Stair Climbers Info
The stair climber, or stair stepper, is also a weight-bearing exercise that targets the calves, thighs, and gluteal muscles. Stair climbers have an intuitive motion and are functional and easy to learn for individuals of all ages and abilities,
Compared to running, the stair climber is lower impact and therefore, may be less strenuous on most joints. However, stopping and changing direction at the top and bottom of each step rather than the continuous motion of running or cycling puts a different type of stress on your knees. The creation of elliptical machines with elevation control have dramatically reduced the popularity of stair climbers
Similar to elliptical machines, many stair climbers offer levels of manual resistance. Others have programming for intervals, hills and endurance training. There are two types of stair steppers: electronic and manual. Electronic stair steppers have a motor that regulates the movement of the steps. Manual stair steppers are less expensive than their electronic counterparts and range from mini-steppers to full-size models; air pressure pistons (rather than a motor) regulate the stepping motion. Some stairsteppers feature revolving steps that rotate like a treadmill track and require you to keep pace. Most steppers, however, have independent pedals; you push down on one pedal as the other lifts up. Independent, self-leveling pedals will allow the user to keep the step flat throughout the workout. Check that the pedal motion is smooth, natural and comfortable; although mini-steppers come at a miniprice, the mini-construct results in an unnatural restriction in motion that few consumers can tolerate.
SELECTING A MACHINE
Ask lots of questions. Take a ten-minute “test drive” on several different machines. You will quickly develop a preference for console options, set-up and frame construction. Basic consoles should display time, distance, rate of speed and intensity level. Intensity may be controlled manually or pre-set from a menu of programmed workout choices when you start exercise. If your ten-minute “test drive” is even remotely uncomfortable, consider a different machine.
It is essential that your machine have solid construction and a stable frame, in order to give you a safe and effective workout. The handrails should be positioned so that your workout posture is upright with the knees behind the toes.Bending forward places a great amount of stress on the back and wrists. Using the handrails to support part of your body weight reduces the effectiveness of your workout and puts you at risk for injury. Handrails should be used for balance and/or resistance training. Read all of the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of your machine!
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS - Weight/Space
Do you have appropriate floor support for the weight of the machine?
• What is the maximum weight allowance of the machine? Most will have a maximum user weight of 350 lbs.
• Determine your space considerations:– Is the space large enough?– Is the floor level?– Is the ceiling height sufficient?– Will the machine need to be stored periodically? Are there wheels that make the machine moveable?
Maintenance and Durability
• Is the manufacturing company reliable and reputable? Is the machine durable, easily assembled and easily maintained?
• Look for a product that is maintenance free. A well-designed unit takes normal wear and tear into account.
• Does the machine come with a warranty? Are local technicians available for service?
• Look for a warranty that provides for a minimum of one year service and one to three years’ coverage on parts.• Be sure your warranty includes electronics and other key components, such as the resistance/braking system.