We’ve all seen them before and know them under a variety of names: step platforms, aerobic steps, exercise steps, cardio steps, studio steps, steppers or simply just steps. Highly popular in gyms and fitness studios with plenty of gym classes dedicated to this one piece of fitness equipment, the step platform is also getting more and more popular in homes the world over. There are a number of obvious reasons for this – accessible price and ease of use to name just two – but also some less well-known explanations. So let’s take a closer look at aerobic steps and help you know what and why to buy!
Why should I buy an exercise step platform?
The quick answer is that they are easy to use, extremely versatile and very effective fitness tools that won’t break the bank. Simplicity is the key – anyone can set one up at home, pull on their trainers and start using it right away.
They appeal to all ages and fitness levels, offering an intense workout to fitter users or an effective way for those wanting to get back into exercise to begin and then progress. Read on to find out more about stepper exercises below.
Exercising on a stepper is quite low impact and will help with any weight loss program. The versatile and multi-function nature of an exercise step means you can do both cardiovascular and strength training. Plus you can use it to really focus on one aspect such as your lower body muscle groups, or get an all-encompassing total body workout, engaging and working your whole body.
Most steps have a variable height or come with risers that can be added, meaning you can start with a low platform height and as you get fitter increase the height, and therefore the intensity, so you don’t grow out of using it.
What are the benefits of a step platform?
As stated before, you really can get your whole body working by exercising on an aerobic step. Whether it’s specific leg, arms or core drills, or ones that incorporate multiple areas of your body, there’s little that can’t be hit using a stepper.
Your lungs and heart will benefit from the cardio workout, joints will enjoy the range of movement they are exposed to and your whole body can experience burning calories, helping you reach weight loss goals.
From a strength point of view, all the main muscle groups can be targeted and toned effectively – arms, legs, chest, shoulders, core and so on. And holding or lifting a pair of dumbbells as you step up and down will increase the intensity in your upper body as you put your lower body through its paces.
Since exercising on an aerobic step requires stepping up onto and down off a raised platform, naturally, your balance and coordination will be challenged and improved. This ties in with improvements in agility and flexibility too. Endurance is another area, with your muscles’ stamina tested and improved as you train longer and harder.
And one of the biggest benefits is that step sessions can be really fun and make you enjoy your exercise. No step sessions should ever be boring! There are a million ways to liven up and vary your step workouts, which we will look at next, so there’s no reason to become bored or lose motivation when you own one.
What exercises can I do on an aerobic step?
The world is your oyster! No really. There are literally 1000s of possible step exercises and loads of starting positions: stepping up, down, over and across, sitting on or next to it, with hands-on the platform, hands on the floor, feet either side… the list goes on!
Try all the classic step moves and then make them harder and more effective by holding dumbbells or kettlebells, or wearing wrist and ankle weights or even a weighted vest. Combining strength and cardio is a recipe for success.
Use it for press-ups – both hands on the platform, one hand on one hand, off, feet on the platform – sit-ups, lunges, squats, split squats, side squats, calf raises, step taps.
If you’re into dance, why not turn the music up and find yourself a dance routine, incorporating dance moves into stepping on and off the step platform, swinging your arms and legs and moving to the rhythm of the music.
There are plenty of online resources to give you more ideas, and you always adapt drills to suit you or to include equipment that you own (dumbbells, weighted bars, resistance bands etc).
Be as creative as you can be, but remember that it’s worth building up slowly, starting with some more classic and basic exercises so you can improve your strength and stamina but also, importantly, your technique and confidence. Once you feel surefooted you can then mix sessions up and start trying more advanced or creative exercises.
What should I look for when browsing steppers?
A stepper with adjustable height is really important so that as you get fitter you can increase the intensity of your exercises. It also means that drills you find easier can be made harder and those you struggle with you can do with a lower platform height.
The likelihood is that you’ll want to tidy away your stepper when you’re not using it, to reclaim the floor space and not trip over it at night! And the good news is that most steppers are really easy to store, whether it’s under the bed or sofa, in a cupboard or wardrobe or somewhere else. Steppers will either have the platform and risers being separate and then fitting together, or a one-piece design where the feet come locked into the platform and are adjustable (and usually detachable as well).
Your aerobic step should have anti-slip feet and decks to ensure your stability as you step up and down. This is important so you have a good grip on the platform and also so the stepper doesn’t move around on your floor.
Why buy an aerobic step from Sweatband.com?
So now it’s time to look for your new piece of fitness kit! To begin, head up to the top of this page and browse our range of high-quality aerobic steps. We only sell products that we believe our customers will love, and you’ll find steps from top fitness brands such as Viavito, Reebok, and DKN. We offer fast UK delivery, free on all orders over £15, and have a full customer service department to help you at any moment. If you need further advice or need help before, during or after ordering, we’re here for you.