Are Steppers Good for Strengthening Legs?

Are Steppers Good for Strengthening Legs?

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Steppers even work your core to hold your body straight.

Stepper machines help you get a workout similar to climbing stairs with the added benefits of allowing you to change resistance and complete your workout in a climate-controlled environment. These machines are excellent tools for a leg workout, getting everything from your ankles to your hips moving continuously as you alternate steps.

Working Those Legs

Stepper machines engage muscles down your entire legs as you work out, including the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs, the gastrocnemius and soleus in your calves and the tibialis anteriors in your shins. Because you're lifting your own body weight with each step, you're building stronger muscles. To make your legs even stronger, turn up the resistance on the machine so the pedals are harder to press down. Do this gradually so you don't bounce in your effort to push down the pedals. Also, use the proper form -- push your heel all the way down on the pedal at the bottom of the movement to make sure your hamstrings work in a full range of motion.

Hips in the Equation

Your legs aren't the only body parts that get stronger on a stepper machine; your hips move with every lift and lower of the steps, so they also become more powerful and defined. These muscles include your hip flexors, gluteus muscles and abductors on the outside of your thighs. Squeeze your buttocks as you exercise to give them the maximum workout.

Digging That Cardio

You're strengthening your heart muscle as you build muscle in your legs and hips as you work on the stepper machine. This powerful cardiovascular exercise pumps up your calorie burn, which helps you eliminate fat throughout your body when combined with a healthy diet. That is, you start burning fat when you take in fewer calories than what you burn during exercise and your daily life.

Building Bone

In addition to building strong leg muscles, you're building strong bones. As a weight-bearing exercise -- even a low-impact one -- stair stepping helps build bones and maintain your bone density, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. The foundation recommends 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise as often as you can, such as five days per week.

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