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The Best Stair Climbers

Where Can You Find the Best Stair Climbers?

Stair climbers, often known as "stair steppers," have been around fitness centers for about 40 years. They're a refreshing change to the treadmill and exercise bike, and offer an intense workout. Depending on factors such as your fitness level, age, weight, and chosen resistance level, you could burn an impressive 500 calories in about half an hour on a stair climber.

There are a variety of reasons why stair climbers are so popular. For example, stair climbers are renowned for their effectiveness in calorie burning and weight loss. The rhythmic movement engages major muscle groups such as the legs, glutes, and core, leading to an efficient way to burn calories. This makes stair climbing an attractive option for individuals aiming to shed excess weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Friday, February 23rd

2024 Stair Climber Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Bowflex Review 5 Star Rating

Bowflex

5 Star Rating
  • Four models to choose from
  • Max Total 16: $2,499
  • Max Trainer M9: $1,999
  • Max Trainer SE: $1,499
  • Max Trainer M6: $1,299
  • 6-week return policy
  • Free shipping
  • Personalized classes available
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

BowFlex is long known for their in-home, one-machine-does-all strength training. In the past almost 40 years, BowFlex has grown to include more equipment to help you with your cardio and build muscle.

4 models of stair climbers

There are four BowFlex Max Trainer stair climbers to bring your workout, well, to the "max."

  • Max Trainer M6. For $1,299, this stair climber has 4-grip handlebars, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), 16 resistance levels, is compatible with the JRNY app for phones/tablets, and has a backlit LCD display, a media shelf, and USB charging station.
  • Max Trainer SE. For only $200 more, the SE has pretty much what the M6 has, but is more quiet, has access to JRNY workouts, is Bluetooth heart rate compatible, and has auto-adjust resistance for Explore the World.
  • Max Trainer M9 is $600 more than the base model, and has a 10" adjustable HD touchscreen (needs wifi connection), JRNY experience built in (rather than using the app), 20 resistance levels, and Bluetooth-enable speakers.
  • Max Total M16. It's the newest and highest model, which is about double the price of the base model at $2499. It has the upgrades of a 16" adjustable screen (wifi required) and 6-grip handlebars.

Smaller than a treadmill

The BowFlex Max Trainers take up about half the floor space of a treadmill, giving you more of your room back to you.

Our faves are the M9 or the M16

We've got to say that if you're going to invest in a BowFlex stair climber, the two highest models, Max Trainer M9 and Max Total M16, are definitely worth the money. Why would you use your own app on your device when JRNY is already installed on the machine? (You're still responsible for the JRNY subscription, though.) There are 20 resistance levels so you can get the workout you're looking for: the gradual change between levels is easier on the body. We do like that the M16 has an immersive 16" inch screen rather than 10" of the M9, which can make the workout more enjoyable.

JRNY helps BowFlex personalize your workouts

JRNY is a BowFlex subscription membership that delivers a virtual coach that leads you in your daily workout. The smart, personalized workouts are designed for you, based on your fitness experiences and goals. They automatically adjust and change based on your fitness goals and progress. Watching streamed, visual destinations while you work out take your mind to new experiences, imagining another place beyond that of your real world.

Don't forget to subscribe to JRNY

There's a free, 2-month trial if you're a new member. Once that's over, the subscription rates start at $19.99 per month (or $149 per year) to stay connected.

Best Stair Climbers

Watch for sales

If you're shopping around the holidays, there may be a Black Friday or other sale on BowFlex, saving up to $500. That savings will be greater on the premium models.

Purchase add-ons you should consider

BowFlex will assemble your product and take away any packaging for $189. This service is available seven days a week and is something you should definitely consider. There are those who have opted out of the assembly and have put it together themselves: it might take two to three hours, so you'll have to decide if assembling it yourself is worth the savings. The $99 BowFlex Cardio Machine Mat protects the flooring underneath your machine and gives your workout area a finished look. The one size will fit all BowFlex stair climber machines.

Good warranty, optional protection plans

The standard warranty is different for each model. They all include 90 days for labor. The frame and mechanical parts would be covered for 1 or 2 years. The 3-year optional protection plan upgrades all warranties to 3 years of full coverage and costs $199. The 5-year optional protection plan upgrades all warranties except the frame to 5 years and costs $259. If you choose one of these optional plans, the 5-year plan works out to about $51 per year and the 3-year plan is about $67 per year.

Free shipping

When you buy a BowFlex stair climber, shipping is included. What's more, BowFlex offers a better satisfaction guarantee and return period than most stair climbers: a generous 6 weeks to decide, and no pesky restocking fees, which is a huge benefit.

Payment plan options

You can pay the whole amount up front, or take advantage of BowFlex's payment plans. They figure your monthly payment to be the purchase price divided by 18 months. And if you pay in full within 18 months, which is expected, there's no interest charged. If after 18 months you still owe them money, they will add interest.

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Quick delivery

Your BowFlex Max Trainer should arrive about a week after you place the order.

6-week return policy

Call Bowflex within six weeks of delivery and request a Return Merchandise Authorization number. You'll be refunded the price of the stair climber, but not any shipping and handling fees that you'll take care of returning the product.

People love the Max Trainer but you need the JRNY feature

Consumers love the Max Trainer machines, but without the JRNY subscription, it's just not as motivating and they don't use the machine as much. Although it's an added monthly or yearly expense, if it encourages you to actually use the machine and get the results, it's definitely worth the cost of the subscription.

We rate BowFlex highly

You've heard about BowFlex for decades, and their brand is known to hold up to its expectations as well as the years of use. We like that there are four models to choose from. The more you spend, the more "modern" your features, such as Bluetooth and larger video screens. Their patented JRNY app has live, virtually-led workouts specifically for you and your fitness patterns and goals. BowFlex also offers to send someone to set up the machine for you. We highly recommend the BowFlex Max Trainer stair steppers, we just wish they had a longer satisfaction guarantee period.

Our top pick

In terms of value for your hard-earned money, BowFlex's stair climbers are unmatched. No other option provides access to live coached workouts on reliable, fully-featured machines for under $2,000. BowFlex's Max Trainers easily earn our first-place ranking. So, if you're looking to elevate your fitness game, BowFlex has got the tools you need to succeed.

Xterra Review 4.5 Star Rating

Xterra

4.5 Star Rating
  • Price: $1,099.99
  • Seated stepper
  • Free shipping
  • Excellent warranty
  • Excellent customer service

Xterra Fitness, based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is driven to make fitness accessible to you in your home, whether you're just starting out on your fitness journey or whether you're a competitive athlete. Their seated stepper can fit into homes with even the lowest ceilings as not much headroom is needed. Xterra is one of the few companies to offer free shipping, and their customer service is outstanding.

Great for most body types and for most body needs

The Xterra Seated Stepper is designed to handle a body height of 4'7" to 6'2" and holds a max of 300 pounds. Because it's in the seated style, and there's less strain on the hips and ankles, it's a good stepper machine for those in physical rehabilitation, the older population, and those who don't feel as steady on their feet. Even if you're in great condition, there are 24 levels of resistance, so you'll still get a good workout from the Xterra.

Unique features on their handles, seat, and foot pedals

You can adjust the length of the handles for your arm length. If you have other users in your household, just remember which notch you're at to easily hop back on again at your comfort. The hand grips rotate 360 degrees with smooth and durable bearings. The seat has a cool and comfortable mesh back, and the foot pedals self-balance with easy-adjust ratcheting straps so you don't slip off.

One choice of console

The console has a display of 5" and there are 24 programs to keep you motivated. They're not live or on-demand classes, but it's the traditional monitor where you set the time and program, and you increase or decrease the speed or intensity every cycle of the program. There's a heart-rate sensor on the seat handlebar. The Xterra also has an audio jack for your headphones as well as a built-in speaker. There's a built-in reading rack which looks like it should hold your phone so you can watch your favorite program while you work out.

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No worrying about your ceiling height

Because you're seated, you don't have to worry that your head will hit your ceiling when using your stepper. It takes up a little less of your floor space than you'd imagine, too: it's 52.1" long, 14.7" wide, and only 50" high. It's also only 132 pounds, one of the lightest stair steppers out there. There are also transport wheels, so if you have to move the Xterra out of the way, you can use the wheels, making it easier on you and your floor.

Payment options

You can pay your Xterra stair climber off all at once or you can pay it off in 6, 12, or 24 months. And if you pay it off in the allotted time, you'll have 0% APR.

30-day return policy

If you're not satisfied, for any reason, within 30 days of delivery of your Xterra Seated Stepper, contact customer service. You'll need an RA number from them, and will need to return the stepper in its original packaging and in good condition. You will be responsible for return shipping and a 10% restocking fee, and they suggest you insure the package.

Decent warranty

The warranty for the Xterra is pretty good when you compare it to other stair climbers you'll find out there. There's a 1-year warranty on labor, 3 years on parts, and a lifetime warranty on the frame/brake.

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Free shipping

It's quite rare to find free shipping on stair climbers or larger pieces of gym equipment. But Xterra does offer it, so the price you see is the price you'll pay, no large shipping fee added. In fact, Xterra doesn't even add sales tax.

Most customers love it

It's quiet, and users get a good workout. The Xterra can take up to an hour to assemble, and be sure to follow instructions carefully. If there were issues, users loved Xterra's customer service as they have gone above and beyond for them. Some owners who are on the shorter side, taller side, or larger side, are disappointed that the machine may not fit them as well as they had hoped. This, of course, can happen because of the limitations when it's a recumbent machine.

For the price, durability, and customer service, it's great

Xterra has one of the least expensive stair steppers out there, and yet it's made durably, is lightweight, has an excellent warranty, and has free shipping. The only suggestion we would have is to add the option of stabilizing the swinging handles, as that seemed to have bothered a few users. At this point, it's preference. Are you more comfortable with a traditional standing stair climber (and is your ceiling tall enough for the one you want), or are you more comfortable with the seated stepper? If recumbent is your ideal workout position, the Xterra stair climber is the perfect choice.

ProForm Review 4.5 Star Rating

ProForm

4.5 Star Rating
  • Pro HIIT H14: $1,699, includes a 1-month iFIT family membership
  • Carbon HIIT H10: FREE with 3-year iFIT family membership @ $1,403
  • Carbon E10: FREE with 3-year iFIT family membership @ $1,403
  • 2 models are FREE with iFIT subscription
  • 3-year iFIT membership required for some models
  • Quiet
  • Comes with a 10" or 14" smart touchscreen

ProForm has a long history of making exercise equipment. For about 40 years they have been making fitness equipment under famous names such as Weider, and now under iFIT. ProForm has three stair climbers to choose from, and to promote and encourage their more than 16,000 iFIT workout classes, they're giving away free stair climbers. And just because the machine is free doesn't mean it's low quality at all.

3 models to choose from

There are three different HIIT stair climbers offered by ProForm:

  • Pro HIIT 14. This $1,699 stair climber is iFIT enabled, and a 30-day iFIT trial is included. There's a 14" smart HD touch screen, 26 resistance levels, multi-function handlebars, a fan, front-mounted transport wheels, a water bottle holder, and carries up to 325 pounds of body weight.
  • Carbon HIIT 10. A 3-year iFIT family membership ($1403) is required for this free machine. You'll have a 10" smart HD touchscreen, 24 resistance levels, a cooling fan, 2" Bluetooth speakers, front-mounted transport wheels, a water bottle holder, and it can handle up to 325 pounds.
  • Carbon E10. A 3-year iFIT membership ($1403) is required, but the stair stepper is free. You'll have a 10" smart HD touchscreen, 24 resistance levels, 2" Bluetooth speakers, a water bottle holder, front-mount transport wheels, and a weight capacity of 275 pounds.

How to easily know the difference between the models

"HIIT" means that the machines have durable design for the high-intensity interval training workout. "10" means it has a 10" screen, and "14" means it has a 14" screen. This should help you as you decide which model is best for you.

iFIT brings the full training of a gym membership right to your home

If you want the feeling and benefits of a gym membership without leaving your home, the membership to iFIT can take you there. There are more than 16,000 engaging and interactive studio classes to choose from, and they're led by professional trainers. In fact, the trainers will actually adjust the resistance on your machine during your workout. When you order your ProForm HIIT stair stepper, you'll be charged for three years of iFIT. After three years, your subscription will automatically renew, and the price at the time of this review was $396 per year.

You don't need iFIT but we recommend it

The iFIT membership is only about $35 per month, which isn't bad for all you get, including the thousands of classes and the program adjusting your resistance for you. However, if you want to cancel the subscription, you can, and you may still be able to get a few iFIT classes included with your console. You can also go totally alone and not use iFIT at all.

The features are impressive

There are 24 resistance levels, which is among the highest we've seen. You'll get a smooth, quiet, steady pedal stroke, and a faster gear ratio with effective weight placement which brings you a natural striding experience. The workout arms give you a whole-body workout rather than just a lower-body workout that you might find with other stair climbing machines. Two 2" Bluetooth speakers bring quality sounds to your music or classes.

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HIIT training

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, helps keep your heart rate up, burn more calories, and build strength by setting a higher intensity workout level for a short period of time, then going into a short recovery time, and repeat for a longer period of time.

Stay cool

There's a built-in fan with two speed settings to keep you cool during your workout, and hopefully keep you working out longer because you're not overheating. Although the fan is a great idea, it has weak air output, and it's noisy. The bottle holder allows you to have your water at hand for frequent hydration and cooling off.

It's an average size for a larger machine

Most of the stair climbers are in this footprint realm. For example, the ProForm Carbon HIIT 10 is about 30" wide, 52" long, and 67" tall. Be sure that your ceilings are tall enough for this stair climber.

A stepper with a hint of elliptical

The ProForm stair climbers have the intensity of a stair climber with the smoothness of an elliptical, making the workout easy on the joints and transitioning well between steps.

Large pedals

ProForm boasts large foot pedals, at 15" long, with good treads. Even if you wear a men's size 15 shoe, your 12" sole should not only fit, but even have a couple inches of extra room.

It's quiet

Silent Magnetic Resistance, or SMR, brings you a smooth and quiet workout, so you - and others in your home - aren't disturbed by unnecessary noises from your workout equipment.

The pedals don't lock into place

Because the pedals don't lock, it's possible for them to move as you get on and off the machine, possibly throwing you off balance.

10" smart, HD touchscreen

It's not the largest screen out there; in fact, it's about average. Being high definition, the beautiful scenery you see can very much help you escape the real world, pretending you're somewhere else in the world. You can swipe to view your workout stats including your approximate distance, speed, time, calories burned, heart rate, and resistance state.

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Payment plan optional

If you would like to make payments rather than pay it all upfront, ProForm offers a 0% payment plan when you pay it off in 36 months of equal payments. There's also mention of a 29.99% APR standard purchase, so be sure to get all the details of your plan before you sign up.

One of the better warranties

The ProForm warranty covers the HIIT stair climbers with 1 year on labor, 1 or 2 years on parts depending on the model, and 10 years on the frame. Your claim must be pre-approved by iFIT. If you need parts, you're responsible for shipping and handling charges.

30 days to return

If you're just not happy with your ProForm HIIT stair climber, you can request the return within 30 days of the delivery date. You're responsible for a $250 shipping charge plus a 10% restocking fee. If you decide to cancel before you even receive your machine, if the equipment has been shipped you'll be responsible for those return shipping charges and restocking fees. Your iFIT monthly membership is not refundable except if it's within your first 30-day period. The return policy is different with the free machines.

Happy customers but would like something besides iFIT

Customers are happy with the machine: its sturdiness, the relative ease of assembly, and the smoothness of the workout. Some, however, wish they didn't have to have iFIT and could program something else into the console - such as other scenery or other workouts.

What's not to like?

The ProForm stair climbers are at an excellent price point, take up a normal size footprint for sturdy home models, have a large foot pedal with good tread, and have a good warranty. With high-intensity interval training maintaining popularity, ProForm has two stair climbers that are designed to take the severe use. For a full-size home stair climber, the price is more than right, especially when two models are free with the iFIT subscription. You really can't go wrong with any model, but our faves are the Pro HIIT 14 and the Carbon HIIT 10. ProForm is definitely a brand to consider when shopping for a home-use stair climber.

Jacobs Ladder Review 4.5 Star Rating

Jacobs Ladder

4.5 Star Rating
  • Four models to choose from
  • Jacobs Ladder X (JLX): $6,999
  • The Stairway GTL: $6,999
  • Jacobs Ladder: $5,999
  • Jacobs Ladder 2: $5,299
  • Same, reputable Stair Master but redesigned
  • Designed for the home and gym
  • For all fitness levels, mostly the intense

Jacobs Ladder has been around since around the year 2000. In the early days, they struggled to make a profit - that is, until Jillian Michaels brought Jacobs Ladder to The Biggest Loser audience, and the rest is pretty much history. Stair Master is now the parent company of Jacobs Ladder, and it seems like a good, natural fit. There are four models of Jacobs Ladder to choose from, so you can choose the equipment to fit your home gym space and your workout needs, whether you're in physical rehab, a beginner, or a professional athlete.

"Love to hate it"

That's their motto. " Serious cardio" is another. These stair climber cardio machines burn calories at a higher rate with a lower perceived level of exertion. If you're ready for a challenge for a next-level cardiovascular workout, read on and hop on. Get a great machine that offers the intense interval training that you deserve. Challenge your body to get into its best physical condition.

Also great for physical rehab, weight loss, beginners

Although Jacobs Ladder focuses on the intense athlete and boasts about the benefits for them, Stair Master recognizes that people not necessarily in tip-top condition need a place to start. If you're back from an injury, Jacobs Ladder stair climber can help you rehabilitate, since the workouts are low impact and deliver strengthening results. If you want a machine to support your weight loss journey, Jacobs Ladder is great for your fitness routine as it's easy on the body while you build strength and endurance.

Best Stair Climbers

Remember the Stair Master? This is it.

Stair Master used to be in almost every major gym as the only stair climber. Stair Master still exists, in the form of Jacobs Ladder. There are now three Jacobs Ladder models and a Stairway STL that are of course, excellent stair climbers to keep you, or get you, in your best physical shape:

  • Jacobs Ladder X. Also known as JLX, this $6,999 stair climber is crafted for dedicated athletes and professionals. It's the first big update in twenty years, with four climbing positions. This largest model is the one you'll love to hate.
  • The Stairway GTL. Built for the gym, sized for the home. At $6,999 it's self-powered and revolutionary in speed control, in that even when you're tired and need support from the handles, the stair speed stays steady.
  • Jacobs Ladder. At $5,999, it's best for an intense workout but feeling less exertion, less strain on the body. Great for physical rehabilitation, high intensity, endurance, and circuit training.
  • Jacobs Ladder 2. It's almost the same as the Jacobs Ladder, but more affordable. At the lowest price of $5,299, it carries the smallest footprint and has the longest warranty. It's also the only one that requires electricity, so be sure an outlet is nearby.

Serious name dropping

Jacobs Ladder is trusted by pro athletes including the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Tennessee Titans. Actors training for intense physical conditions in the following programs trust Jacobs Ladder: Robert Downey, Jr., as "Iron Man" , Showtime's "Billions," and CW's "Legends of Tomorrow." Some of the college athletics who trust Jacobs Ladder are Duke, Penn State, Syracuse, Arizona State, and the University of Texas. The military relies on Jacobs Ladder in West Point, Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, FBI-Quantico, the Department of Defense, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and more. Several police and fire departments rely on Jacobs Ladder to keep their first responders in top condition, as well as numerous nationally-known health club franchises including EOS Fitness, Club 4 Fitness, EXOS, and YMCA/JCC. There are even more locations, departments, and facilities within each category, but there's a fine line between name dropping and well, bragging.

Made in the USA

More bragging rights include that these incredible machines are designed and built in Niagara, NY, USA.

You pay for shipping

Shipping will cost almost $400 if shipped to a location in the US.

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Warranty

There's a 2-year warranty on parts and 1 year on labor. Jacobs Ladder 2 doubles that, at a 4-year warranty on parts and 2 years on labor.

Specs, including cup holders

Your Jacobs Ladder stair climber will take up significant floor space as, depending on the model, they can be 75" - 80" long. The width ranges from 27.5" to 37.25" , depending on if you have the cup holders. Machine weight is heavy at 300-375 pounds, and you'll need 7.5' or 8.5' of ceiling height, depending on the model. Only the Jacobs Ladder 2 requires electricity.

As expected, customers rave about it

Those who have bought the Jacobs Ladder products love them. It's the best workout machine they've used, and they love the low impact. When people finally took the plunge on this pricey unit, they said it was worth the wait. A few said they wish it worked the upper body more, yet others who have compared brands of stair climbers say Jacobs Ladder is the best for a whole body workout.

It's near the top of our list

The reputation and longevity of Stair Master products is outstanding. The four Jacobs Ladder stair climbers give a whole-body workout for beginners, but are especially beneficial for those who are serious athletes. There are some downsides, though. This hefty machine comes with a hefty price tag, meaning there's no product less than $5,299 (plus shipping) to choose from. It also takes up a good amount of floor space, and it may not fit well in a typical home. Still, all things considered, we'd be putting a Jacobs Ladder stair climber in our home gym if we had the money to spend.

Sunny Review 4 Star Rating

Sunny

4 Star Rating
  • Smart Stair Stepper Machine: $149.99
  • Fitness Stepper Machine: $109.99
  • Quite compact
  • Allows for side-to-side action
  • Sturdy handlebar
  • Free, SunnyFit app for classes

Sunny believes there's a fit for everyone. Regardless of your current level of fitness, your age, how much time you have to exercise, how large or small your space for a workout machine, and how large or small your budget, Sunny is looking out for you and your physical health needs. With two stair stepper machines at under $200, which take a very small footprint in the home, you really can't go wrong with Sunny.

Adjustable handlebar

Raise or lower the handlebar so you get a good, comfortable, sturdy grip and fit during your workout.

Free workout classes

Download the SunnyFit app or watch their workouts online via their website or their YouTube channel. It's a huge bonus to know that you don't have to pay extra for Sunny's stair stepper classes.

Manually adjust resistance and stepping height

There's a rotating knob to adjust stepping height. The higher the step, the more resistance is generated. Choose shorter steps and speed up your pace for higher intensity, shallower steps.

There's a little "twist"

When you step, your foot doesn't just raise and lower in place, there's a bit of a twisting motion to work more muscles, but not enough of a twist to throw you off balance, even with an intense workout.

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You don't need to be near an outlet

Since there are no electrical parts, you don't need to plug in the machine. The equipment is hydraulic tension, meaning your weight and exertion run the stepper.

User weight maxes out at 250#

If you weigh less than 250 pounds, you should feel comfortable on this stepper. If you or anyone in your family who may use the equipment weighs more than 250 pounds, we do have sturdier stair climber brands on our list we can recommend.

Best for shorter-period workouts

Sunny suggests that you don't use their equipment for more than 15 minutes at a time because the hydraulic cylinder may overheat and get damaged.

Track your progress

The digital monitor tracks calorie count, current step count, and total step count. With the scan mode, you can see all the stats continuously repeated throughout the workout. It's a simple and basic monitor, tracking only the present-time info.

How will you watch your SunnyFit classes?

There's no screen or monitor included with the Sunny steppers, so you might prefer to have the stepper in a room with a TV or monitor. On the Classic model, there isn't anything Sunny provides to hold your phone or tablet so you're not able to watch classes on the Classic. The Smart model has a phone holder and the stepper machine can connect to the SunnyFit app.

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Sunny doesn't take up much room, and it's light

In comparison with other stair climbers, Sunny takes up half the floor space or less. When it's assembled, Sunny's Smart Stair Stepper Machine is about 19" wide, 28" long, and 56" high. The Classic model is slightly smaller. Even if you have lower ceilings, you should be able to use the Sunny stair stepper with no problem. It's the lightest stepper we've reviewed at a "whopping" 27.6 pounds. It should be quite easy to move from room to room if you want to work out in different areas of your home.

Brief warranty period

There's a 180-day warranty on parts and a 1-year warranty on the frame. This is a pretty brief warranty, but it's also a pretty "simple" machine. We think that given the machine's features, it's a pretty fair warranty for this equipment.

Customers love the convenience

Those who have used the Sunny Stepper Machines love that it's great for small spaces, doesn't take up much room, and doesn't weigh a lot. They get a good range of motion, and they like the price.

Our fave for compact models, but not our favorite overall

If you want to have a stair climber at home but aren't committed to high-priced, larger-footprint home gym equipment, look no further than Sunny. Their compact stair steppers have an adjustable handlebar and different resistance levels for varied-intensity workouts. Sunny's workout videos are always free, so you make no additional financial commitment. We'd say that the Sunny stair stepper models are more for the beginner to cardio exercise or someone who wants to add extra movement at home. If you'd rather purchase a stair climber that looks more like one you'd find at your gym, one that can handle more than a 15-minute workout, or you're more seriously into your workouts, look to the other brands in our review.

Matrix Review 3.5 Star Rating

Matrix

3.5 Star Rating
  • Climbmill C50 with the XR screen:$4,999
  • Climbmill C50 with the XER screen:$5,799
  • Climbmill C50 with the XIR screen:$6,399
  • Climbmill C50 with the XUR screen:$6,999
  • 25 resistance levels
  • 10.5" step-on height
  • 30-day iFIT Family Membership included
  • Add screen for workout progress and optional classes

Matrix's mission is to help you to get fit or stay fit in less time. An eight-week study in middle-aged adults showed that even with two-minute stair climbing sessions every weekday, and then progressing in time and intensity, their fitness level improved by almost ten percent. It's incredible, considering these results with less than 30 minutes of exercise per week - all on the Matrix Climbmill C 50. There's one model of Climbmill on offer, which keeps it simple. You just choose the monitor that best fits your style and budget.

Choose your screen

In order to check your workout progress and historical data, choose the data console that best meets your needs and budget:

  • XR. This model has a smaller, 8.5" screen. It's the only one that's not a touch screen. It has Bluetooth compatibility and connectivity to your headphones, and is Bluetooth FTMS compatible for 3rd party apps.
  • XER. With a slightly larger, 10" touchscreen, it's Bluetooth HR compatible with the strap included, you can play music and videos via USB, there's WiFi connectivity, and a browser to search your favorite websites.
  • XIR. This 16" touchscreen console has the same features as the XER, but with a larger, more user-friendly screen.
  • XUR. At 22" , this is the largest touchscreen Maxtrix offers a better visual workout experience.

The consoles are ridiculously priced

Yes, we like the 22" screen best, because it's the largest, even though it doesn't have any more features than either of the two below it. Unfortunately, the 22" screen makes the Matrix ClimbMill C50 cost $2,000 more than if it had only the basic screen. $2000 is a lot for a screen upgrade. But hey, if a $2,000 screen/console will keep you engaged while working out and then motivate you to hop back on the next day, that may be worth it.

Consider the add-ons

Adding a $99 mat for underneath your Matrix stair climber could help keep your floors in good condition. You can also add a water-bottle holder, stationary handles with heart-rate grips, and in-reach controls.

iFIT interactive training

You'll get live studio classes, Global Workouts, Google Maps Street View, and more than 16,000 recorded interactive workouts including strength, yoga, and more. When you purchase Climbmill C50, you'll get a 30-day trial to iFIT.

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The machine is sweat protected

If you're getting a good workout, you'll probably sweat a lot. Matrix has protectors to inhibit sweat from getting into moving parts and prolonging the life of the machine.

Step positioning sensor

When the Matrix Climbmill is powered off, the lowest step is locked at the lowest point, so it's easy to get on, and you always know how far up you'll have to step - same for when you're getting off the machine. No over- or under-stepping to lose balance - it's always at 10.5." We haven't seen any other stair climbers have this safety feature.

More safety features

There are safety measures like infrared sensors, auto-pause zone, reversible steps, and emergency stop buttons for the safest stair-climbing experience.

Smallish footprint

Once it's assembled, the Matrix Climbmill C50 takes up less space than some other stair climbers. This model is 53" long, 28" wide, and 75" tall. Watch out, as your ceiling may be 96" (8 feet) or taller, but if you have a shorter ceiling will you have enough head room when you're utilizing the machine? It's best to check it out. We noticed people's shoulders or mid-biceps were at the height of the machine when using it, so keep that in mind when figuring height requirements. It's also pretty heavy at around 300#, but that's about the standard for the home stair climbers.

Holds up to 300# body weight

The Climbmill C50 has a recommended user weight of 99-300 pounds.

There's a payment plan

Depending on Matrix's lending partner that best meets your financial needs, you'll get a 0% APR rate for either 12, 18, 24, or 36 months. Approval can take place in a jiffy online when you purchase your Matrix. Be sure to make the minimum payments and that you pay off your Climbmill on time, because their standard purchase APY is 29.99%.

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Satisfaction guarantee is only 30 days, but read it carefully

You have 30 days to contact Matrix if you're not happy with your Climbmill C50 for any reason. Your money will be refunded or you can have credit minus the return stocking fee of 20%, assembly charges, original shipping charges, and return shipping costs. Returns will only be accepted if you call their number and get a Return Merchandise Authorization number. If you purchase the iFIT membership, it's not refundable. Be sure to read the fine print as there's a full page about the caveats in their return policy.

The warranty is pretty fair

Matrix offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, 5 years on parts, and 1 year on labor for their Climbmill C50. It's limited to replacement or repair of defective materials. Matrix will pay for a repair person to go to your location if it's within 150 miles of the repair person's departure location. Warranty is void if the stair climber is used in a commercial setting or if it's experienced extreme temperatures or humidity (so maybe don't store it in your garage). Any repair or replacement is at the discretion of Matrix.

There really aren't many customer reviews

The few reviews out there are videos from people whose best interest is to promote the product. And even so, they hadn't used the Climbmill much to know if they really felt comfortable on it, got a good workout, felt steady on it, or would rate it highly.

It's a good home machine

The Climbmill frame is sturdy and Matrix made it for home use by creating a lower frame height. There's sweat protection to keep parts from getting damaged and the stairs stay in one locked position for safety in getting on and off the machine. What's nice is that with Matrix, you have one stair climber to choose from, making decision making easier. The only thing you have to choose is the screen. We like the XUR, the 22" , the best for an immersive experience, although this choice is really expensive. We wish we had more users' input for how it works in various homes and if it holds up. For that reason, and that the satisfaction guarantee is only 30 days, we can't rate Matrix higher than "just above average" .

MaxiClimber Review 3.5 Star Rating

MaxiClimber

3.5 Star Rating
  • MaxiClimber XL 2000: $299
  • MaxiClimber Classic: $149
  • Smallest footprint
  • Foldable
  • 90% pre-assembled
  • Free MaxiClimber Fitness App

MaxiClimber is a vertical stair climbing system that combines weight resistance, muscle toning, and aerobic exercise in one, foldable, easy-to-move-around stair climbing system. There are two models to choose from, and both are quite compact.

Total body workout

With MaxiClimber, you'll get a good workout for your arms, legs, and core. With some steppers, you can get a good "legs day," but on MaxiClimber, you'll always work the whole body, increasing caloric burn while toning muscles. Your body weight is the resistance.

Good HIIT training, easy on the joints

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the talk these days, allowing you to continue to burn calories even after your workout session. HIIT can be done on the MaxiClimber and your body can benefit.

Two inexpensive models

There are two models, each with different features. Both are about the same size, and we'd caution against using it in a home with 8-foot ceilings. And only one will only hold people with a smaller stature:

  • MaxiClimber XL 2000, priced at $399, has an adjustable height. Unfolded, it's at 7.74' and folded it's at 6'. The unfolded footprint is 26.78" wide by 41.33" long. When folded, it's 15.7" wide by 25.78" long. This machine can carry the larger user who weighs up to 300# and is no taller than 6' 6" tall. This machine has two pistons with 12 resistance levels.
  • MaxiClimber Classic, priced at $149, also has an adjustable height. Unfolded it's at 7.21' and folded it's at 5.5'. The unfolded footprint is 28.3" wide by 35.82" long. It takes up about half the width and length when it's folded. It's the smallest stair climber we've reviewed, and this model is not ideal for tall or heavy people. The user must be 6' 2" or shorter and weigh less than 240#. This machine only works with your body weight; it doesn't have a certain number of resistance levels to help.

Free MaxiClimber Fitness app

You can download MaxiClimber's free app. There's a 21-day challenge, a meal plan, and you can track your fitness progress.

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No tablet, no screen

You can download the free app, sure, but on what? You'll need to provide the screen - your own tablet or phone.

Optional protective mat

For $49.95 you can place a protective mat underneath your MaxiClimber to protect your flooring. It's the least expensive one we've seen out there; the MaxiClimber is also the lightest stair climber we've seen as well, so that makes sense.

Optional waist trimmer belt

It's a one-size-fits-most belt to help you retain the heat around your core while exercising. While supporting the lower back, it stays in place during your activity, promoting weight loss and stimulating water loss during your workout.

Monthly payment plan

You can finance the purchase of your MaxiClimber stair climber with interest-free payments. If you make each payment on time, there won't be a negative impact on your credit.

30-day guarantee - sort of

Your satisfaction guarantee starts the day of purchase, not the date you receive your product. This is curious since the order will take 1-2 weeks to process before it's shipped to you. How many days you'll actually have to use it during the guarantee period is a very good question, and we can assure you that you certainly do not get 30 days to try it. And you pay for return shipping.

Free delivery

If your MaxiClimber purchase is over $150, which applies to both stair climbers on offer, they offer free shipping. Free shipping is rare in stair climber purchases, so points to MaxiClimber.

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1-year warranty included

Your MaxiClimber will be covered for a year for repairs or replacement. They will provide tools for repairs or may replace your MaxiClimber if they can't repair it.

Optional 1- or 2-year extended warranty

After your 1-year manufacturer's warranty is over, your purchased warranty starts. This zero-deductible warranty covers the parts necessary for repair or full replacement if they can't repair your home-use machine. Remember to purchase the extended warranty ($49 or $67) either at the time of purchase of your stair climber or within 30 days of purchase.

People love some of the features

Consumers like that the MaxiClimber is a smaller machine with a smaller footprint in the home. People like that it's easy to assemble and comes with a holder for a mobile device so you can use the app during your workout. They don't like that customer service can be challenging to reach, and some have complained that their MaxiClimber broke within days or weeks of use. They also would like to see more varying resistance, especially on the Classic model.

Affordable but limited

Especially if you're a beginner stair climber or don't have a lot of room in your house for a clunky machine, consider either of the MaxiClimber models. They're the smallest and least expensive of the stair climbers we recommend, and they're also the easiest to assemble. If you're more experienced, looking for a sturdier machine, want more features, want more resistance levels, are heavy or tall... and you're willing to spend a couple of thousand dollars more, we recommend looking at the more highly-rated machines in that category instead.

Precor Review 3 Star Rating

Precor

3 Star Rating
  • Price: $9,620
  • Well known in gyms and fitness centers
  • 40+ years in the fitness industry
  • Large and safe step surface
  • 30-days-from-purchase warranty

For more than 40 years, Precor has been recognized as an excellent brand, trusted in fitness centers, and now you can have one in your home. Precor's first product was the rower, and they've expanded to create more types of well-made fitness equipment including the StairClimber.

Step control and step surface

Precor StepClimber's Dynamic Step Control system assures a steady step rate, whether slow or fast, for all-sized users. The new Precor StairClimber SCL 835 offers the largest step surface out there, creating a safe and seamless workout.

P31 LED console

The first feature of the console we notice is the ergonomics of it. The console has placed the keypad indentations at grip height so there's no fumbling when you're concentrating on your intense workout. Connect the P31 to your mobile phone to use it. If you don't care for the P31, Precor StairClimber SCL 385 has other consoles to choose from.

Large step surface

The new Precor StairClimber offers you the largest step surface you'll see in home stair climbers, giving you peace of mind for a safe and seamless workout.

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Check your ceiling height

Precor recommends a ceiling height of 9' 9" , which would accommodate a 6' 5" person standing on the top step, leaving a 3" head clearance.

Not much info on the warranty or any satisfaction guarantee

Precor's website has a long paragraph about the warranty, but they don't tell you how long the warranty is - instead, the website tells you to check the paperwork that comes in the box with your machine. The warranty does, however, start on the date of purchase, not on the delivery date, so there's a big disadvantage. There's a link with more details, but the details are for different machines that Precor carries. Other sources tell us the warranty is 30 days. Since that's from delivery date, that's not a lot of time to try out the machine.

Way too expensive for a stair climber

The home version of the Precor StairClimber is $9,600 - it's the most expensive we've seen, by far. The warranty is weak and details are hard to find on the site. These facts are disappointing as Precor is a well-known, reputable brand for fitness equipment found in the gym. With the super high price and the lack of warranty info, we just can't give it a higher rating.

CLMBR Review 1.5 Star Rating

CLMBR

1.5 Star Rating
  • Two models to choose from
  • Base bundle: $3,995 for CLMBR 02 plus 1-month class subscription
  • Plus bundle: $4,395 for CLMBR 02 plus 12-month class subscription
  • Doesn't take up much floor space
  • More than 7' high
  • Classes with a subscription plan

You may not have heard of CLMBR, and that's understandable, because they're less than a decade old. That alone shouldn't hold you back from purchasing one of their climbers, because this Denver-based company claims to be the first climbing machine to offer at-home connected fitness. You'll get an efficient, full-body workout in only 30 minutes.

You can workout alone or with classes

Without a subscription, you'll plan your own workouts. If you want instructor-led classes, you can purchase a subscription plan for more than 500 on-demand video workouts. The duration of the workouts is from five to 45 minutes, which should work with most people's schedules. The lessons range from beginner to advanced, and vary in style depending on the muscles you want to work and your training goal. Some classes involve floor exercises.

Choose the price of your CLMBR 02 machine

Buy CLMBR at the base bundle price or the plus bundle price. Base price ($3,995) pays for the CLMBR and one month of Premium membership, meaning you'll have access to the on-demand classes. The Plus price ($4,395) gives you one year of Premium membership included with your CLMBR machine.

Choose your membership for your stats, classes, and more

There's a little bit more to the memberships at CLMBR than you might initially realize. Take a look:

  • Free, base membership. Without a paid membership, you can see your workout metrics during activity, but once you're done they're not saved. Once you receive your CLMBR 02, you'll get a free taste of the Premium subscription for a month.
  • Metrics+ membership. For $9.99 per month, you can have access to your workout and stats history, achievements, basic benchmarks, basic challenges, and a shared membership. No classes are included in the Metrics+.
  • Premium membership. In addition to what the Metrics+ membership allows, you can connect with friends on the app and receive on-demand classes 24/7 for any workout. Premium is available for $39.99 per month and includes advanced competitions, friends, on-demand classes, any new features that come available in the future, and content on the app.

CLMBR's classes

If you choose CLMBR's premium membership, you can select workouts depending on your fitness level and comfort with the machine. Choose the beginner level at first to get accustomed to the machine as climbing on it may be different than you've done on machines at the gym. Once you get comfortable with your CLMBR, try intermediate classes to build on your foundation. The advanced workouts are created for those who are experienced with the machine and for fit persons who want longer and more intense workout sessions. Longer workouts are 20-45 minutes and combine resistance and speed.

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Your instructor will guide you

The instructors are referred to as guides. In each workout session, you can not only select the volume, but you can put the guide's voice above the music, and if you know the routine well, you can put the music over the voice of the guide. Before each lesson starts, you'll preview which muscles are targeted in that workout.

Observe your progress

Watch the screen on the console to see your range of climbing inches, the tempo of steps per minute, total vertical distance, resistance level, and calories burned.

It's you against yourself

Set personal goals to reach. CLMBR isn't like another popular brand of exercise equipment where you can compete online against other members meeting similar goals.

It works different parts of the body

You can reach up and down with the handles as you climb with the pedals. For comfort, you can adjust the height of the handles and grip positions, or you can keep the handles still while you target the muscles of the lower body.

Smaller foot pedals

The pedals can comfortably fit a women's size 9 shoe, for example, but a larger men's shoe size may be quite uncomfortable on the foot pads.

You pay for delivery and assembly

The cost for delivery and optional assembly are in addition to the price of the stair climber. The delivery charge is $300.

Delivery will take time

Your order can be scheduled to leave the warehouse in 4-6 weeks and can take up to 8 weeks after scheduling it. This is the slowest delivery process we've seen. And they charge you for this delivery.

Accident protection

In case of accidental damage during the time of your warranty, the protection plan covers power surges, electrical failures, and accidental damage such as a cracked screen. Coverage for two years is $149, three years is $199, four years is $249.

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12-month warranty?

CLMBR claims that all purchases through their website, which is the only way to purchase a CLMBR 02, include a 12-month warranty. However, when we went to the link to find the details of the warranty, we got an error page and received no information.

Return policy

Within 30 days of installation of your CLMBR 02, you can request a return. However, they don't say if it's a no-questions-asked return policy or if the product has to meet certain qualifications to be returned. In addition, who's responsible for the return shipping costs? We don't have a lot of information or confidence in the return policy here.

FAQ page not working, either

We went to the FAQ page and got some information, but there's an additional page of FAQs. Ironically, it's just the questions, not any answers.

Customers are frustrated

Although there aren't many reviews of CLMBR out there, less than half of the reviews we've read are of those who are very satisfied. Even those who do rate CLMBR highly, some still complain - about the difficulty of assembly, instability of the software, and lack of reliability of the resistance. They love the on-demand videos to keep them motivated, working their body efficiently, and enjoying the session. However, these last responses were to CLMBR products, not necessarily the CLMBR 02 stair stepper. Finding CLMBR 02-specific reviews was challenging except on their own website. CLMBR claims that there are more than 7200 users, and there's a page for their stories, but guess what? That page is blank. CLMBR, please work on your website!

Spend your money elsewhere

CLMBR does offer a product that doesn't take up much room in your home and can offer you a workout that's both a cardio workout and works muscles equally well. It's just really expensive and not everyone is shouting its praises from the rooftop. Add that there are no answers to the FAQs, no specifics on the warranty or return policy, and the page that's supposed to have fans sharing their positive experiences is blank, we really don't have enough confidence in this company or their customer service to recommend their CLMBR 02.

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Continued from above...

Another reason why stair climbers are popular is their efficiency in providing a cardiovascular workout. The repetitive motion of climbing stairs elevates the heart rate, enhancing blood circulation and promoting cardiovascular fitness. This aerobic exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and lungs, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improving overall endurance. Stair climbers offer an alternative to high-impact cardiovascular activities like running, making them accessible to a broader demographic, including individuals with joint issues or those seeking a gentler form of exercise.

The low-impact nature of stair climbing is another key factor contributing to its popularity. Unlike high-impact exercises that can put stress on the joints and increase the risk of injury, stair climbing provides a challenging workout with minimal impact. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals with joint concerns, older adults, or those recovering from injuries who still want to engage in effective exercise without compromising their joint health.

Are you wondering which stair climber or stepper suits you best? There are a few styles available. There's a "stair mill" where you literally climb stairs that resemble a rotating staircase like an escalator at the mall. The intensity of the workout is determined by the speed you choose. These machines are the heaviest yet sturdiest of the stair climbers, and although they can take up more space in your room, they offer pretty intense workouts, just like the stair climbers in the gym.

Another form is the stair stepper. You'll push up and down against foot pedals, and the workout intensifies when you increase the resistance. Some of this type have handles so you can work your arms and upper body as well.

A third type to consider, especially if you have shorter ceilings in your home, is the recumbent, or seated stair stepper. You'll get your great full-body stepper workout, but your head won't approach the ceiling since you're seated.

Which stair climber is the right one for you? Since there are many options to consider, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you begin to shop. Before you know it, you'll find the stair climber that's best not only for you, but for the space in your home.

  • Price. How much are you willing to spend for the stair stepper and any accessories such as the console for tracking your fitness and viewing any classes, or the floor mat to go underneath the machine? Also consider any apps for online subscriptions for classes to participate in while you're working on your step climber. And are the apps free or will you pay a monthly subscription for stepper classes?
  • Available space. Where do you plan to place your stair climber? The traditional gym-like machinery will take up more floor space and require a higher ceiling. The stepper versions take up the least amount of floor space. The recumbent style isn't affected by the ceiling space, or lack thereof.
  • Fitness goals. Consider if you are new to stair climbing or if you're the gym rat who wants to bring that intensity home. Certain stair climbers are ready for the challenge, and others are built more for a light workout only.
  • Return policy. What if the machine doesn't fit in your space, if it's too noisy, or you just don't like it? Check to see if there's a satisfaction guarantee. If so, are you responsible for return shipping? And is there a restocking fee? If so, how much would you actually get back if you returned it?
  • Reputation. What do users say about the stair climber? Is it durable? Was it easy to assemble? Are they still motivated to use it, even months later? If they interacted with customer service, was the department helpful?

Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the top stair climbers on the market today. We're confident that this information will help you to narrow down the options so you can find the perfect stair climber for your home gym and your stair climbing workout.

The Best Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climber Reviews What are the best Stair Climbers Best Stair Climber Reviews

Stair Climber FAQ

A stair climber is a type of exercise equipment that uses either a rotating series of steps or pedals pushed up and down - imitating the motion you'd make when going up a staircase. The "stairmill" option is most commonly found in gyms and health clubs, while the pedal variety can be seen both in fitness centers and in home use.
Stair climbers are low-impact, delivering an intense workout that is gentler on the joints than running on a treadmill. It also doesn't have to be either-or: if you like to mix up your workouts and target different muscle groups, alternating between using a treadmill and a stair climber is a great option.
That will depend on the stair climber you choose. Most models have clearly-listed dimensions for both floor space and ceiling height requirements, so be sure to look at them carefully and map out the space in your home before making your purchase.
You can get a good-quality stair climber for just under $1,000. If you want a high-end model exactly like what you've seen at your local gym, expect a price tag upwards of $10,000.
The more resistance levels your stair climber has, the greater variety you'll be able to get in your workouts. If you have people of multiple heights who will use the machine - for example, maybe you're 4'11" and your roommate is 6'5" - you might want to choose a model with adjustable stride lengths. From there, you should consider how much tech you want it to have, like Bluetooth connectivity with fitness apps or heart rate monitoring through hand grips and/or a chest strap.
Most stair climber manufacturers aren't quite there yet. However, at least one company offers a separate membership to an online platform where you can get live workouts, exercise in real time with a friend, or stream videos to make your workout routine more interesting.
That depends on the manufacturer's policy. Some offer no returns at all, while others may give you 4-6 weeks to try it out. You may also have to pay restocking fees if you return your stair climber.
Yes. Most stair climbers have warranty coverage on the frame and welds, parts, and labor. The timeframes vary: you might get a lifetime warranty on the frame with one manufacturer, while another only covers the frame for three years. Read the warranty coverage and terms carefully before you buy a stair climber.

Are Stair Climbers Good Exercise?

While you can create your own workouts that you do with just your body, embracing exercise machines can make your workouts much more effective. Instead of relying on the staircase in your home, for example, you may want to use a stair climber. Stair climbers have been around for many years and are also known as a stair stepper, step machine, and step mill.

A stair workout machine has revolving steps that allow you to walk in place. The steps rotate at the speed and duration you set. If you're wondering whether incorporating stair climbers into your workout plans is worth the effort, below are a list of several benefits.

Here are 9 good reasons to start using stair climbers today.

1. Burn calories

If you're struggling with weight, climbing up on the stair stepper can be an effective and efficient way to lose those extra pounds and keep them off. Doing this kind of cardiovascular work increases your metabolic rate, torching more calories during activity and at rest.

According to a research study published by the Harvard Medical School, a 30-minute stair-climbing session burns about 180 to 260 calories.

Keep in mind that your weight and exercising intensity affect the number of calories you burn. Stair climbers with a high body weight tend to lose more calories. The quicker you climb, the higher the number of calories you burn.

Counting calories when using a stair climber is a lot easier nowadays, as most modern machines feature a calorie-counting calculator.

2. Improve aerobic capacity

Aerobic exercises like climbing stairs are good for increased cardio endurance. The workouts train your heart and lungs to pump more blood to the muscles and organs more efficiently.

In other words, they improve the maximum amount of oxygen ( VO2Max) delivered to your bloodstream. With more oxygen supply, you're likely to exercise for extended periods, even at high intensity, to burn maximum calories.

Findings from one study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism show that stair-climbing at short intervals can help boost cardio health.

3. Tone lower-body muscles

A stair climber engages the largest muscle groups in the body, including:

  • Core muscles. As you start stair-climbing, maintaining an upright position wouldn't be a challenge. But several minutes into your workout, you may start feeling like slouching over.
    That's because the exercise recruits the muscles in the lower back, pelvis, hips, and abdomen. Strengthening your core muscles helps boost your power, support better posture, improve balance, reduce or prevent back pain, and more.
    So next time you get on the stair stepper machine, make sure you stay upright throughout the workout duration for an effective core engagement.
  • Glutes. Stair climbers also work your glutes (muscles of the buttocks). This group of muscles assist in propulsion when running, walking, and jumping.
    Stronger glutes keep your pelvis properly aligned, creating stability and better support for your lower back. They can also increase your power and athletic performance, even in heavy lifting.
  • Quadriceps. Quads consist of muscles that cover the front of your thigh. They are one of the group muscles that exemplify power and strength. Quads are critical in your everyday movements (walking, running, standing, sitting, or jumping).
    By strengthening and toning them, you will improve your balance and stability to avoid injury. Also, your overall athletic performance will change for the better.
  • Hamstrings. These are muscles in the back of the thigh. Their work is to control the knee flexion, helping the legs, hips, and back function smoothly. They are always involved in any movement that requires the knee to bend. Incorporating stair-climbing into your exercising regime is a great way to ensure these muscles remain strong and flexible.
  • Calves. Calves work in harmony with your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. The calf muscles get recruited each time you lift or move your leg to take a step on the stair climber.
    Besides playing a critical role in walking, running, and jumping, stronger calves enable you to maintain proper balance whenever you're standing.

In summary, a stair climber workout forces the four muscles to fire at the same time, actively engaging and stabilizing your lower body. By repeatedly recruiting these muscles to support your body weight, you facilitate their sculpting and toning.

4. Keep your bones strong and healthy

When you take steps on a stair stepper, you're essentially forcing your body to work against the force of gravity and rise vertically. This type of weight-bearing exercise subjects you to patterns of motion that can increase your bone density.

Having strong and healthy bones helps reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis as your bones undergo normal aging changes. If you are already diagnosed with osteoporosis, this low-impact knee strengthening exercise can also help manage the pain.

5. Less strain on your joints

With a stair climber, you only need to climb. Someone using a staircase to exercise is a little disadvantaged because they have to walk down. Unfortunately, moving down the stairs usually puts more significant weight and stress on the knee joints.

6. A versatile piece of workout equipment

Everyone can reap benefits, regardless of their level of fitness. That's because stair climbers allow you to adjust settings as needed to get the most out of your training. Exercising on a stair climber is not all about playing with the speed and workout duration. Otherwise, that would prove somewhat boring after some time.

The good news is that most stair stepper machines come with built-in programs to help you make your workouts more creative. For example, you'll find stair climbers with computer screens, enabling you to select from several well-known landmarks. Such a feature makes exercising appear like you're moving up actual structures.

Even without the additional programs, there are several ways to make your stair-climbing workout more challenging and rewarding, including:

  • Wearing a weighted vest
  • Performing side steps
  • Skipping steps
  • Doing sumo steps
  • Adding leg kicks

What's more, you can combine stair climbing with other workouts for a killer exercising regime. In line with that, you may consider switching up your climb with a circuit workout and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

7. User-friendly

While you'll find many variations of the stair climber, there's nothing technical for you to learn or master before you start using them. Anyone who has climbed stairs before can use the machine without supervision, except those experiencing mobility problems.

Operating the machine is very intuitive. It functions the same way as the real staircase, only that you're required to set the speed at which you want it to move. A stair stepper produces natural movements. So, expect it to be impact-free.

First-time stair climber users are advised to start slow to avoid exhausting muscles so quickly. You can begin with 5 to 10 minutes at a moderate pace. Then, adjust the speed, workout time, and intervals depending on how your body responds.

8. Release endorphins

Stair climbers are a good exercise because they make your pituitary gland and central nervous system release endorphins. These are feel-good chemicals or mood boosters.

Endorphins trigger a positive feeling, resulting in overall reduced stress levels. Of course, you'll feel exhausted once you've completed your workouts. But the high endorphin levels will make you feel so good afterward.

9. Improve your overall health and live longer

Any workout plan that includes aerobic exercise and strength training is good for your overall health. Regular steps on stair climbers can help reduce the risk of life-threatening health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

The 2019 Harvard Alumni Health Study, which involved 8,874 senior men, highlighted a lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in men that climbed stairs.

In a similar study where researchers analyzed medical reports of 13,500 men, it was concluded that climbing at least 100 stairs a day helped the men reduce the mortality rate by 20 percent

As you can see, spending a few minutes on a stair climber machine can make a difference in your lifespan.

Wrapping Up

Are stair climbers good exercise? Absolutely. Stair steppers are one of the most effective gym equipment you need for the best cardio workouts and lower-body toning benefits. You enjoy all that without necessarily pounding on your joints.

While stair climbers are simple to use, it's imperative to familiarize yourself with the equipment safety aspect.

Proper form is critical when working out using any exercising machine, not necessarily a stair stepper. Well, this promotes more efficient movements and improves performance while avoiding or preventing injuries.

When exercising on a stair climber, you'll need to observe proper posture. Resist the temptation to lean on the handrails. Otherwise, you'll strain the back muscles. Warming up is also recommended to prevent back injuries. Always give the back and gluteus muscles a good stretch before you get on the machine.

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