When it comes to cardio and weight loss workouts, there are two main machines that come to mind: the StairMaster and the elliptical. Both of these machines are popular choices at the gym and can help you burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health, and tone your muscles. But which one is best for you? In this article, we’ll compare the StairMaster and the elliptical and help you decide which one is right for your fitness goals.
Comparison Table: StairMaster vs Elliptical
|Primary Focus||Lower body muscles||Full-body workout|
|Movement||Simulates walking up stairs||Simulates skiing|
|Benefits||Effective for cardio and leg muscle training||Low-impact, full-body workout|
|Functional Benefits||Good for functional workouts and imitating climbing||Effective for cardio, fun workout, and low impact exercise|
|Muscles Targeted||Leg muscles like glutes and calves||Upper and lower body muscles|
|Calorie Burn||180 calories for 30 minutes (125-pound person)||270 calories for 30 minutes (125-pound person)|
|Cardio and Weight Loss||Effective for cardio, muscle building||Burns more calories and is effective for weight loss|
|Opportunities to Increase Heart Rate||Less than elliptical||More than StairMaster|
|Calorie Burn Overestimation||Not reported||Can overestimate by up to 100 calories per 30 minutes|
|Machine Optimization||Good for functional workouts and muscle building||Optimized for cardio workouts|
|Motivation||Use the machine you’re more motivated to use||Use the machine you’re more motivated to use|
|Machine Features||Set of stairs on a belt that moves to mimic climbing stairs, adjustable resistance||Handles that involve upper body in workout, majority optimized for cardio|
|Height and Number of Steps||Roughly 8-10 feet tall, 3-4 steps||N/A|
|Muscle Endurance||Improves leg muscle endurance||N/A|
|Muscle Toning||Tones legs and works calves and glutes||Tones upper and lower body muscles|
|Upper Body Movement||Does not incorporate upper body movements||Involves upper body movements|
|Muscle Fatigue||Can cause lower body muscles to fatigue first, leading to difficulty doing longer bouts of cardio||N/A|
|Soreness||Can cause leg soreness, which may affect leg workouts or push harder during cardio sessions||N/A|
|Boredom||Can get boring||N/A|
|Risk of Falling||Risk of falling if you miss a step or don’t keep up with the pace||N/A|
StairMaster vs. Elliptical: The Basics
Before we dive into the differences between these two machines, let’s take a closer look at what each one is and what it does.
What is a StairMaster?
A StairMaster is a piece of cardio equipment that simulates the experience of climbing stairs. It consists of a set of stairs on a belt that moves continuously to mimic the sensation of climbing stairs. The resistance of the stair belt can be adjusted to make the workout more challenging. The StairMaster is roughly 8-10 feet tall and has 3-4 steps.
What is an Elliptical?
An elliptical is a low-impact cardio machine that provides a full-body workout. It simulates the motion of cross-country skiing and consists of two pedals and two handles that move in unison. The resistance of the pedals can be adjusted to make the workout more challenging. Unlike the StairMaster, the elliptical does not involve the impact of your feet hitting the ground.
StairMaster vs. Elliptical: Differences in Workouts
Now that we know what each machine is, let’s take a closer look at the differences in workouts that they offer.
Lower Body vs. Full-Body Workout
The StairMaster focuses primarily on the lower body, while the elliptical provides a full-body workout that engages both the upper and lower body. This means that if you’re looking to tone your legs, glutes, and calves, the StairMaster may be the better choice. However, if you’re looking for a total body workout that also targets your arms, shoulders, and back, the elliptical may be the way to go.
Both the StairMaster and elliptical are effective at improving cardiovascular health, but the elliptical has a clear advantage in terms of calorie burning. In a 30-minute workout, a person weighing 125 pounds can burn about 180 calories on a StairMaster and 270 calories on an elliptical. This is because the elliptical provides more opportunities to increase heart rate and blood circulation than the StairMaster.
Low Impact vs. High Impact
The elliptical is a low-impact machine, which means that it puts less stress on your joints than the StairMaster. This makes it a good choice for people who have joint pain or are recovering from an injury. On the other hand, the StairMaster is a high-impact machine that can be hard on your joints if you have existing injuries.
Functional Workouts vs. Weight Loss
If you’re looking for a machine that can help you with functional workouts, such as mimicking climbing or helping you prepare for real-life situations, the StairMaster is a good choice. It can also be effective for building lower body muscles like glutes and calves. However, if you’re primarily focused on weight loss, the elliptical may be the better choice. It burns more calories than the StairMaster and is optimized for cardio workouts.
StairMaster vs. Elliptical: Which One Should You Choose?
We understand that choosing between a StairMaster and an elliptical can be a tough decision. Both machines offer an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health and lose weight. In this article, we will compare and contrast the two machines to help you make an informed decision.
StairMaster vs Elliptical: Which One is Better?
The StairMaster is a set of stairs on a belt that moves to mimic climbing stairs. The StairMaster can be adjusted by changing the resistance of the stair belt. The StairMaster is roughly 8-10 feet tall and has 3-4 steps. The StairMaster mimics walking up stairs, which improves leg muscle endurance. The StairMaster tones the legs and works the calves and glutes. The StairMaster does not incorporate upper body movements.
The StairMaster is effective for cardio workouts and training leg muscles. It is good for functional workouts, imitating climbing, and helps in real-life situations. StairMaster is also effective for training lower body muscles like glutes and calves. However, it can cause lower body muscles to fatigue first, leading to difficulty doing longer bouts of cardio. It can also cause leg soreness, which may affect leg workouts or push harder during cardio sessions. Additionally, it can get boring, and there is a risk of falling if you miss a step or don’t keep up with the pace.
The elliptical offers a low impact, full-body workout that is effective for cardio. Elliptical machines have handles that involve the upper body in the workout. The elliptical is ideal for people seeking an effective cardio session, a fun workout, and a low impact exercise. In a 30-minute workout, a person weighing 125 pounds can burn about 180 calories on a StairMaster and 270 calories on an elliptical. Elliptical has a clear advantage over the StairMaster in terms of calorie burning. Elliptical provides more opportunities to increase heart rate and blood circulation than a StairMaster. Majority of elliptical machines are optimized for cardio workouts. Elliptical burns more calories and is effective for weight loss.
The StairMaster and elliptical are both effective machines for cardio and weight loss workouts. The StairMaster focuses on the lower body, while the elliptical offers a full-body workout. The StairMaster is good for functional workouts, imitating climbing, and helping in real-life situations, while the elliptical is ideal for people seeking an effective cardio session, a fun workout, and a low impact exercise. The elliptical burns more calories and is effective for weight loss, but the StairMaster improves leg muscle endurance and tones the legs while working the calves and glutes. Ultimately, the machine you choose to use should be the one you are more motivated to use.