As more of us are working from home in 2023, it makes sense that this portable, at-home workout went viral on TikTok. The new year also brings new fitness goals for many, so welcome your curiosity and see if this portable stepper machine might be something you want to try.
What Is a Portable Stepper Machine?
A portable stepper machine is a stair stepping machine that only includes the two foot pedals as opposed to the larger stair or elliptical machines out there. The movements are very subtle during use, so it doesn’t necessarily look like you are walking up the stairs. It actually looks like you are walking in place when you are using it. These steppers often come with resistance bands like the product shows above.
What Kind of a Workout Is a Portable Stepper Machine Used For?
This is both a form of cardio and resistance training. The stepping motion gets your heart rate up, so the benefits are similar to a full stair stepper. The interesting thing about this machine is the addition of the resistance bands to keep resistance training in the mix.
By pulling the resistance bands up while your legs are stepping, you are toning your arms, back, and core in addition to your legs. If you don’t want to use the resistance bands, it is not required. You can still move your arms or keep them by your side and you’ll see the toning benefits in your legs especially.
How Do You Use a Portable Stepper Machine?
An important tip is that this machine requires a lot of balance. This is one of the reasons why it is so good for you and your posture, but it may take some practice to get it down. As a result, we recommend holding onto a wall or handle when you are first getting started.
In order to use a portable stepper, you’ll need to find a flat surface to place it on. Once you’re step up, you will place one foot up on the foot stand. Again, try holding onto something for balance at first. Then, you will place your other foot up on the second foot placement.
Practicing the balance is the most important in the first couple of days of use. Once you can keep both feet flat and even while standing up straight, you’re ready to step. Start pedaling your feet up and down like you are stepping up stairs and walking towards someone. Over time, you’ll even begin to speed up. It’s important to note that this will not feel like a gliding motion because it is not like an elliptical.
When you feel like a pro at this, that is when we recommend you pick up the resistance bands and pull those in towards your back for an extra motion. You can also swing your arms like you’re jogging for an added benefit.
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What Are the Benefits of Using a Stepper Machine?
The absolute best part of the portable stepper machine is that you can do it anywhere and since it is portable, it can even travel with you. This way, you never have to miss a workout again. You can enjoy its benefits in the comfort of your own home.
In terms of health benefits, stepper machines are great for your balance, posture, core strength, cardio, and leg and arm definition. While that sounds like a lot of benefits for one very small machine, it is truly a full-body workout. You might not be breathing super heavily as if you were running, but you will certainly sweat and feel the soreness in your muscles the next day.
A lot of customers and influencers have raved about this product in terms of its benefits for weight loss and overall posture. Weight loss works differently for everyone, especially depending on your diet, but it is an easy way to get moving each day. All benefits depend on how consistent you are with the stepper, how long you use it for, and how much resistance you use while on it.
Why Did It Go Viral on TikTok?
@mirabel_elume Replying to @sunnyday1198 ♬ BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé
Originally, I heard of the portable stepper from TikTok creator @Mirabel_Elume (shown above). She marches on her portable stepper in almost every video she posts showing that it improved her posture, toned up her core, and helped her lose 22 pounds. She uses weights instead of the resistance bands, which is a great way to tone your arms. With some fun music playing in the background, it is no surprise why she went viral showing off the method that has finally worked for her body and mindset.
And not to mention how fun it is plop this bad boy right in front of your TV and you’re golden ❤️♬ Everybody get up – tiktok remix
Another creator that sparked some conversation around this method of working out is @auntieamandalee_. As a creator, she is known for her food content as well as supportive, comforting Auntie chats. However, she told her followers that she was going to try this stepper machine as a way to work out at home. In this video, she provides an update in that it is really making a difference in her leg muscle definition. She also points out that it is one of the easiest things to put in front of your TV because of how lightweight it is.
How Much Does a Stepper Machine Cost?
Portable stepper machines are extremely affordable. They are much cheaper than purchasing large, stationary gym equipment. While they can cost upwards of $600, there are several options for around $100 or even under. On the other hand, ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes can all be upwards of thousands of dollars. The fact that this machine is extremely light and portable makes it affordable, but also extremely convenient to use and therefore, worth the money.
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3 Best Portable Stepper Machines to Buy
If you’re interested in giving it a try, we want to make sure you have the best recommendations for a portable stepper machine. Here are three of the best based on customer reviews:
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper Stair Stepper, $69.99
This stepper is ranked as a bestseller on Amazon. As you can see, it comes with resistance bands and the foot plates are made with rubber, so that your sneakers do not slip when using this machine. It has a LCD monitor, which shows steps, time, and calories for the duration of use. You’ll need a battery to operate this machine.
For only $70, this is a great product to try when you are new to the stepper machine. It only weighs 15 pounds, so it is super lightweight considering the workout you will do. Reviewers on Amazon were super happy with the product quality and think it is easy to use and store away.
2. Tohoyard Mini Stepper, $129.99
This is another affordable portable stepper machine that is described as “quiet and compact,” which is convenient for any place in your home. It uses a lithium ion battery and has a weight limit of 330 lbs. Like the last product, it also has a monitor where you can track your steps.
Reviewers like this stepper a lot. In fact, one customer mentioned that they were afraid of falling off of the machine. However, they were pleasantly surprised how easy it was to use and they have not had any trouble using it at their own pace.
3. Women’s Health Men’s Health Cardio Stair Stepper, $295.80
This model is the most expensive one we recommend because it comes with free basic workout tracking on the MyCloudFitness App. You can convert the step height if needed as it has three levels and you can also adjust the resistance band length.
The maximum weight recommended while using this product is 250 lbs. Reviewers on Walmart say that it is super sturdy on the ground, which is important when using a portable stepper machine. Others recommend it for its quietness and weight loss benefits.
Do We Recommend the Portable Stepper Machine?
Not all workouts are created equal, but it certainly seems to work for people as they share their positive experiences online. As a result, we definitely recommend the portable stepper machine for a new at-home workout option.
There’s no guarantee that you will lose weight or enjoy this machine, but it helps that you can move it around the house for a change of scenery or even watch tv while using it. It’s important to think about your space and make sure that you will hold yourself accountable. If you haven’t been consistent in at-home workouts in the past, then maybe you should use the app that comes with the cardio stair stepper in order to have someone guide you through the workout.
Ultimately, it is another workout to add to the rotation, especially when the weather is not nice outside. You cannot go wrong trying to use this machine a little bit every day. It’s good for your mental health, heart health, and even body toning.