This article looks at mini stepper machine benefits and limitations and whether or not the small, portable version can give you as good a workout as a full-sized step machine.
There’s no question that stair machine workouts are excellent for toning the lower body, boosting cardio health, and assisting with weight loss.
But not everyone has the room for full-sized exercise equipment, and the cost can be prohibitive. For such people, the mini stepper may be an attractive alternative.
They are undoubtedly cheaper to buy than full-sized models, but you will still be shelling out your hard-earned dollars to buy one. And you will still need to put in time and effort, and no one wants to spend months on a fitness regimen that doesn’t bring results.
So are mini steppers effective or a waste of time?
Keep reading to find out the mini stepper machine benefits and limitations and decide for yourself. We will also look at how to use a mini stepper when seated and standing.
Who can benefit from using a mini stepper?
Mini stepper workouts can help anyone get in some extra exercise and burn additional calories. They’re great for busy people who don’t have the time to go to the gym and those who want to exercise while seated and watching the television.
What muscles do workouts target?
Workouts target the glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and hip flexors. When using a mini stepper without handles, your core muscles will come into play to enable you to balance.
How Mini Steppers Work
Most exercise equipment gets results by elevating the user’s heart rate. This could be through running, cycling, using a bicycle, an elliptical trainer, a step machine, or a mini stepper.
Their results come from repeatedly moving a part of our body that contains the largest muscle groups: our legs and thighs.
During this process, your heart and lungs are continuously engaged, so they become stronger, and you will burn a lot of calories. If you do this regularly, your fitness will improve, and you will lose weight.
The mini stepper works in much the same way as its larger counterpart. Comprising two footplates attached to a frame, most operate through a hydraulic drive.
Mini steppers with adjustable resistance and a digital display panel that shows workout stats such as time, distance, and the number of steps taken, will need batteries.
Some machines have handles that can be used to help you balance.
15-Minute Mini Stepper Workout Video
How to use a Mini Stepper while Standing
If your machine has handles, standing to the right of the footplates, grip the left handle in your left hand, and the right handle in your right hand.
Carefully place your left foot on the left footplate to lower it towards the floor, then put your right foot on the right footplate.
Press down on the right footplate, then the left, in a stepping fashion, to simulate climbing stairs.
The more effort you put in and the greater level of resistance you work at, the more calories you will burn.
If your stepper doesn’t have handles, you may initially want to use it near a wall or solid piece of furniture to help you balance.
Using a Mini Stepper While Seated
Using a mini stepper while seated will enable you to burn calories while reading, watching TV, or working on your PC.
Put the stepper on a rubber mat, or place something heavy behind it to stop it from moving across the floor.
It should be close enough to your couch or chair that your knees are bent at approximately 90 degrees.
Sit up straight near the edge of your couch or chair. When using it seated in an office chair with wheels, be sure to lock them.
If your mini stepper has a control panel, switch it on before you begin your session.
Place your right foot in the center of the right footplate and your left foot in the center of the left one.
Press down with your right foot, then your left foot, alternating this movement for the duration of your workout.
The higher you raise your knees as you step, the greater your thigh and buttocks engagement will be and the more calories you will burn.
Valuable Mini Stepper Machine Benefits
Not everyone can afford a step machine, but most will be able to afford a mini stepper. The price range varies, so you can pay anywhere from under $100 up to several hundred dollars. One in the latter category that I can’t recommend highly enough is the Xiser Portable Mini Stairmaster. It is incredibly sturdy with a weight load capacity of 400 lbs, and it can also be used for BURST training.
If the Xiser is not in your budget and you want a machine with a high user weight capacity, check out the Sportroyals Stair Stepper.
If you don’t have a lot of room for fitness equipment, you should still be able to fit in one of these compact machines. Their size varies, but as long as you have enough headroom, you’ll be good to go.
Being lightweight, step machines are very portable. You can pop one into your car and take it to your office or any place you’d like to exercise outdoors. You could even take it on vacation, so you don’t have to let your exercise routine slide.
One of the most valuable benefits of a mini stepper is that workouts are low-impact, so they won’t place a lot of stress on your joints.
Regular sessions can improve your fitness, stamina, and cardiovascular health.
Improves balance and coordination
Among the most valuable benefits of a mini stepper is that using one regularly will improve your balance and coordination. Good balance and coordination benefit all. It is especially advantageous for seniors to help prevent a fall that could result in broken bones and lengthy rehabilitation, or worse.
Increases bone mass
Another of the benefits of a mini stepper is that they offer weight-bearing exercise. When done regularly, over time, you can build stronger bones and so help to prevent osteoporosis.
Aids weight loss
Workouts burn calories, helping you to lose weight. The more effort you put in, and the more frequent your sessions, the faster you will lose weight.
Tones and strengthens muscles
The mini step machine gives a great lower body workout that tones and strengthens the thighs, buttocks, and calves.
Some models, including the Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper, come with attachable resistance bands that allow you to target your upper and lower body simultaneously as you step. Those without handles also enable you to work your abs and core.
Can be used while standing or seated
Some of these machines can be used either standing or seated. This versatility will enable you to exercise while working on the computer, surfing the net, or sitting and watching the television. It also makes the mini stepper an excellent option for anyone with balance issues.
Mini Stepper Machine Limitations
Mini steppers offer light and moderate-intensity workouts, but due to their shorter step height, you won’t get as challenging a workout as you can on a full-sized stepper.
Using a mini stepper can become monotonous, causing some people to quit. Working your upper body with fitness bands simultaneously will add some variation.
Burns fewer calories than a full-sized stepper
Mini stepper workouts don’t burn as many calories as full-sized stepper workouts.
Won’t build bulk
Mini stepper workouts will improve your lower body strength and muscle tone. However, they don’t offer enough range of motion or resistance to build a lot of bulk.
Mini Stepper Machine Benefits Summary
As you can see, there are numerous mini stepper machine benefits.
Mini steppers are portable, compact, affordable, and suitable for people of any fitness level.
Regular workouts will improve your balance and coordination, build stronger bones, and help you lose weight.
Depending on the model you buy, you can get a lower or a total body workout.
In my opinion, one of the best mini stepper benefits it’s its versatility that makes it possible to get in some exercise and burn calories as you work on the computer, read or watch TV.
Workouts won’t burn as many calories as a full-sized stepper. Still, they are useful for busy people with no time to work out otherwise. They can also supplement a broader fitness program or be a stand-alone regimen for seniors.