People often pair stepping machines and elliptical cross trainers together, assuming they provide the same kind of workout and achieve similar results. However, not a lot of gym-goers realise that these two types of equipment are different in many ways. They provide users with the opportunity to enjoy two different kinds of cardio, and as a result, their benefits attract different types of people.
Depending on your fitness goals, one of these equipment types will be more suited to the type of exercise or outcome you want to achieve. Here’s a breakdown of their main differences and how they vary in achieving fitness goals.
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A stepping machine, sometimes referred to as a stair stepper, offers a form of aerobic exercise that mimics the movement patterns of climbing stairs. This is a low-impact machine that boasts various adjustable features, providing a dynamic workout for targeting muscles in the buttocks, hips, calves and thighs. Used primarily for cardio, stepping machines are quite popular as they allow users to tone certain muscle groups without the impact or jarring that comes with traditional running.
The benefits of a stepping machine include calorie burning, muscle toning, endurance training, and improvements in cardiovascular health. Because of these benefits, cardio lovers have been known to implement stepping machines into their workouts in order to accelerate weight loss and improve stamina. However, although they’re classified as a low-impact machine, it should be known that stepping can be harsh on the knees of beginners. It’s recommended that you adjust the machine so you can gradually work your way up.
Elliptical Cross Trainers
Elliptical cross trainers are vastly different to stepping machines, as they target a larger number of muscle groups. This equipment type allows the user to mimic the patterns of walking, running and climbing at a low impact. Providing a high-intensity workout that can be easily adjusted and tracked, elliptical cross trainers are globally recognised for their benefits in strength training and endurance building, as well as the opportunity they provide for high-intensity interval training.
Their low-impact nature, paired with their ability to provide a vigorous and exciting workout, means that elliptical cross trainers are a great choice for exercisers of all different backgrounds and fitness levels. In particular, elliptical cross trainers are an ideal option for anybody with a history of joint pain or injury, as a session on an elliptical cross trainer won’t come close to the impact of pushing off concrete and other surfaces. Elliptical cross trainers also come with features that allow users to track their session in terms of calorie burning, heart rate, speed and more.
Choosing the Best Workout for You
The decision between these two machines really comes down to what kind of cardio session you’re looking to achieve. Both of these pieces of equipment are beneficial for calorie burning, fat loss, stamina building and endurance training. However, stepping machines target a smaller number of muscle groups than elliptical cross trainers, making them less effective for a full-body workout.