Leaning too far forward and resting your body weight on the handrails just reduces the work you are having to do with your legs. It’s counterproductive.
Working on good posture while exercising on the stair climber will actually benefit you in other ways. It will strengthen your core, help maintain back health and mean you walk, run, sit and stand better.
Work on your favorite workout routine but focus your attention on maintaining great posture. Stand upright with the lightest of touches on the handrails. Don’t go so fast that you cannot maintain the correct form but gradually increase the speed as you get more confident.
Recover from Low Back Injury
When recovering from injuries such as lower back strain, you need a lower impact exercise. Unlike a treadmill which is a high impact workout, a stair climber provides a lower impact workout. Don’t use a stair climber if you have knee or lower leg injuries.
Work on your glutes to help support your back better. Gradually develop more strength in the back of your legs and glutes by pushing your weight through your heels. Gentle steady movements with good posture will develop core strength and aid recovery.
Your exercise needs and goals are unique to you. Be clear about your goals and you’ll get more out of your workout. These goals may change over time and so will your stair climber workout.
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