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Friday, February 26th
If you've ever seen a fitness infomercial, chances are good that you know the name Bowflex. Originally made famous for their home gym strength machines, Bowflex now carries a wide selection of other fitness equipment, including incline treadmills and 4 variants of the traditioinal stair climber.
The stair stepper machines from Bowflex are more like a cross between a traditional stair stepper and an elliptical machine. Bowflex has four models to choose from: the MaxTrainer Max M3, Max M6, Max M8,and Max Total. At the lower end of the spectrum, the M3 is the only stair climber in our review with a price tag of under $1,000, making it the most affordable model on the market. Of course, an entry-level machine like the M3 will not have the bells and whistles you'd expect from a top-of-the-line model like the Max Total: where the M3 has only one pre-programmed workout setting and 8 resistance levels, the Max Total has individualized workouts and 20 levels of resistance.
As you cross the $1,000 threshold, you'll find that the features increase dramatically. Both the M6 and M8 have integrated contact grips for tracking your heart rate, although all four models come with a chest strap as well. The higher-end models also offer Bluetooth connectivity with several fitness apps, such as the Bowflex Max Trainer 2, MyFitnessPal, Google Fit, and Bowflex Connect.
If you need financing for your Bowflex stair climber, you can apply directly through Bowflex. At the time of our review, they were offering a plan charging no interest if paid in full within the first 18 months, subject to credit approval and with minimum monthly required payments. Shipping is also free.
Bowflex provides a three year warranty (one year on the lowest-priced stair climber) for all components. This lags some of the competition, who provide lifetime coverage of the frame and varying lengths of coverage for parts and labor. We recommend that you consider the additional protection plans offered by Bowflex, to extend your warranty coverage to a total of five years.
Overall, we give Bowflex high marks for providing stair climbers that are more affordable than many other retailers on the market. Combined with a comparably long return period, and interest-free financing for up to 18 months, Bowflex earns our top rating.
Originally created in 1983, the stair climber is one of the oldest pieces of cardio equipment on the market. Using a stair climber - also known as a stair stepper - can be a great way to add a low-impact, calorie-burning workout to your fitness routine. On average, you can expect to burn up to 1,000 calories in a 60-minute session, depending on your weight, your overall fitness level, and the intensity level you set for your workout.
There are several kinds of stair climbers on the market. First, you may have seen the machine known as a "stairmill" at your local health club. It gives the impression of walking on an escalator, as the workout is delivered by a rotating staircase rather than pedals that you push up and down, and the intensity is changed by the speed of the stairs' rotation. However, most stair climbers for home use do use those pedals; the intensity of the workout changes as you increase or decrease the resistance of the pedals themselves.
Also, you may find equipment that combines the motion of a stair climber with the stride patterns of an elliptical machine. These types of stair steppers tend to provide a more full-body workout, if you're looking to combine upper- and lower-body toning while getting your cardio exercise.
As you use a stair climber, it's important to remember a few tips in order to exercise safely and get the best possible workout. If your fitness level allows, you should try not to use the handrails as you step. This will help you burn more calories and improve your balance. Next, make sure that you are using your whole foot on the step/push, not just the balls of your feet - otherwise, it'll mostly be your calves that get a workout. And, as with any exercise session, be sure that your shoes are firmly tied! Getting your laces tangled up in the machine is definitely a recipe for injuries!
When deciding which brand and style of stair climber to purchase, there are several factors to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best stair climbers available today. We hope these reviews help you choose the best stair climber for your home gym or office!
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