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How to Use a Stair Climber

Using a Stair Climber Correctly

Stair climbers are one of the most effective exercise machines available. Gyms and health clubs are typically equipped with these fine machines. Stair climbing offers a better alternative to working out on old fashioned stairs. The low-impact exercise from a stair climber puts less strain on sensitive tissues found in our knees, hips and ankles. Stair climbing builds strength and endurance for other activities like climbing, hiking and skiing.

Proper Form is Mandatory

You should care about the way you are moving your body while working out. There is no need to show off at the gym. Proper form is far more important than setting a stair climber to a higher than necessary level. It’s sadly too common to see people using the wrong form on climbers. The improper stance can easily lead to an ineffective workout. The chances of injury rise.

Handrail Don’ts

It’s easy to misuse the handrails on a stair climber. You should be working out the main muscle groups in your legs when using a stair climber. Transferring your body weight from your legs to your arms is a no-no. Unfortunately, improper use of handrails is common. This lead to manufacturers adjusting the design of the handles by creating rails that point upwards. The newer design makes it easier to maintain proper form.

Handrail Do’s

Handrails are designed to help maintain your balance on a stair climber and nothing more. If possible, don’t use handrails at all – you’ll achieve a more intense workout. Chances are you’re programming the stair climber’s settings too fast if you find that you must hold on to the handrails. When maintaining balance, hold the rails gently. Never grip the rails too hard or lean on them, putting harmful strain on your wrists.

Maintain Correct Posture

Keep a straight back with your eyes looking forward but don’t overextend your shoulders. You want to achieve a relaxed stance while maintaining a straight back, not a severe Marine-like form. Lean just a little bit forward at the hips, adjusting your body weight forward ever so slightly. This will prevent your knees from locking. Your lower back will also thank you for it.

The Right Footwork

With each step, make sure your whole foot makes contact with the pedal. Firmly plant each step flat so your buttocks and thighs are engaged. You will be rewarded with a firmer rear and legs. Avoid hopping on the stair climber. Short and fast footwork is not ideal. Deliberate and even steps are the best ones to take. Hopping steps put more tension on your calves. They burn less calories than deep stepping.


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