There is nothing better than being able to exercise in the comfort of your own home, whether the conditions outside are unsuitable or you’re a stay at home parent who needs indoor gym equipment, or just someone who enjoys exercising on the weekend. No gym fees, just put on your most comfortable clothes as there are no prying eyes put on some music and get to work.
If you’re just beginning to put together your first home gym for your new home or apartment or are starting one then you’ve probably asked yourself whether a stair step machine or elliptical is better. One first glance they look the same but on closer inspection there are plenty of important differences.
Chances are you’re looking to lose weight with a stair step or elliptical machine and a big indicator of that is how many calories you can lose per hour on each machine. Use this information as a benchmark rather than taking it as gospel as results differ per person.
With all other variables kept the same elliptical machines are slightly more effective as promoting calorie loss as you’re using your arms instead of just your legs and it’s been shown simply moving arms while walking or running can help lose up to fifteen percent more calories.
Another important consideration before making your decision is what muscle groups are targeted so you can tailor to your specific needs and chosen exercise goals.
As mentioned above the ellipticals are excellent are targeting other groups not just the legs. You get a full body work out targeting the chest, arms (biceps and triceps), hips and thighs. Where as the stair step machine primarily targets calf and hip muscles, no upper body work out here unfortunately.
Moving on both machines are ideal for toning the butt and achieving that Kim Kardashian look. Both help promote a toned butt focusing on thighs and hips for a full and consistent work out of that area.
Finally let’s focus on cardiovascular benefits, both types of machine are perfect for cardio so the difference in the long term comes down to how consistent you are in your workout and the amount of effort you exert.
With the stepping machine that means putting more force into each step within a reasonable limit and the same with the elliptical machine using your arms and legs effectively and keeping strain off the hips. Studies show benefits to the cardiovascular system with both machines over the longterm when used daily.
In conclusion if you’re looking for upper and lower body workout go for an elliptical but if you just want to work out the lower body/legs then go for a stair stepping machine. Both are on equal footing for providing cardio benefits.
Our Favorite Cheap Home Stair Stepper Machine
If you’ve decided that a good stair stepper machine is just what you need in your home gym, then we recommend the Sunny Twister Stepper with Handle Bar machine. If you’re on a budget and looking for the best stair stepper with arms under $100, then we definitely think that this compact mini stepper is the right machine for you.
It is a great choice for small apartments and condos, as well as for people who don’t have a lot of space in their home for fitness equipment. One of the things that I love about this one is that since it has a compact design, you can easily use it in the living room while you’re watching TV without it cluttering up the space. Plus, it weighs less than 30 pounds, so it can easily be moved around the home or office.
This twist stepper workout machine with handlebars also has a little multi-function LCD computer screen to display your workout stats. You can see the time you’ve been stepping, the number of steps you’ve taken and the estimated number of calories that your stair stepper workout has burned for you.
The handlebar is designed for balance, which makes this a safer option that the mini steppers that don’t have the handlebars. I also like that the whole family can use this machine since the stepping height is adjustable.
And if you need something that is low impact but offers a decent workout, then this is a great choice for you. The twisting action that you experience while working out tones your thighs and buttocks without putting too much pressure on bones and joints.
One thing to keep in mind is that the weight limit on this machine is 250 pounds, so it will break if you exceed the weight limit.
Our Favorite Cheap Home Elliptical Machine
Do you have limited space and money for your home gym equipment? If so, we suggest the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3416 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer for your cheap elliptical machine needs. This thing has a low price, in fact, we think that it is the best cheap elliptical machine under $200! And let’s face it, finding a good elliptical machine under $300 or $500 is a challenge, so for this one to be even more affordable is just a great find. And, it is actually a piece of high quality home gym equipment.
As you can see, this is a very compact and small elliptical machine, which makes it perfect for small apartments and condos (or people with limited space for home gym equipment). And though it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistle, it is still a good elliptical machine for the money.
Features include: wheels for easy transport around the house (easy to roll out for use while watching TV), dual action trainer with the moving arms/handlebars, 8-level tension/resistance controller, and digital LCD screen that shows you time spent working out, distance, calories burned, speed, and your pulse. And yes, you read that right, this cheap elliptical trainer has a grip heart rate monitor to give you pulse readings while you workout – we think that’s amazing for the price!
We really like how quiet the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3416 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is when in use. In fact, it is one of the most quiet elliptical machines that we’ve checked out.
The only thing that might make this machine a bad option for you is the weight limit. It was only support 250 pounds maximum, which means that it is not ideal for heavier people.