Need an easy workout?
There might not be a way to burn serious calories while sitting on the couch, but I think I have the next best thing for you. I came across a new piece of workout equipment that’s changed my life!
Have you ever used a mini stair stepper before?
They take all the benefits of full-size stair steppers and cram them into a compact machine that delivers some impressive results.
If you’re interested in walking your way to a better you, keep reading to check out my mini stepper reviews and how to use the machine effectively and safely.
1. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
The Stamina is a compact and lightweight stepper that’s perfect for your home or office. It only has pedals, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still a great piece of workout equipment.
It’s really low-impact, so I never felt any stress on my back, knees, hips, or ankles. I also liked how the electronic monitor kept track of my strides, exercise time, and calories burned. This made it really simple to track my progress.
There was a bit of assembly required, but it wasn’t anything too difficult. I was happy to see that the majority of the machine is made with steel. It felt sturdy, and I’m confident in its durability.
2. Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper
If you’re looking for a stepper with a little more to offer, the Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper could be perfect. It’s very compact but surprisingly versatile, thanks to its twist action and included resistance bands.
By twisting, you’ll be toning your thighs and butt, all while accomplishing one of the best cardiovascular workouts there is. You’ll be working muscles in hard-to-reach places without putting the rest of your body at risk for injury or unnecessary stress.
I loved that the resistance levels are adjustable. The steel construction was also reassuring. The footplates were oversized and slip-resistant, so even if you feel like keeping your balance could be a challenge, you shouldn’t have an issue with this well thought out design.
The LCD display keeps track of your count, time, calories burned, and repetitions, so you don’t have to. While using this stepper, I would find myself getting lost in a television show and losing track of time.
How often does that happen during a workout?
3. Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands
If you really like the Twister Stepper but want to save a bit of cash, consider this other Sunny Health & Fitness model. This model also includes resistance bands, so you can work out your entire upper body.
It doesn’t have the twisting feature, but you can still get a low-impact and effective aerobic workout with this stepper. The LCD screen tracks time, count, total count, and burned calories.
You also have to use this model standing up. There is no seated position that will work. But I found this to be all the better for my muscle tone and core muscles.
At first, it was a bit difficult to keep my balance on this stepper. However, I got the hang of it fairly quickly.
Once I had a handle on my balance, I added the resistance bands to my workout. They mounted right to the frame and the length was adjustable. This completely changed my workout! I felt like I was using two different machines at once.
I never realized how simple it was to work out your entire body with such a small machine.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper with Handle Bar
If balance is an issue for you, the Twister Stepper with Handle Bar is absolutely perfect. It features the awesome twisting feature found in other Sunny Health & Fitness models but includes a handle bar for stability.
Balance issues aren’t uncommon, and if you are one who suffers from a medical condition or other balance-related issue, you can still use a stepper without worrying about injury. This machine is also adjustable, so you can get the handle bar right where you need it to be.
Some of the machine comes pre-assembled, which is a great bonus! The steel construction is very sturdy and never left me feeling like the machine was just a step or two away from falling apart.
If you’re just beginning in the world of mini steppers, I would recommend this unit. You’ll remain confident with the handle bar while you master your stepping technique.
And the low price of this unit means that you’ll still have room in your budget to upgrade to a different model in the future, should you decide to do so.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper
Want to have a little more fun with your stepper? This model comes in a cheerful shade of bubble-gum pink and includes the twisting feature that can make such a difference to your workout.
It allows you to move both up and down and side to side, toning more muscles than ever.The resistance is adjustable, and the steel construction and oversized slip-resistant foot plates will make you feel safe, even with such a small machine.
My experience with this machine was very positive. First, it came completely assembled. All I had to do was tighten the pulley.
I also liked that it recorded my time, repetitions, and calories burned. I could easily read the numbers without having to stop and stoop down to the machine’s level.
I felt well-balanced on this unit, but still made sure I was near the wall, just in case I needed to reach out during my workout.
The stepper also stores easily. I keep mine under my bed, but it’s light enough to put in a closet or even on a shelf.
What Should You Look for in a Mini Stepper?
Wondering how you should start narrowing down your choices? There are several factors you should consider when looking at your mini stepper options.
You want to make sure that your mini stepper machine can keep up with you. Chances are, you have plans to use your stair stepper on a regular basis.
Make sure that you choose a model built with durable materials and has been proven to stand the test of time. This is especially important when looking at lower-end models. You won’t be saving money if you have to replace your mini stepper machine in the near future.
This is the most important factor to consider. Whenever you begin a new workout routine, you want to be sure that the equipment you’re using was designed with safety in mind. When you find a model you like, make sure that there are no recalls or other issues with the unit.
This goes along with safety. Make sure that the model you’re considering has a weight limit that doesn’t restrict your usage.
Some mini steppers are literally just for stepping. Others have resistance bands or other accessories that allow you to turn your workout into a full body routine.
This may or may not be important to you. If you’re looking for a mini stepper only, you might be able to get more for your money if you chose a model without any added pieces.
As you use your mini stepper, you’ll quickly find that you need to increase the resistance level. If you choose a model with only a few resistance levels, you might find yourself in need of a new model that provides you the workout you’re looking for.
Do Mini Steppers Give a Good Workout?
There are many mini stepper benefits, all of which provide you with an excellent workout.
First and most obvious, mini steppers give your legs a great workout. Your legs are home to your body’s largest muscle groups.
Your lungs and heart will need to work a bit more in order to push blood to these muscles during your workout. In turn, your cardiovascular health improves.
You also burn calories during a mini stepper workout. You can lose weight quickly with regular workouts and benefit from the natural high workouts give you.
If you’re looking for a workout nearly anyone can do that provides plenty of benefits and results, using a mini stepper is a great option to consider.
Pros & Cons of Mini Steppers
There are so many more pros associated with mini steppers than cons.
First, they’re compact, making them ideal for small spaces. You can keep one in your office or even in your car if you travel frequently.
Second, they’re incredibly effective for such a small machine. You’ll really burn up a sweat without having to drive to the gym.
Finally, they’re affordable. It’s hard to own a piece of workout equipment without spending a fortune, but you’ll find that there’s a stepper available for just about every budget.
The most common complaint regarding mini steppers is that they can be difficult to balance on. If you find that you’re having trouble, consider a model with handle bars.
Also, some people find the motions of a stepper hard to get used to. It’s not the same as climbing stairs. But once you adjust, you’ll find that the workout is easy yet beneficial.
Does a Mini Stair Stepper Work Your Abs?
Not directly, but in a way. A mini stair stepper is great when it comes to burning calories and making aerobic fitness part of your lifestyle.
But the machine won’t give you the six pack abs you’ve been after. Instead, it will burn calories, helping you lose weight all over your body.
It will also increase your abdominal muscle engagement with each step. After a workout or two with your mini stair stepper, you'll understand more about the muscles being engaged during a stair stepper workout.
What Is the Correct Form When Using a Mini Stair Stepper?
In order to get the most out of your mini stair climber, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct form. In many cases, you can use a stepper in either a standing position or a seated position. Here’s how to work out safely in both positions.
When you’re using your stepper in a standing position, be sure to tighten your abs and avoid curving your spine. Your shoulders should be pulled back and down.
If you have balance issues, avoid using your stepper in this position. Until you’re used to using the stepper while standing, position the machine somewhere near a wall or couch so that you can catch yourself if needed.
Similar rules apply when using your stepper in a seated position. Keep your spine neutral and contract your abs. Only use a resistance level that matches your skill level.
Otherwise, you might curve your spine and risk injury. Make sure to press down on each foot pedal fully and allow your foot to come back up as you press down with the other foot. Only focus on pushing down and never pulling up.
Which Muscles Will a Mini Stair Stepper Tone?
You’ll be working your lower body muscles during a stepper workout, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
With proper form, you will better engage your abdominal muscles, and if your machine has resistance bands, you’ll be working your triceps, biceps, and pectoral muscles as well.
How to Use a Mini Stair Stepper Safety
Mini steppers are simple to use, and when used properly, your risk of injury is low. But there are a few tips to keep in mind to make your workout experience as safe as possible.
Check Your Surroundings
Make sure that the area around your stepper is clear of debris. If you do lose your balance, you don’t want to fall on something hard or sharp.
Use Proper Form
Form is crucial when it comes to working out with a stepper. You can end up injuring your back or pulling a leg muscle if you arch your back or step incorrectly.
Along with proper form, stretching is crucial in preventing injuries. Spend a few minutes warming up and stretching before each workout.
Don’t Overdo It
If you’ve never used a stepper before, don’t go overboard. Start with workouts that last about 10 minutes and slowly build up to longer durations.
If you’re too sore to move the next day, you probably worked out for longer than you should have. Take a day off from your stepper and take it easy on a Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill or similar piece of equipment.
Climbing stairs is an ideal way to get in shape. Using a portable stair machine is a great way to get a solid workout in a short amount of time. The machines take up minimal space, and no matter your current fitness skill level, you should be able to use one with ease.
I’ve found that workouts involving my mini stepper are some of my favorite. I always look forward to my next workout.
Pick yourself up a mini stepper sooner than later. You'll love the low price, convenience, fun workout, and great results.