Looking for an inexpensive gym replacement in Australia? Step aerobics is one of the longest running – and highly effective – cardio workouts available today.
It’s quick and simple – often involving a simple platform that you step on and off of in order to boost your cardio.
I found however that no matter how effective this exercise was, it won’t give you the results you want unless you have the right equipment for it.
This means getting just the right deck – and you might be surprised how buying a basic platform takes time! Here’s what I learned through my own choosing process:
- 1 Reebok Fitness Deck Aerobic Stepper
- 2 Escape Fitness Deck Aerobic Stepper
- 3 Yes4All Multifunctional Fitness Aerobic Deck Step Platform
- 4 EveryMile Workout Aerobic Stepper
- 5 Reebok Step Aerobic Stepper
- 6 Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Buying a Stepper
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions (and their Answers)
- 8 Final Word
Comparison Table for the 5 Best Aerobic Steppers on the Market:
Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Buying a Stepper
The Size of the Step
You will easily find all kinds of step sizes in the market today – but the best choice would be one that is 43 by 16 inches.
If you take a tape measure right now, you’d probably tell me that this is too big – but let me assure you that this is the perfect size, especially if you’re a beginner.
This is because the aerobic stepper functions as the primary landing spot of your feet. If it’s too small – you might miss on taking that step and cause injury to yourself. Believe me – this can happen, especially if you’re watching television during the exercise.
Most aerobic steppers are also used by laying on it for additional support. At a size of 43 by 16, I find that this can beautifully support my body size comfortably.
Look for a model that allows multiple height adjustments – even just two different heights would already be a good start.
This simple height adjustment can go a long way in improving your workout. With one simple shift from a low to a high setting, a fairly routine workout started to become more intense.
I could hear my heart pumping and my thighs and buttocks just burning with each leg raise. Simply put – the height gives an additional kick to the exercise so that you can pump it up a bit for additional challenge.
The angle adjustment also works in the same way as the height adjustment in that it adds to the overall intensity of the workout.
You should search for a model with at least three different angles. One that’s perfectly flat, another at an incline, and another at a decline.
This should cover all your workout needs and make it easier for you to increase or decrease the intensity of your exercise, depending on prevailing circumstances.
Storage of the Product
Many aerobic steppers are delivered flat and can be folded outward when ready to use. Think of it like a slightly larger and heavier chopping board when ready for storage.
If you have a home gym, you can probably buy a unit that doesn’t need folding, which is cheaper but of course, bulkier.
If you have limited space in the house however, opt for one that can be comfortably slid between the door frames, the furniture, or even under the bed.
When we say customisation, we’re really talking about the likelihood of adding resistance bands to the platform.
This is the most common attachment with this workout equipment and I’ve found that when combined together, you can attempt to do numerous workout routines that target both the cardio and the muscles.
With the right guide, these two things would be a full gym for the motivated user. Look for a model that comes with slots where you can attach the resistance bands for a quick workout.
Unfortunately, the resistance bands themselves need to be purchased separately from the aerobics stepper.
Another good customisation would be the addition of a storage compartment. This is often a good idea if you’re using resistance bands together with the platform. This way, these two essentials will always be found together and ready for use!
At my most intense moments, I find myself jumping on and off the aerobic stepper in a very fast set of moves. Now, this is done with both feet – which means that there’s a lot of power there.
The last thing you want is for the stepper to suddenly slide on the floor surface upon jumping up. The next worst thing would be if you yourself slips off the platform surface after jumping up on it.
Believe me – I’ve experienced both and I don’t care to repeat either of them. It’s a quick path to a sprained ankle and once you get the injury, the recovery can take weeks.
This is why it’s important look for safety features of the product. Specifically – you want to look at friction pads on top of the platform and the bottom.
There should be rubber grips on the pads of the stepper so that it stays put during your workout. The surface platform should also be rubberised so that you don’t slip while in the middle of a really intense routine.
Most aerobic steppers can handle users beyond 100 pounds in weight. Some, as you noticed above, are capable of withholding the weight of people beyond 200 kilograms.
Make sure that the stepper you buy has a generous allowance on weight limit. For example, if you weight 200 kilograms, look for one that’s at least 250 kilograms.
This should create a sturdier platform – especially since you’ll be moving up and down this step multiple times over months or even years. You would essentially be putting added pressure to the surface during workouts, which can be considered as an added weight on the model.
Understand though that overweight people should use the stepper minimally because you don’t want to put too much pressure on the joints. As you lose weight, the stepper can be used more frequently and you can try to increase its height overtime.
In all honesty, I regretted when I purchased a low-cost aerobic stepper to “try it out” before buying something more expensive.
I soon found out that a pricier one might be, well, pricier, it is definitely the better investment overall. I purchased a high-end one after I wore out my first one in just a few months.
This new – and pricier model – is sturdier, has better features, and gives me the confidence to experiment with my workouts without worrying that it will collapse beneath my weight!
So yes – if you have the chance, find a model that’s a bit pricier but with a reputation that’s excellent in the market.
You will find that a good aerobics stepper will provide you with better results and give you just the right amount of support to promote better health.
Frequently Asked Questions (and their Answers)
1. What does an aerobic stepper do?
An aerobic stepper is a small platform that can be used in a variety of exercises. It’s really a single step of the stairs that you can step on and then step off again as a form of cardio workout.
Imagine walking up and down the stairs over and over again – doesn’t that make your heart pump faster? Well, that’s exactly what an aerobic stepper is supposed to and how it is generally used.
I say “generally” though because newer models of the product have evolved to provide better cardio results.
For example, the stepper’s height can now be adjusted lower or higher – perhaps you can create an angle with this product. This way, you can play with your exercises and really set new goals for fitness.
2. Are steppers good for losing weight?
Yes. It’s actually the perfect low-cost alternative to your typical treadmill. When used correctly, it would make you sweat buckets and really burn off the extra fat through basic movements.
Today however, the aerobics stepper has evolved to become more than just a cardio workout tool. You can now find weight training routines that incorporate these products in the moves.
When used properly, not only can you enjoy a steady decrease of weight but you can also tone the body and help develop the muscles.
3. Is stepper bad for the knees?
The step-up and -down motion when done overtime can easily wear out the knees. Hence, it’s perfectly possible for a stepper to cause damage to the joints when used excessively.
Note though that the keyword here is excessively. If done in sufficient amounts over a reasonable length of time, you shouldn’t have any problem with joint wear and tear.
For the sake of safety however, people with existing joint problems or those who are entering their senior’s years should first consult a doctor before deciding to use an aerobic stepper for their cardio workout.
There’s a reason why most people you see using this product are in their 20’s and 30’s – it’s because these are the years when the knees are still in their optimal shape.
If you’re younger but want to avoid possible future problems that come with an aerobic stepper, then just make sure that you are not overdoing the exercise. Eating right, especially food items that promote bone health, can also help supplement your workout.
4. What size aerobic stepper do I need?
We’ve answered this one already but just to be sure – the best stepper to get would be one measuring 43 by 16 inches.
This would give you enough stepping space without worrying about making a misstep and possibly injuring yourself.
This is ideal for people who like to watch television during their workouts, allowing them to enjoy their show without actually worrying about where they’re stepping next.
Of course, this type of platform also gives you ample space to do your work for upper body exercises such as push-ups or curl-ups.
5. How long should I use a stepper?
Since prolonged use of a stepper could be bad for the knees, it’s best to use it for 30 minutes at a time and no more.
You can choose to use it for longer periods if you’ll be utilising other workouts instead of a step-type. As a rule, you should only work out 3 or 4 times a week and give your body rest on the remaining days for muscle recovery.
This will help alleviate the pain that comes with the workout itself. Understand though – this is true for all types of exercise routine and not just when you’re using an aerobic stepper.
As a person grows older and their joints start to lose integrity, however, it’s best to switch to other low-impact exercise methods such as swimming or sedate walking.
To wrap it up – an aerobics stepper is an excellent tool to have in the house if you want all the benefits of a home gym with little investment and even lesser space available in the house.
The right product will give you an excellent combination of cardio and weight workout for a full body blast, accompanied by increasing intensity to keep each routine interesting.
It’s just a matter of finding the right one for you and once you do, you can go online and easily find extensive workout routines based on aerobics steppers.