What is a StairMaster?
A StairMaster is a stationary fitness machine similar to a treadmill or an elliptical. However, instead of running in place, the StairMaster rotates steps, so you can climb stairs in one place for as long as you’d like. Just press start and start climbing!
The StairMaster is a powerful machine that can dramatically improve your fitness experience. Let’s examine the myriad ways in which the StairMaster benefits your mental and physical health:
Cardiovascular StairMaster Benefits:
1. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Let’s face it. We’ve all walked up a long flight of stairs and found ourselves out of breath. Thankfully, with practice, we can improve our endurance. The most impressive StairMaster benefit is the boost in cardiovascular health.
After consistent practice, that same long flight of stairs that challenged you before will be easy to conquer. Repeated cardio exercise on the StairMaster will greatly improve your heart health!
2. Improved Rate of Metabolism
The StairMaster can burn calories very quickly during a workout. In fact, just thirty minutes of moderate climbing can burn more than 280 calories. That being said, the benefits of this increased metabolism extend beyond the workout.
Cardiovascular exercise actually increases your rate of resting metabolism. In other words, two hours after climbing on the StairMaster, you could be sitting on the couch and your body will be burning calories more efficiently than before the climb.
Strength StairMaster Benefits:
3. Stronger Quads
Climbing stairs requires significant muscle engagement, especially in your legs. As you climb stairs, your quadriceps are responsible for extending your knee.
As a result, this repetitive movement causes mechanical tension and metabolic stress in your quads, which increases quadriceps hypertrophy. After a long session on the StairMaster, you will feel a deep burn in your quads.
4. Stronger Hamstrings
The hamstrings also play a significant role in the climbing motion. In order to carry your momentum forward and upward, the hamstrings contact to extend your hip. Try climbing two or three stairs at a time to maximize your hamstring gains!
5. Stronger Glutes
Just like the hamstrings, the gluteus maximus is responsible for extending your hip as well. In order to maximize tension and improve definition of your glutes, straighten your leg after each step and squeeze your glutes.
As you become more comfortable on the StairMaster, you can do glute exercises like single leg kickbacks while climbing!
6. Stronger Calves
Each time you step on the stairs, the calves are the last muscles to contract to push you upwards. The StairMaster is a great tool to define and grow the calves. If you are trying to target your calves, push upwards with your toes as hard as you can during each step.
7. Stronger Core
Brace your core and tighten your abs before each step. Not only will this promote better posture as you climb, but your abs will get a workout in too!
8. Stronger Bones
Another interesting StairMaster benefit is that climbing actually helps to maintain strong bones. When we perform a weight bearing exercise such as climbing the stairs, our body responds accordingly by building strong bones.
As you get older, maintaining bone health becomes more important and the StairMaster can help out!
Other StairMaster Benefits:
9. Improved Joint Health
Climbing up the stairs is considered to be a low impact exercise. This means that the StairMaster stresses your feet, shins, and knees less than other cardio workouts like running. Therefore, you can reap all of the benefits of the StairMaster without suffering from shin splints, knee issues, or joint problems that may arise from other forms of exercise.
10. Improved Mental Heath
Aerobic exercises such as swimming, running, and stair climbing have been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. While the exact mechanism is unknown, scientists believe that the surge of blood flow to the brain induced by exercise may play a role (1).
Cardiovascular exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which help alleviate stress and improve your overall mental health!
11. Improved Mental Toughness
Although pushing yourself to the limits in any physical activity can boost your mental toughness, there is something special about the StairMaster. With each step, you are defying gravity and moving upwards. There are few things more rewarding than reaching your all time personal best on the StairMaster.
12. Easily Accessible
Climbing stairs is one of the most accessible exercises. If you do not have access to the machine, you can climb stairs right at home for a killer workout. However, if you do have access to a gym, you will easily find the StairMaster machine.
Because more people tend to use the treadmills and the ellipticals, the StairMasters are usually open for use. Take advantage of these hidden gems in your local gym!
13. Sustainable Success
The last StairMaster benefit centers on sustainability. In order to achieve your fitness goals, you need to slowly build up strength and endurance. With the StairMaster, you can change the speed of the machine to adjust each workout to your current level of fitness.
As you improve, you can climb stairs at a faster pace or for a longer period of time!
The StairMaster provides a fantastic cardiovascular workout that is accessible for all gym goers. However, if you don't have access to the machine, you don't need to miss out on these StairMaster benefits! Instead, you can find the closest flight of stairs and get after it.
You can build strength, sculpt your body, improve your endurance, and become healthier overall with stairs. Take advantage of the many StairMaster benefits today!
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1. Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D Petty. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2006.