In this article I will show you the best stepper machines that are currently available in the UK market. These are best suited to people who want to work on their lower body especially the stomach, thighs, calf muscles and all of the legs and buttocks.
These make a great home exercise machine, and most of them come with an integrated computer to help you track your progress. They are also affordable. Prices start as low as £10, so that should give everyone a chance to give this form of exercise a try.
The main purpose of a stepper machine is to replicate the movements of walking up a set of stairs, but without the thud impact on your knees and ankles.
Is a Stepper Machine Right for You?
If you plan on buying and using a stepper machine in your home, then there are a number of things that you need to understand and then give serious consideration to. Many home users opt for this type of low cost equipment because they either do not want to go to a gym, or simply prefer to do their exercise in the comfort of their own home. Some people just like their privacy when they are getting fit or simply trying to lose a few pounds
The stepper combines two types of movements. There is the normal stair like movement of up and down, but almost all of these stepping machines also have a twisting movement built into them as well. That allows this machine to also work on the back and buttocks and is very good for toning of the bottom. This twisting motion also helps tighten up the lower core.
What Are Your Expectations from Using a Stepper Machine?
The stepper has been designed to replicate walking. It is well known that walking is a great way to exercise. The majority of people will normally go outdoors to do that type of activity. Some people prefer not to do that and simply do it at home. The stepper will allow you to do that. Likewise, and given the weather in the UK, it is not always possible or desirable to walk in heavy rain, cold temperatures or snow and icy conditions.
That means exercise can be limited or restricted. One great way of getting around that is to use either a treadmill, exercise bike or stepper. The advantage of using a stepper is that it is easier to set up. move around and store away. I have listed below some of the benefits of using a stepper.
- It quickly helps you to burn calories and also burn fat
- They help improve overall fitness levels and increase your endurance
- They help improve cardiovascular health
- They are super for improving the lower torso toning of muscles
- They are an affordable way of allowing you to exercise in the privacy of your own home
- They do not take up much space and are easy to store
- They help improve balance and stability
- Good for people of all ages and levels of fitness
Steppers with Resistance Bands
Now one thing a stepper machine does not do is allow you to do an upper body workout. These machines are made to work out the lower torso. A simple, effective and affordable way of exercising the upper body is to add a set of rubber resistance bands to the stepper. When these are combined together then you can work every muscle in your body and they make this simple stepping machine twice as good. Resistance bands are also very cheap to buy. Many steppers now come with these built into them.
Many of the steppers now come with what are called "training ropes" or "bungee arm cords." These are in effect a type of resistance band and help give a good overall body workout.
Please be aware that these machines are affordable for most people. You can get a very good basic one for around £30-40. If you want something at the higher end with all the bells and whistles, then you can get those too. Just be aware that for those you can pay anything between £100-250. Below I have done a quick buying guide for stepper machines and underneath I have picked out 3 of the best currently available on the UK market.
Stepper Machine Quick Buying Guide
One of the biggest problems with any fitness equipment is being able to store it away. These are for items like cross trainers, exercise bikes, rowing machine etc. With a stepper you really do not have to worry about that problem. These are compact and light and easy to put away.
Always consider your budget and how much you want to spend. If this is just for general exercise there is no need to break the bank. There are plenty of these for around £30-40 that will give you a good general workout.
There are a few slightly different types available:
- Up- Down steppers - As the name would suggest these simply have an up/down movement
- Twist Stepper - These have an up/down movement and also a small twisting movement that helps tone the bottom
- With Cords/Ropes - This is where some form of rope or cord is added to the stepper that allows for a full body workout. The alternative to this is to use a resistance loop band along with an up/down stepper.
LCD monitor can be very useful and will show important measurements. Most people don't actually use these though as they simply use the machine for a set period of time like 15 minutes, 30 minutes etc.
Noise Levels - This may sound like a silly thing but it isn't believe me. I have had a couple in the past that make a very annoying noise which gets worse over time. It can get to the point where you want to throw them out the window. Make sure that whichever one you buy does not have that type of problem.
Top 3 Stepping Machines
Ultrasport Up-Down Stepper
One of the most popular choices
Basic Up/Down stepper
Extra large non-slip treads
Compact and easy to store
Maximum user weight is 100 Kg or 220 lbs
Live Up Exercise Fitness Stepper
Perfect for shaping and toning the legs
Compact design and easy to store away
Solid base with non-slip foot plates
Weighs 7 Kg and measures 42 x 30 x 24 cm
Maximum weight allowed 100 Kg, 222 lbs
Klarfit PowerSteps Twist Stepper
Highest rated stepper on Amazon
Very well made and high quality
Replicates Nordic walking
Comes with 2 resistance bands
Maximum weight 100 Kg, 15.8 stones
Most Affordable Stepper
For anyone who simply wants to give these a try, I would recommend buying a cheap one. That does not mean that you have to lose out on quality when doing this. Something simple like a Pilates Yoga step will give you a sense of what the more advanced steppers can actually do.
Please note this is not a mechanical stepper, it is a simple stepping aid that can be set at different heights.
If you are familiar with aerobic style workouts, then these are used quite a lot for doing that form of exercise. It has a non-slip surface. A number of people who bought these were using them to help recover from knee replacement surgery.
Best Climbing Steppers
Some people prefer to get more aggressive with their steppers. They then opt for a climbing stepper. These are also called a vertical climbing fitness system. Have a look at the image to the right, as that will give you an indication of how they work.
These work by replicating the movements that would be used to do rock climbing. They are an interesting alternative to hiking, running or jogging. These use your own body weight, to start toning the muscle groups.
The good thing about this type of stepper is that it is more fun to use, and it does actually workout the entire body.
For anyone wanting to lose weight, then nothing will work faster than this as it really does burn off calories very quickly indeed.
This is also a low impact exercise as there is no pressure placed on the joints The work is done mainly by the arm ad leg muscles. It is perfect for those who like to engage in high intensity interval training.
At under £135, this type of stepper is ideal for getting the beach body. Check the latest price for the MaxiCimber Fitness Stepper System here.
Why Not Just Use the Stairs?
I know when I first looked at these I though to myself, why not just use the stairs at home. Only after some research did I find out that the main reason is the level of impact. Walking up stairs is considered high impact - that simply means that it is tough on your joints. That may be ok when you are young, but as you age, it is much better to avoid the wear and tear. Let's face it walking up and down stairs is also about as boring as you can ever get.
Using a stepper is low impact - that is easy on the joints and that is always a better choice. If you want a more practical reason then you should also consider the wear and tear on your stair case, be that wooden or carpet. Over time it will start to wear down as they are nor designed for a heavy foot fall.
In addition to all of that, and for me the number on reason, is that it is boring. Let's face it, who wants to look at a staircase when you are exercising. At least with a stepper machine, you can set it up quickly and watch a DVD instruction or even TV if you prefer.