Don’t let your cardio regime suffer from lack of creativity – reinvigorate the way you burn fat in the best way possible.
Using the Stepmill is a popular choice of cardio if maintaining shape in the lower body, saving your joints, and getting an insane sweat-on is your goal. The versatility of the Stepmill makes it an ideal option because each session can be different every time. By changing the speed, the direction you step, skipping over steps or adding kickbacks – it literally can provide a new brand of soreness every time you engage in your cardio session. So, let’s say none of this information is new to you. You’ve stepped at every crazy angle, you’ve sprinted up those rotating steps a thousand times… is that it? You’ve maxed out the benefits of the Stepmill? Not quite!
Master the Stepmill
- Don’t hold the rails while on the Stepmill. This will add a whole new challenge on its own, engage more core muscles and improve your balance.
- Have an external timer ready and easily accessible (like a phone or watch). This will help you keep tabs on how long your intervals will become.
- Take it one interval at a time to give your maximum effort with each interval.
- Push down with the toes of your foot to increase the workload in your calves, but to conserve energy you can push down with your entire foot.
- Keep your knees in line with your foot as this will maintain proper alignments. 6 But don’t look down at your feet – you don’t want to fall over. Gauge on the mill’s rhythm.
Plyometrics are a great way to get your heart beating and move blood to different parts of your body, plus it helps burn extra calories. Just like you would add air squats or jump rope between your sets while lifting, have you ever thought to do the same with your cardio sessions? This method is going to add a challenge to the Stepmill that you never saw coming.
Takeaway benefits to stair climbing:
- Intense glute workout
- Targets your calves
- Excellent core workout
- Improves sports performance
- Improved squatting power
Your burn mechanics:
Make sure you are pushing yourself hard enough because every Stepmill is different by displaying their intensity levels, so here is a quick guideline:
LOW INTENSITY: This is a very slow pace where you can easily belt out your favorite song.
MEDIUM INTENSITY: Here you can to a friend and text, but at a 7, that’s getting difficult.
HIGH INTENSITY: Maximal effort is a 10, it’s as hard as you can physically go to make you want to quit.
Now that you understand the ground rules, you’ve set up your Stepmill and your timer is ready, let’s get sweating!
0-5 Warm up on Stepmill, low intensity
5-7 Jump off Stepmill, perform ski jumps on aerobic step, land on both feet, jump off
7-10 Stepmill, moderate intensity
10-12 Side squat one foot on step, one on floor, jump to other side, perform side squat, jump to other side & repeat (keep upbeat/moderate tempo while performing)
12-15 Stepmill, moderate intensity
15-17 Step/toe taps on aerobic step or bench
17-22 Stepmill, high/moderate intensity
22-24 Deep alternating lunges on aerobic step (minimum of moderate tempo)
24-34 Stepmill, high-intensity
34-36 Pop squats with step (straddling step) into sissy squat on top of step
36-40 High-intensity Stepmill into sissy squat on top of step
40-45 50 narrow body squats, 50 wide body squat stop of step
Now that you are blinded by sweat, still make sure to do a proper recovery session (stretch, foam roll), drink plenty of water, and get in a post workout shake, because you will be feeling this for the next few days.
Stairway to heaven
Stairs may be annoying, but they do have their upside. A paper at McMaster University, Ontario, found climbing stairs was a practical way to increase your fitness levels and had long reaching plus points for your heart health. So, even if you don’t have a Stepmill, you probably know somewhere where there are a few flights of stairs you can use to your advantage. Simply mirror the routine shown here and you’ll be walking your leanness on the straight and narrow.