Are you looking for a new cardio machine to utilize? You’re sure to have come across a Stairmaster. It may be a daunting machine, but it can do so much for you!
Many people will take the elevator over the stairs when they get the chance, but when you learn what precisely the Stairmaster can do for you, you may start to think twice!
I have been a personal trainer for many years, and all of my clients have been pleasantly surprised by how this machine has transformed their view of cardio.
Many people do not enjoy cardio because they think they have to do it for hours and hours to get results. That is not necessary on the Stairmaster!
Want to build muscle while burning fat? Get on the Stairmaster. Do you want to spend less time at the gym but still have a killer workout?
Get on the Stairmaster.
But how many Stairmaster benefits are there? And is it better than the treadmill?
With so many gym machines to choose from, it can be hard to weigh the pros and cons of each.
To help you out, we built this list of all the Stairmaster benefits – if you stick with a regular cardio workout routine.
We considered how it could affect both the mind and body, as cardio certainly challenges both!
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how the Stairmaster can positively affect you and get an idea for a few sample workouts to try!
What muscles does the Stairmaster work?
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The Stairmaster is one of the best cardio machines because not only does it help you burn a lot of calories in a short period, but it also helps you strengthen the muscles of your lower body.
These muscles include your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
While on the Stairmaster, you may be tempted to hold onto the handles, but we advise against that practice.
The actual workout comes from having good posture as you climb those stairs to a stronger you!
14 Stairmaster Benefits
Related: Underbutt Exercises
1. Burns Calories
It is likely that any time you see someone on the Stairmaster, they have broken a sweat just a few minutes in.
This cardio machine is a fantastic choice because it gets your muscles warmed up and blood pumping in no time!
Like a HIIT workout, the stairs allow you to have an efficient workout that gets you burning an average of 85 calories every 10 minutes!
2. Strengthens Bones
Any time you are going up steps, you are putting weight and pressure on the bones of the lower body.
When the bones are under a lot of stress at once or under some stress for a more extended period, they grow to compensate for this.
If you have a regular schedule on the Stairmaster that involves progressive overload, osteoblasts (the bone-forming cells) start to develop.
These make your bones sturdier, stronger, and better able to handle increased loads in the near future.
3. Powerful Quadriceps
Your quadriceps make up the front of your thighs and are utilized in movements from standing from a seated position to kicking a soccer ball.
When you are on a Stairmaster, you constantly challenge your quads to take on most of your weight. This allows them to become more powerful.
Other exercises that can assist with building your quads:
- Forward lunges
- Leg press
- Leg extension machine
4. Stronger Hamstrings
The hamstrings are harder to target than the quads, but going upstairs will help!
The hamstrings are responsible for helping the knee bend, and, of course, your knee has to bend every time you take a step.
This means you should see some development on the back of your legs after you get into a routine with the Stairmaster!
Other exercises that can assist with building your hamstrings:
- Leg curl machine
- Good mornings
- Straight leg deadlift
- Stability ball curls
5. More Developed Glutes
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The Stairmaster is the number one cardio machine recommended for those who need to lose weight but want to build their glutes simultaneously. Not many forms of cardio can do that!
Once you place your foot on the next step, your glutes push you up through your foot to get you to the next stair.
Want to make the stairs even more challenging and target your glutes further? Try wearing a band above your knees and pushing your weight up through your heels.
Other exercises that can assist with building your glutes:
- Sumo deadlifts
- Barbell hip thrusts
- Cable kickbacks
- Hip abductor machine
6. Well-Defined Calves
There are not a crazy amount of exercises that can work your calves, so let the Stairmaster help you out.
Along with the glutes, the calves are what allow you to push your body up to the next stair coming your way.
As we mentioned before, if you want to climb stairs to target your glutes, you push up through your heels.
If you want to target your calves, push up through the balls of your feet. Imagine tip-toeing up the stairs – it will take your workout to a whole different level!
Other exercises that can assist with building your calves:
- Calf raise machine
- Smith machine calf raises
- Farmers walk
- Dumbbell calf raises
7. Improves Mood
Whenever you’re exercising and breaking a sweat, your brain releases endorphins.
Using a Stairmaster benefits the body in numerous ways, and the brain wants you to be aware of that. To do this, it releases a chemical that makes you feel amazing after your workout is complete.
If you ever feel down or stressed, making your way to the gym can help ease your mind.
While it may be hard to get yourself there in the first place, after you have finished your Stairmaster workout, you will likely feel a lot better. Give it some time for long-term benefits.
8. Versatility With Workouts
You may think that the Stairmaster is a cardio machine that can be monotonous, but you can actually strategize to prevent yourself from getting bored.
Try skipping steps, switching speeds, and walking up the stairs in different ways to keep things exciting and challenging.
You may want to start by simply walking up the stairs at a manageable pace. But over time, you need to change things up a bit to ensure that you are challenging the body.
Below, we will give you a few ideas for workouts you can try to add some versatility to your cardio routine.
9. Better Cardiovascular Health
Related: Does Running Burn Belly Fat?
The Stairmaster is fantastic for getting your heart rate up and blood pumping.
Director of Cardiovascular Wellness Services at Harvard, Dr. JoAnne Foody, states, “We know that spending long periods sitting down can have a negative impact on heart health, so stair climbing is a great way to break up sedentary time.”
Keep improving the amount of time and speed you are on the Stairmaster. You can benefit from improved cardiovascular health that helps prevent ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
10. Quickens Metabolism
The general rule is that the more muscle mass you carry on your frame, the faster your metabolism will be.
The Stairmaster is fantastic for building muscle in the lower body, so it can be a great contributor to speeding up your metabolism.
The great thing about having a faster metabolism is that you can eat more calories while still maintaining your ideal weight. The quicker it becomes, the more you get to eat.
That alone is enough for many people to choose the Stairmaster over other cardio machines that aren’t as ideal for building muscle!
11. Improves Joint Health
The knees contribute to daily movement, so ensuring that the joints are in proper health is in your best interest.
In addition to the Stairmaster building stronger bones that make up the knee joints, the muscles attached to the knees can also be strengthened to support them further.
We mentioned these muscles earlier: the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
When you have strong knees, you are unlikely to experience joint pain, and that is also a great aspect of having healthy joints!
12. Creates Mental Toughness
While the Stairmaster has many benefits, we aren’t going to tell you that it is the most straightforward exercise you can pick!
Climbing stairs can be a difficult form of movement, but when utilizing the machine, you are working on developing mental toughness.
You promised yourself to step on it to help you better achieve your goals, and following through on that promise alone requires self-discipline.
Adding in a few extra minutes or going up a level? That’s that mental toughness coming out!
13. Allows Continuous Success
A great aspect of the Stairmaster is that it always allows you room to grow so you never hit a plateau.
You are able to adjust variables, including the time, speed, the manner in which you go up the stairs, and how often you use the machine.
Creating a plan for the next couple of months of gradually making things a bit more difficult will help you be even more successful with hitting your health goals.
Many forms of cardio do involve your feet hitting the ground somewhat hard.
A few examples are HIIT workouts, running, and jump rope.
While all of these exercises have various benefits, the Stairmaster trumps them by being low-impact.
This attribute makes it more accessible to those who have joint pain, are at a heavier weight, or have limited mobility.
What are the disadvantages of the Stairmaster?
While the pros certainly outweigh the cons of this cardio machine, there are a few things to consider.
Take a look at our list below to see if any of the following may be why you need to avoid the Stairmaster.
- It does not work the upper body
- Generally too expensive and large for a home gym
- Not recommended for those with back and hip problems
Stairmaster Workout for Bigger Glutes
The Stairmaster is the best cardio machine for building your glutes. You can maximize its effects by following along with this training program!
Focus on driving up through your heels when you step up to really challenge your glutes.
|1||7.0||4 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|2||9.0||2 minutes||Taking every other step|
|3||8.0||1 minute||Taking every other step and then doing a leg raise with the other leg|
|4||7.0||4 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|5||9.0||2 minutes||Taking every other step|
|6||8.0||1 minute||Taking every other step and then doing a leg raise with the other leg|
Stairmaster Workout to Lose Weight
Because of how many calories the Stairmaster burns, doing this workout a few times a week will help you lose weight!
|1||5.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|2||6.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|3||7.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|4||8.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|5||9.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|6||10.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
Stairmaster HIIT Workout
When you think of a HIIT workout, you probably imagine something high-impact.
Luckily, you can perform a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster if you need to stick to low-impact cardio that still ensures you will break a sweat!
|1||7.0||6 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|2||9.0||3 minutes||Taking every other step|
|3||7.0||4 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|4||9.0||2 minutes||Taking every other step|
|5||7.0||2 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|6||10.0||1 minute||Taking every other step|
Stairmaster Workout for Beginners
While it is very likely that you have climbed stairs before, you may still be a beginner at the Stairmaster.
Progress with the machine comes at a slow and steady pace. Be reasonable and patient with yourself when you get started.
|1||6.0||4 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
|2||5.0||1 minute||Taking one step at a time while facing the right|
|3||5.0||1 minute||Taking one step at a time while facing the left|
|4||6.0||4 minutes||Taking one step at a time|
Frequently Asked Questions
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How long should I spend on the Stairmaster?
The answer to this question depends on your current fitness level.
If you are just starting to use the Stairmaster, begin with the ten-minute workout we mentioned earlier. Otherwise, aim for 15 to 25 minutes per session.
What does a Stairmaster do for your body?
The Stairmaster can help you build and strengthen your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes; improve joint health; aid with weight loss; quicken your metabolism; and more!
Does the Stairmaster make your bum bigger?
The Stairmaster is amazing for growing your glutes and helping you shape and develop the overall appearance of your bum.
Try to use the machine at least two to three times a week at a sufficient speed to see actual results.
Is 20 Minutes on the Stairmaster good?
Exercising on a Stairmaster for 20 minutes can result in a very effective and challenging workout.
Many beginners will not have the stamina to complete 20 minutes from the get-go, but everyone can work up to 20 minutes with regular practice.
Is Stairmaster better than running?
Neither one is better than the other, but it is dependent on your goals as to which you should choose.
If you want to build muscle in the lower body, engage in low-impact exercise, and improve joint health, you should choose the Stairmaster.
If you want to be able to be outdoors or indoors, are not concerned with building muscle, and want to train for races, then choose running!
Can the Stairmaster give you abs?
Abs are developed when your body fat percentage is low enough for the muscles to show through.
Because the Stairmaster speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn calories, it can contribute to a lower body fat percentage.
So, yes, the Stairmaster can give you abs if you stick with a regular routine that involves progressive overload and you are eating correctly.
Did you find a few benefits of the Stairmaster in our list that made you want to make it your new favorite cardio machine?
If so, a regular Stairmaster workout routine can deliver you some, if not all, of the benefits that we mentioned, which would result in you feeling healthy and amazing.
Please let us know what you think about the Stairmaster and if we left out any benefits in the comments below.
Also, share this article with anyone you think needs to consider giving the machine a more serious consideration!