While everyone’s making their habitual beeline for the elliptical, treadmill or stationary bike at the gym these days, perhaps its time to cast a long forgotten glance towards the ol’ school neglected piece of machinery that’s lost its lustre (and line-up) since the wave of higher tech equipment: the stair climber.
Here’s five good reasons to climb back on, and the beautiful benefits that await you at the top.
5 Reasons Climbing Stairs Can Do Your Backside Right
1. The Stair Climber Strengthens Glute Muscles that Are Typically Weak
The gluteus medius, a muscle that runs along the sides of your hips, is essential for maintaining proper alignment of your pelvis, legs and general posture. When it is weak, your pelvis drops and your knees cave inward. This often leads to knee pain and/or lower back pain.
However, unfortunately, most people wind up simply hanging on desperately for dear life when using the stair climber, trying to maintain a heady pace that throws off their balance completely. While speeding things up might like the best way to torch calories on a steep climb, it tends to have the negative effect of shutting off your gluteus medius and preventing these muscles from toning up properly.
Instead, slow down so you can use the stair climber without holding on to anything. Maintaining a challenging pace that still allows you to stay upright and balanced is the best way to tone up your behind while getting a great calorie burn.
2. The Stair Climber is Lower Impact Than You Thought
Running can be quite hard on the body, requiring not only cardiovascular fitness, but also tremendous amounts of strength and balance generated from muscles in your hips. So if you’re just starting out and haven’t built up this strength and equilibrium yet, running could be quite high impact on your joints that could lead to injury and pain.
A great alternative is the stair climber. You can get just as much cardio—or even more—with a motion that’s easier on the joints, while building finer muscle strength.
3. The Stair Climber Builds Balance
Your ability to balance isn’t only an expression of your inner ear health. Its also an expression of your core muscle strength, muscular symmetry and your body’s ability to stave off injury and chronic pain.
When used at an appropriate speed and intensity, the stair climber is an excellent way to train the core muscles that cultivate balance, strength and overall muscle tone.
4. The Stair Climber is Kinder to Your Knees than Real Stairs
Knee stress that leads to knee pain is most often incurred when coming down stairs. Fortunately for anyone with chronic knee problems and pain, the stair climber only climbs up, and never requires you to “come back down”.
5. Climbing Stairs is a Functional Total-Body Workout
Climbing stairs is a great functional exercise that benefits your core muscles, your leg muscles and your cardiovascular system. Climbing incorporates gravity and your own body weight to help tone up the muscles of your entire body, especially chiseling out your buns, thighs and calves. You can also make stair climbing as intense as you choose, by starting with a steady walking pace and increasing to a more intense running pace as you get stronger, more balanced and more confident.