As with any exercise equipment, the most important factor to deal with is its utility. An extensive study has to be about the merits and demerits before it becomes logical to recommend its usage. I have seen that many gym-trainers advise on using this particular equipment known as the stepper.
What is “stepper equipment?”
A stepper machine is a warm up machine. As the name suggests, a stepper machine has two platforms for keeping the feet. While exercising first you have to stand on the platforms provided. These platforms are connected to hydraulic cylinders by means of springs. They have independent stepping action. One has to stand on the platforms and keep them moving using the leg strength. Stepper machines have handles for you to hold. Foams and pads are provided for easy gripping. Most steppers have an ergometer, which not only counts the number of steps per minute but also keeps track of the calories burned. Some of them also have heart-beat calculating meters. The steel is heavy and durable.
What are the positives of these machines?
There are several positive aspects of stepper machines. First, they reduce calories. Second, they help to develop the muscles in the leg, hips and calf. Third, they are highly portable and takes very little space for storage, as they can be folded. Thus they can be very useful as a home exercise equipment. The cost factor is also an advantage. The stepper exercises are available at affordable prices.
Are the positives beneficial?
We have looked at the positives of stepper exercise equipments. Now, the question that arises here is, are these indeed beneficial? We can only judge it from the requirement point of view. Any exercise requirement can be for either weight reduction or muscle development.
Obesity is an epidemic disease. Therefore, many people are regularly working out to burn down the fats. Weight reduction is their primary criteria. Stepper machines unfortunately are not suitable exercise equipments for weight reduction. They fail to increase body metabolism and as such do not aid in fat reduction. So, the stepper machine doest not prove to be beneficial here.
Are the stepper exercise machines beneficial for abs development?
Abs development works in two phases. The first phase is to reduce the flab on the abdominal region and the second phase is to develop and strengthen the muscles. I have already stated that stepper machines fail to reduce fats. Now, for core abs development, a machine should be able to isolate and work on the muscles such that they are flexed. Unfortunately, stepper exercise machines do not provide beneficial in core abs workout also.
So, where is it beneficial?
The stepper machines as stated earlier works great for the leg, hip and calf muscles. Any person who needs to develop strong legs, especially athletes or sport persons, will definitely find stepper to be beneficial.
So, where does stepper fit in the daily workout schedule of common person?
Actually, stepper machines do not fit in the daily workout routine of a common man. Exercise machines such as treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines are excellent for warming up, and are very good for fat reduction. Besides, there are several machines that work exclusively on the abs.
Also for sports persons who need to strengthen the muscles of the legs, several core workout machines are available that gives excellent workout of the leg muscles and the hips. Therefore, even they can avoid the usage of stepper machines.
However, personally it would be unfair to banish the machine completely. You can definitely buy it, if you can afford it. After all, it develops the muscles in the legs. Therefore, it does have some benefits and at an amateur level, we all can use it.