The 10 Best Aerobic Steppers
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in June of 2015. If you're looking for a way to get in some aerobic exercise, but have limited space, one of these compact stepper platforms will be perfect for you. They're small enough to use anywhere and can deliver cardiovascular, muscle building, and calorie burning workouts in the comfort of your own home or office. We've ranked them here by durability, exercise intensity, and ease of use or assembly. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 02, 2020:
This category rightfully contains two different types of exercise equipment: rudimentary stair climbers and step-up platforms. Both can serve an important part of establishing and maintaining fitness, so don't be bashful about getting one of each. We did get rid of one of the larger models from our previous ranking, the Stamina SpaceMate, which folded up nicely, but had too big a footprint when in use. Ideally, these pieces should take up as little room as possible, especially if you plan on also using them for things like jumps and other plyometric work, where you'll need as much room for launching and landing safely as possible.
To that end, let me just say that there are some significant risks associated with either kind of stepper, either from turned ankles or sprained wrists that can result from a missed step, or from falls that can result from loss of balance on a stair climber that has nowhere to put your hands. Long story short: take it slow, put an emphasis on good form over speed or intensity, and gradually increase the height and difficulty level of your moves as you master them.
As far as the actual assembly of the list is concerned, we put a premium on durability, as these things need to be able to take a beating, so if something like the Goplus 2-In-1 Air comes along that combines a stepping motion with a lateral ab workout, it's still going to be held back by its 220-pound maximum capacity, where the the Stamina X Plyo Box offers a different kind of versatility and the ability to support up to 300 pounds. For versatility and strength, though, few compare with the Escape Fitness Workout Deck, which doubles as a fully functioning bench for presses, flies, and more.
Train Online Proper form is vital for ensuring that you build muscle and train your heart and lungs to their fullest, and also to keep you from sustaining an injury that could sideline you for weeks or months on end. This site offers free videos you can pair with whatever platform you choose from our list, so you can get in shape whether or not you can afford a personal trainer. trainonline.com
Living Better With Step Aerobics
The exercise can be made more challenging by adding a higher step, incorporating weights, or incorporating arm movements.
A typical step aerobics class consists of sets of choreographed movements done on or around raised platforms called aerobic steppers. Often accompanied by music to keep the class motivated, the workouts are designed to target the lower body, abdomen, and cardiovascular system.
Regular sessions with an aerobic stepper can help develop the body's cardiovascular endurance. This is a great form of cross training for various sports. People who participate in endurance sports such as football, basketball, and long distance running will notice an increase in their endurance levels and resting heart rate if they perform step aerobics regularly.
Incorporating step aerobic workouts into a daily routine can also help increase foot coordination and agility. Soccer players, tennis players, and even dancers will enjoy the agile feet and a quick response time that comes from using an aerobic stepper.
As a class, step aerobics pushes the body to new cardiovascular levels and benefits overall health. Intensive cardiovascular workouts help to increase lung capacity and strengthen the heart. Aerobic exercise also helps to maintain a healthy weight and avoid disorders associated with weight gain such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint pains.
The simple design of an aerobic stepper also allows room for modification. The exercise can be made more challenging by adding a higher step, incorporating weights, or incorporating arm movements. The tempo of the music can be raised, downtime can be decreased, and more sets can be added as needed. This makes step aerobics an extremely versatile cardiovascular workout.
The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise
For healing and preventing many disorders within the body, most doctors recommend two things: diet and exercise. The importance of a healthy, well balanced diet cannot be denied. The food put into the body is turned into the body's individual cells, giving truth to the old adage, you are what you eat.
Exercise is the other pillar of good health. Doctors, scientists, and researchers alike all agree on the importance of exercise and its positive effects on the human body. Exercise helps individuals manage stress, maintain and lose weight, stimulate the immune system, and reduce the risk for certain preventable diseases.
The body needs a certain amount of energy to maintain its normal functions.
There are two types of exercise that are beneficial to everyone: aerobic exercise, which is any low stress exercise more focused on increasing the heart rate and anaerobic exercise, which is any high intensity physical activity designed to create muscle mass. Typical aerobic exercises include running, swimming, cycling, and indoor activities like step aerobics.
Aerobic exercise works to benefit the body by burning off additional calories that are not used by essential functions of the body. The body needs a certain amount of energy to maintain its normal functions. Basic functions like thinking, breathing, circulating blood, and regulating the body's temperature actually require a lot of energy, which comes in the form of dietary calories. Any calories consumed beyond these requirements are simply stored in the body for later use as carbohydrates and fats.
Aerobic exercise helps to use these stores by burning off unnecessary calories before they become noticeable weight problems. The good news is that very intense workouts are not obligatory to burn these calories. In fact, studies have proven that moderate exercise is just as good as intense exercise at keeping the body in shape.
Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphins in the body, reducing stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. The increased circulation while exercising also acts to bring a fresh supply of oxygen to the brain.
How Exercise Protects The Body
Exercise acts to protect the body as well. The structure of the human body is not designed to sit. The length and elasticity of the leg muscles are best served by being active. Things like running, jumping, swimming and climbing not only exercise the body, but they actually keep it operating as it should.
In a body that is over-exposed to toxins or does not have enough pure water to help the process, this may not be enough.
Exercise stimulates the immune system, helping to flush the lymph in the body and release toxins. The body is exposed to various toxins throughout the day via air pollution, chemical-ridden food, and impure water. The body has natural defenses in place to detoxify itself. The kidneys act to flush toxins from the liquids in the diet, while the liver filters solid wastes before they enter the body.
In a body that is over-exposed to toxins or does not have enough pure water to help the process, this may not be enough. Toxins can build up in the muscles, organs, and brain. Exercise acts to increase both blood circulation and breathing rate, meaning more oxygen is quickly getting to the organs that need it. This extra oxygen attaches to toxins to help them be eliminated through the sweat and urine.
Exercise also protects the brain. Regular exercise has been linked to a reduced risk in degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Symptoms of depression have even been significantly reduced through regular exercise.
After 10 months of comparative treatment, study participants with depression who were prescribed exercise instead of medication had significantly lower relapse rates than those who simply took chemical medication. Researchers concluded that exercise therapy is especially therapeutic if the exercise program is continued over time.