Before going into the discussion of whether steppers are good or bad for your knees, I want to start with some benefits of using a stepper machine.
Benefits of using a stepper
- Steppers build muscles in two areas of your body: your leg and glutes
- Steppers burn calories and help you to lose weight
- It is also a form of low impact exercise that gives you cardiovascular workout
Using stepper is considered as an alternative to running outdoors and it’s a form of low impact exercise. If you have leg injuries and are incapable of taking a jog outside, this is a good option for you.
But there are two cases where you should not consider using a stepper machine for your exercise. They are:
- If you have arthritis problem with your knee joints
- Or if you have some medical conditions that do not allow using any kind of machines that put pressure on your joints
So, except the above two reasons, there are no reasons using a stepper machine can be harmful to your knees. What you need is use the machine with proper caution and good technique.
Let’s elaborate more on how a stepper machine works and how your knee interacts with the machine.
How a stepper machine works
Stepper machines will create a simulation like you’re climbing stairs. The machine has two platforms. Or you can say them pedals. It works this way: you transfer your body weight onto one foot and the pedal under that foot goes down, at the same time, other pedal rises. This is like climbing stairs. Just one difference there is between climbing stairs and using a stepper machine. While you’re using a stepper machine, your leg is always in touch with the platforms of the machine. In the case of climbing stairs, your one foot is always in the air.
As your both feet are always in touch of the platforms while using a stepper machine, using stepper machine is considered as a low impact exercise. You know low impact exercise is ideal for older and sick people. Low impact exercise is also good for people who have balance disorder problem.
Most stepper machines will allow adjusting the resistance level to push down the platforms. The higher the resistance, you will burn higher calories. Adjust the resistance level according to your tolerance level and health condition. Don’t start with a resistance level that you cannot bear smoothly for your desired time duration.
Exercise Machines: How to Use a Stair Stepper Properly
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Some Benefits of Using Stepper Machines
Here are the major benefits you will enjoy if you choose stepper machines as your exercise tool:
- Stepper machines strengthen the muscles of your core body. This is the output of stepper machine’s climbing motion.
- It helps to burn fat and lose your weight. When you’re using a stepper machine, a large group of muscles of your body moves in a rhythmic way and it helps to burn a lot of fat from your body. Let me give you some stats on how much fat you will burn. If your weight is 125 lbs., with a 30-min use of stepper machine, you will burn 180 calories. If your weight is 185 lbs., you will burn 266 calories with the same duration of exercise.
- Stepping machine also lower high blood pressure, very good for your heart, and it also lessens the risk of building type 2 diabetes in your body.
Let’s talk about Knee Problems Now
You know knee is the largest joint in the human body. We put a lot of pressure on this joint from our daily movement. What is actually a knee injury? There are some soft tissues around the joints of your knee. These soft tissues can be injured in several ways like your knee can be twisted or you can face an injury from an accident. Whatever the injury level is: your soft tissues or kneecaps are actually affected. If your knees have some kind of injuries, you should not use the stepper machine with a higher resistance level. Another way to protect your knees from further pain is: don’t bend your knee a lot while you’re pedaling. These two ways can give you a better exercise of your knees.
But if you have arthritis problem or some medical situations that do not allow to use stepping machine, consult with your doctors before taking any exercise.