Mirafit-exercise-steppers

Exercise steppers are a great piece of equipment to have in the home, especially if you’re looking to get fit or lose weight.

 Using a stepper regularly can help you:

• Improve your cardio fitness

• Strengthen your lower body

• Burn calories

• De-stress

• Release endorphins

 They are relatively cheap and can be easily stored away at home and brought out when needed. As you progress, add height and/or small weights to increase intensity.

 

How do I lose weight using an exercise stepper?

exercise-stepper-weight-loss

Losing weight is no mean feat, and with so many different diets and slimming programmes around nowadays, it’s no wonder we’re feeling a bit lost. However, if your waistband is starting to feel a little tight and you’re looking to drop a few pounds, then the good old-fashioned approach of healthy eating, balanced with exercise, plenty of water and sleep, is the way to go.

There are a few things you can do however to help the process:

Do HIIT based workouts – or High Intensity Interval Training is a great way of burning fat and you can do this using an exercise stepper and a timer. A good ratio of time for HIIT workouts is 2:1 (intensity : rest). So pick a high intensity stepper exercise, such as lateral jump squats, plank jacks – with your feet on the stepper – or tuck jumps over the stepper; these are all intense exercises. Do them as hard as you can for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds, then start again. Do this for as many rounds as you can, but if you can aim for 10 rounds or more then this will stand you in good stead.

Build muscle - a good way of burning a few extra calories while at rest is by having a higher percentage of muscle mass. This is because your body uses more calories to maintain muscle than it does fat. Strengthening therefore is key and you can use an exercise stepper to build muscle mass. Add ankle weights and wrist weights – or even hold a medicine ball – to increase the intensity while performing exercises such as lateral jumping squats and step knee pull downs. You can also use the stepper to work on other areas of your body by doing tricep dips, jack knives, incline and decline push ups and incline plank. You can also supplement your stepper workout with some free-weight exercises.

Exercise regularly – exercise can help you lose weight as well as maintain it, so even if you’re not trying to shred a few extra pounds, exercising regularly will help you avoid putting weight on. Fitting an hour on the stepper into your routine everyday – or as often as you can – will not only burn calories but help to increase your metabolism.

Challenge your body – your body is a master of adaptation – keep doing the same routine and it will learn how to be more efficient (and therefore burn fewer calories) while you do it. To ensure that you are burning the maximum amount of calories during every sweat session, make sure you keep switching up your routine which in turn will keep your body guessing and metabolism high. Change the height of your stepper, switch up the intensity, challenge yourself and mix it up with both strengthening and cardio.

 

Step and sculpt: how to strengthen using an exercise stepper

A great way to shape your body as well as burn a few extra calories is by strengthening your muscles. You can do this by using an exercise stepper – increase the intensity by adding extra raiser blocks and heavier weights.

 Here are some good strengthening exercises you can do using an exercise stepper:

 

Split squats (AKA Bulgarian Split Squats)

Bulgarian-split-squat-with-aerobic-stepper

This is a normal lunge but with the back foot resting on the stepper behind you, allowing you to front-load your weight. Hold dumbbells with your arms down by your side as you lunge, or bicep curl as you lower yourself down for added movement.

Posture check: Make sure you keep your chest elevated, shoulders down and hips square facing forward.

 

Elevated lunge

These are lunges but with your front foot on your stepper. You can either do front elevated lunges – which open up your hips and ramp up the intensity on your quads – or backward elevated lunges which make your glutes work harder.

Posture check: Make sure your hips are fully-extended and bring your knee down to the floor, before focusing on pushing yourself back up with a good level of power.

 

Elevated jump side lunge with step

Use the stepper to jump from side-to-side so you have one foot on the stepper and the other on the ground, squat and push back up to swap sides. Focus on power and elevation and use extra height blocks to up the intensity.

Posture check: Make sure you are keeping your weight on the foot that is on the ground as you squat down. Keep your legs wide and your squat deep to target your glutes.

 

Box jumps

Start with a low step and then build the height as you go. With the stepper in front of you, squat down keeping your spine straight and your bum pushed out then jump up with both feet up onto the platform. Squat down and then push up and jump back down, landing back into a squat.

Posture check: Keep your hips open and your feet wide as you squat. If you’re not sure, read our blog on how to squat for a more detailed guide.