Best Aerobic Steppers to Kick Your Butt into Shape
Aerobic steppers were all the rage back in the big hair days of the 80’s. Nowadays, most people tend to confuse them with stair steppers and climbers. We feel, however, that it’s time to start giving the humble aerobic stepper the respect it deserves.
In this article we will share our aerobic stepper reviews of the 5 best aerobic steppers in the market-place today. We’ll also discuss the benefits of the aerobic stepper and give some tips on what to look out for when shopping for your own aerobic stepper.
Our favorite aerobic stepper is the Escape Fitness Deck.
Top 5 Aerobic Stepper Reviews
The Escape Fitness Deck is an extremely versatile aerobic stepper. It offers 16 different configurations to allow you to train from a range of heights and angles. It even provides target zones to allow you to stay motivated as you work to meet each challenge.
- 16 position configuration
- Can be used as a weight bench, stepper, plyometric box and a ramp
- Solid construction
- 3 position incline
- Quite uncomfortable when you use the bench feature
The Escape Fitness Deck was easily our top choice for the best aerobic stepper. It is so multi functional, allowing you to replace four pieces of gym equipment with one purchase. As an aerobic stepper, it provides a superior level of strength, stability and rigidity. It looks great and performs well.
The Yes4All stepper is extremely rigid and sturdy. You’ll have no problems with lateral movement on this well constructed unit. Made from very strong polyethylene materials, it features an extra wide stepping platform to work on (14 x 40 inches). The height is adjustable at three levels, to a maximum of 8 inches.
- Very solid and durable
- Strong polyethylene construction
- Wide platform
- 3 level height adjustment
- Non-slip shock absorbing surface
- No incline provision
The Yes4All adjustable stepper is a very reliable basic stepper. It won’t provide the extra features that you get with the Escape Fitness Deck, but it will provide a solid workout, time after time. We loved the wide surface and the shock absorption ability of this aerobic stepper machine.
The Freestyle Step is a simple unit consisting of a bright red stepping platform and a couple of sets of two inch risers. More risers can be added as you progress and want a more demanding workout.
A workout DVD is included with your purchase.
- Workout DVD
- Solid plastic construction
- Large 40 x 14 inch stepping surface
- 3 adjustable heights between 4 and 8 inches
- Non slip surface
- No incline
The Freestyle Step will provide you with a good, solid workout. It doesn’t have any fancy extras, but what it does do it does well. The construction is solid, the height adjustments are what you need and the finished design looks appealing. Overall, this is a stepper that delivers.
As the name suggests, the Ultega Multifunctional Aerobic Stepper is more than a stepper. It is, in fact, a complete whole body training system. This is largely thanks to the resistance cables that are connected to the base of the stepper. In fact, you get a total of 18 color coded resistances with this unit.
You also get four resistance band handles, a t-handle and a built-in v-loop. This all adds up to one very versatile piece of training equipment.
- Stepper and strength trainer combined
- 18 resistance cables
- 4 resistance cable handles
- Sturdy and robust
- Compact and portable
- The cable attachments may interfere with your stepping motion
The Ultega Multifunctional Aerobic Stepper is the most versatile aerobic stepper that we have ever come across. It will provide you with a very effective anaerobic strength workout as well as an aerobic step training session. The step platform is large, solid and shock absorbent. The range of resistance levels on the cables is extremely impressive, as is the addition of a t-bar and v-loop attachment. This is a seriously impressive unit.
The Soozier 36 inch Stepper is the strongest, most rigid aerobic stepper that we encountered. It has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds.
It’s strength comes from the advanced injection molding technology used in its construction. This not only makes it more durable, but also improves the stability of the stepper on almost any surface. The surface is made from slip resistant, shock absorbing materials.
- Very strong
- 500 lb maximum weight
- Shock absorbing
- Injection mold technology construction
- Extremely stable
- Stepping platform is too small
The Soozier 36 inch stepper will give you many years of safe, solid stepping. However, with dimensions of just 35.4 x 12.6 inches, the step platform is too small for comfortable use. And extra inch or two either way would have made all the difference.
What Comes With An Aerobic Stepper?
At first glance, an aerobic stepper looks pretty basic - it’s simply a raised platform that you step up onto. But there’s more to a good stepper than meets the eye. It should . . .
- Have an adjustable height
- Be made of block portions that fit together solidly
- Be sturdy
- Be compact, lightweight and easily stored away
Benefits of Using an Aerobic Stepper
- It can be used anywhere, any time
- It will provide a low impact, plyometric workout
- It will make your more aerobically fit
- It will burn calories
- It will build up strength in your thighs and calves
- It will shape your glutes
- It will improve your endurance
An aerobic stepper will work your legs differently from a stair stepper or a stair climber. With an aerobic stepper, you are more likely to be jumping up and down as opposed to stepping up and down. This makes the workout far more plyometric in nature.
A plyometric workout will burn about a third more calories than a straight cardio workout. It will also help to improve your proprioception and balance. You may also want to read our in depth review for the best Plyometric boxes here.
When you train on an aerobic stepper you will be working the following muscles groups:
- Gluteus maximus / minimus
- Hip flexors - these are the muscles at the top of your leg / groin area
While you won’t build muscle in these areas to the degree that you would if you were doing resistance training, working out on the aerobic stepper will allow you to shape and tone them. You’ll also build endurance in your legs. This will make it much easier on you when you go on hikes or long walks.
The aerobic stepper is often used in conjunction with other exercise equipment. To increase the intensity of your workout, you can hold light dumbbells when you use the stepper. An alternative is to wear a pair of ankle weights.
When holding dumbbells, you can perform exercises that are traditionally done in a stationary position, such as shoulder presses, dumbbell curls or chest squeezes each time to step up onto the stepper.
If you are a beginner to exercise, resistance bands may provide a safer alternative to dumbbells. Some machines, such as the Altega Multi Gym, which we reviewed above, come with built-in resistance bands.
Aerobic Step Buyer’s Guide
When you are exercising on an aerobic stepper you are benefiting from a low impact form of exercise. However, because your feet are repeatedly leaving the ground, your safety requires that you have a sturdy stable stepper. If you don’t you are opening yourself up to ankle and knee sprains.
To ensure that the stepper you purchase is right for the job that you need it to do, here are some things to watch out for . . .
- Sturdy construction - when you’re moving up and down rapidly you need a stepper that will stay in place, without any lateral movement at all. It is also important that the movable parts, such as removable height steps, don’t jiggle around when you’re exercising.
- Slip Resistant - make sure that the top surface where your feet will make contact has a slip resistant surface. You don’t want your feet to be sliding around in the middle of your session. If sweat slippage affects your feet, the stepper will push away from you, making it difficult to perform your next step.
- Shock Absorption - your stepper should be able to easily absorb the impact of your steps so that you body doesn’t have to.
- Check that the base of the stepper is big enough for you to work on. Many people find that the stepper they order doesn’t allow them the freedom of movement they need to perform freely. Often they end up with a stepper that is too short.
- Surface for hand work - if you are going to be gripping the stepper with your hands (for example, when doing incline press ups) you will want a surface area that is not too uncomfortable. Look for a stepper that provides a slip resistant surface but also allows you to grab a part of the surface without having to wear workout gloves.