Benefits of a Mini Stepper

A mini stepper is a great addition to a home gym. Not only is it compact, but it provides a decent workout, too.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of a mini stepper and hopefully convince you to buy one if you haven’t already!

What is a Mini Stepper?

A mini stepper is a fairly self-explanatory piece of kit. It functions much like a cross-trainer that you’d find at a gym, as it has footplates that allow you to walk with varying resistance.

Some mini steppers also have cables for working out your arms. As with all gym equipment, they range in complexity from simple footplates to more elaborate whole-body workout machines.

Considering they’re (generally) low in price, a mini stepper is a good addition to a home gym because it provides plenty of workout options.

What are the Benefits of Using a Stepper?

So, other than price, what are the main benefits of a mini stepper? The best mini steppers offer a great low impact, cardiovascular exercise that you can use anywhere! Lets look at some of the benefits a mini stepper offers.

What is a Stepper Good For?

A stepper is good for a number of reasons, let’s look into what the stepper is actually good for:

1. Easy to use

First off, a mini stepper is super easy to use. Although some might have a built-in screen, this often just provides extra functionality. Unlike a treadmill or cross-trainer, there’s nothing you need to turn on and program in order to use it.

A basic elliptical mini stepper will have resistance modes, but you control these with a dial. The machine will come with instructions, which often consist of “get on and walk”.

2. Low impact exercise

One of the biggest benefits for your body is that mini steppers are low impact. Like other compact cardio equipment like the mini elliptical. It’s because your feet never hit the ground, so your knees, ankles, and hips don’t have to take repeated impact. 

Things like jogging or aerobics classes put constant strain on your lower joints because your legs have to take repeated impacts with your whole body weight behind them.

While this is less of an issue for younger people, anyone over 50 should avoid them where possible, as should people with arthritis or bone conditions.

That said, younger people should also stay away from high-impact exercises because you want to keep your joints healthy for as long as possible! Or if you suffer from any pre-existing joint conditions.

3. Portable and Lightweight

Unlike a lot of other gym equipment, mini steppers are portable and extremely lightweight. Is this helpful? Well, yes, as it means you could take your mini stepper to work and keep it under your desk or while sitting down. After all, nothing says commitment like a lunchtime calorie burn!

But, it’s also helpful for anyone keeping their mini stepper at home. If your house or apartment isn’t massive, you can store your mini stepper in the bottom of a cupboard or under your bed.

This isn’t something you can do with much gym equipment, so it means you can whip out your mini stepper and get some exercise whenever you feel like it. Considering the lockdowns we all dealt with in 2020, having a compact aerobic stepper ready to go is a massive help if gyms shut down again.

4. Improves cardiovascular health

Aerobic exercise is key to cardiovascular health, which in turn improves circulation and endurance. It also improves your lung health, simply by making your body work hard.

Is a Mini Stepper Considered Cardio?

Mini steppers mimic a walking motion, which is considered a moderate cardiovascular aerobic exercise. You should aim to do at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week, but this is super easy on a mini stepper.

Better yet, a mini stepper allows for steady-state workouts, which are key to aerobic exercise. Being able to change resistance means the machine will keep up with your growing endurance, and also means you can vary your workouts between long, low-resistance marathons and short, high-resistance bursts.

5. Mini steppers are quiet

This might not be top of your priority list, but it’s certainly helpful when working out at home. Mini steppers are very quiet, as they don’t have a motor and your feet never hit the ground. Although sometimes yours might suffer from the mini stepper squeak after a while.

A quiet workout machine is great if you’re exercising at home and you don’t want to wake family and neighbours. 

6. They’re great for burning calories

Finally, and most obviously, a mini stepper is ideal for burning calories. While you might not get up to the same pace you would on a treadmill, you can vary your routines for calorie burning.

For example, add a mini stepper into your HIIT routine for low-impact calorie burning exercise.

You can use a calorie calculator to see just how much you can burn using a mini stepper. 

Mini Stepper Exercise Benefits

Along with some of the benefits given above the mini stepper is a great way to improve cardiovascular health. It also promotes fat loss, can tone legs as it specifically targets the leg muscles and is great for joints. The mini stepper is considered a low impact exercise so it doesn’t put as much stress on your knees and ankles as running does.

Will a Mini Stepper Tone My Legs?

The elliptical motion of a mini stepper is similar to the movement of walking up stairs. If you’ve ever worked with a personal trainer, you’ll already know the benefits this kind of movement provides for your muscles.

Using a mini stepper works the following muscles:

  • Gastrocnemius and soleus muscles
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus
  • Tensor fasciae latae
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

Better yet, mini steppers don’t have handles like a cross-trainer. It means that you must keep your core engaged and your posture correct when using the machine, so you get this as an added benefit.

Of course, you can further work your core by tensing your muscles and incorporating other exercises during your step routine.

Women using a mini stepper showing benefits of using

Finally, a mini stepper with attachable cords means you can bring your upper body into the mix, too. You can do any normal resistance exercise with the attachable bands, such as curls, flies and triceps presses.

There are plenty of great exercise routines available for all forms of mini stepper workouts, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to choose some that best suit your needs.

Mini Stair Stepper Benefits

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to owning a mini stepper. They can be great as part of a varied workout routine and are ideal for keeping at home or taking out with you.

When choosing the right mini stepper, try out a few models to see which offers the right benefits for your type of workout. Although mini steppers follow the same general design, there’s enough variation that one might be more suitable than another.

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An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!