9 Ways to Burn More Calories on the Stair Climber

The stair climber has passed the test of time for a reason: it works!

The machine (this one has amazing reviews) engages various muscle groups in effective ways, including your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings.

If you’re looking to shed pounds, the stair climber is a great starting point, since it requires you to fire up so many different muscles. Check out the Aaptiv app for stair climber workouts here.

“Not only are you strengthening these muscles, but you’re also speeding up your metabolism,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics.

What’s more—for those suffering from a back injury—the stairmaster can help speed your recovery.

Here are some expert-approved stair climber tips to help you torch the most calories.

Avoid holding the hand rails

Handrails are not meant to be used for your entire workout. They’re really only there to aid in stability.

In fact, holding onto them can totally throw off your posture and balance, causing you to slump over and lose the core engagement that makes the stair climber a great workout in the first place, explains Chris Ryan, CSCS, founder of Chris Ryan Fitness.

“Safety is always key with any workout. Get comfortable at a pace you can handle without holding the hand rails, first,” he adds.

“Up the intensity slowly to get your heart rate at 80 percent of your maximum or above to get the max out of your workout. Engage your core by pulling your shoulder blades down.”

Check on your heart rate

If you can carry on a full conversation and are hardly out of breath, you’re probably not pushing yourself to your max; a great way to determine this is to keep an eye on your heart rate (this is our favorite tracker).

“You will release a greater amount of overall calories operating at 80 percent or above of your max heart rate through excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC effect) than you will operating in a low heart rate state for your work intervals,” explains Ryan. “Not to mention it will take less time to get a great workout!”

Take full steps

If you crank the speed dial up too high, you might have trouble catching each and every step. Not only could this lead to an injury, but it also shortens your range of motion.

This ultimately leads to less overall muscle recruitment and less calories burned, according to Ryan.

“The most effective way to step is as fast as possible, but with full steps engaging all the muscles in your legs and core,” he says. “The more muscle recruitment, the more calories burned.”

Use a weighted vest

Enlisting the help of a weighted vest (like this top seller) is an easy way to up the ante on your stair climber workout. Even just ten to 20 pounds makes a difference.

It’s a great way to add extra intensity to your overall workout and helps you get in shape fast; however, Ryan warns to take precaution.

“Adding too much weight may cause excess knee pain or overload your core too much to walk upright,” he says. Consider starting slow—with just five pounds of added weight, then upgrading to higher amounts of weight, as you feel comfortable.

Perform intervals

Most relatively new stair climber models have an interval setting that allows you to alternate between speeds and levels of intensity.

“Changing the speed sporadically is a much more efficient way of working on your stamina. sprint kills your energy too fast without giving you sufficient time to recover,” explains Backe.

“The low interval should always be longer than the high interval. ensures that you can finish the workout.”

For example, if you’re doing a 25 minute workout, aim for two minutes of low intensity and one minute of high intensity until you reach 20 minutes. At 20 minutes you can slowly work your way down to a few miles per hour, or less, explains Backe.

Aaptiv has workouts that you can perform HIIT intervals with the stair climber, treadmill, and more. View them in app today.

Skip a step

Once you have mastered the lighter grip, Melis Edwards, fitness trainer, coach, and founder of HIT Method, suggests climbing every other step.

Doing so will force you to fully engage your quadriceps, hips, hamstrings, glutes, and core further.

“This method mimics elevation climbing outside,” she explains. “Try this skip-a-step method for bouts of 30 seconds to one minute, each with equal recovery time. Slowly work your way up to performing it for two to five minutes at a time.”

Change position

The most popular position for the stair climber is to have your feet facing straight forward.

But, there are plenty of other positions that can give you an even more intense workout.

Edwards suggests shifting the angle of your feet 30 to 40 degrees in either direction and using a crossover stepping method. “I do this when I run on land, as well; the point is to work the lateral and medial aspects of my leg strength.”

Suit up

The more layers you wear, the more heated your body will be during the workout, and the more you will sweat; this is a great way to add more calories to your burn list.

Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan, suggests throwing on some sweatpants and a hoodie.

“I like the feeling of wearing a hood, jamming out with the headphones (like these top sellers) and watching the sweat pour throughout the body,” he says.

Just remember to stay hydrated and be careful not to overdo it. “Hydration will only help the sweating process. allow you to rid the body of toxins and help you shed off more fat!”

Add leg kicks

Throwing in this easy move will activate more glute muscles than simply performing the standard stepping motion, according to Boudro.

“Turn the setting down to a little bit slower so that you can get used to this motion,” he says.

“As you step forward with one leg, kick your opposite leg back behind you. your leg completely straight and squeeze your butt cheek at the very top.” Repeat on the other side.

“This will seriously tax your lower body and help you hack the number of calories you burn during your time with the machine,” he adds.

Aaptiv has trainers that can guide you through a fun HIIT workout. Check out all the classes you can take here.

Few things are better than seeing triple digits on your machine at the gym, indicating that you’ve burned some serious calories. But exercise machines and fitness trackers aren’t perfect and can even give numbers notably further from reality. Curious if climbing a flight of stairs or crushing a StairMaster workout burns as many calories as it feels like it does, we sought out the advice of Chris Kelly, an NASM-certified personal trainer.

Here’s the harsh truth: climbing one step results in burning 0.11 calories, according to a study in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal. This means you would need to go 10 steps in order to burn a single calorie – a distance most fitness trackers consider roughly equal to a flight of stairs, Chris told POPSUGAR. If one calorie seems low to you, it’s because that’s a very basic number.

He went on to explain that this number varies from person to person based on their weight, the intensity of the exercise, and other factors. Think about it. If you’re running up the stairs with ankle weights on, you’re going to burn more calories than someone walking without any resistance. If one of you weighed 100 pounds more than the other, that’s also going to impact the results.

Both the StairMaster and regular stairs can be an effective workout, but the machine has its advantages. “I have used the StairMaster in the past with clients because I’m able to track their intensity and monitor them easier than on regular stairs,” Chris said. Even if the machine doesn’t accurately read calories burned, you can use it to track your speed and the steepness of your climb, which can help you gauge your progress. Apply the same concepts to your workouts outside of the gym, and remember that resistance can work wonders.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Calorie Counts on Your Apple Watch

Calories Burned Activity Calculator

In order to lose weight we need to either;

  • consume less food
  • burn excess calories though activity

Use the calorie calculator to find out how many calories you burn for over 500 activities and exercises.

The calculator will also calculate how much weight you will lose for the burned calories.

Calories Burned Calculator

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Benefits Of Exercise

Studies show some of the extremely important benefits of exercise that do not necessarily involve weight loss including improved mood, stronger bones, and a reduced risk of many chronic diseases (1,2,3). It’s important to remember that exercising is not always about changing the way your body looks, but simply keeping it stronger and healthier throughout a lifetime.

Burning Excess Calories

Everything we do burn calories. The best way to achieve great weight loss results through exercise is to perform a combination of both weight training and aerobic exercises.

In order to get the greatest benefit from your daily activity, moderate to strenuous activity is recommended by health professionals. Running, cycling, dancing, walking and even housework can contribute to the extra calories you burn each day.

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic activity is a great way to burn excess calories you’ve consumed during the day. Some great options include running, walking, swimming or cycling.

At the gym the best exercises for cardio are the yoga, treadmills, rowers, steppers, bikes or elliptical trainers.

Weight Training

Weight training is important in calorie burning and weight loss, as it builds muscle. Muscle uses more calories throughout the day than fat does even when you’re resting.

Some great weight training activities include, squats, inverted rows, shoulder presses, bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, chin-ups and push-ups (on a bench or on knees)

Building muscle mass helps to reap the benefits of your regular exercise long after your workout is complete.

Top 5 Exercise For Weight Loss

1. Walking (LISS – Low Intensity, Steady State)

For women in particular, walking for an average of an hour 3 times per week has shown a significant decrease in body fat and a narrowed waist (4).

2. Weight Training

Weight training is the best way to increase the burning of body fat while maintaining lean mass on the body. Strength training is also the best way to prevent one of the worst side effects of weight loss through diet which can equally target muscles as much as it does fat (5).

3. Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a fat and calorie busting workout style that can be an especially powerful technique for weight loss. Using HIIT means increased fat burn, increased calorie burn, and increased muscle creation, all in a short timeframe (6).

4. Yoga

Yoga can be a surprising choice as a weight loss exercise. However, research shows that those who begin yoga regimens are significantly more likely to make healthier choices overall; nutritionally, physically, and emotionally. All of these tend to result in weighing less and generally being healthier (7).

5. Jogging/Running

Jogging or running can be particularly effective exercises for weight loss. Especially for those who are already fit enough to walk long distances with no trouble, increasing speed and intensity is the next step. Interval style training is a great way to boost weight loss (8).

Yoga makes you stronger and more flexible. On average, a 150lb person will burn around 240 calories in a typical 60 minute session.

Popular Calories Burned

Calories based on 150 lbs person for 60 mins

Gym ActivitiesCalories





Jumping Jacks/Star Jumps306



Sit ups220




Tae Bo555

Weight Lifting/Working Out204

Sport & TrainingCalories










Ice Hockey545

Ice Skating477


Kick Boxing650


Table Tennis/Ping Pong272

Roller Blade500


Singing (sitting)100






Tae kwon do681

Tai Chi285



Water Polo714



Running (5 mph)569

Running Cross-Country643


Walking Brisk271


Outdoor ActivitiesCalories



Horse Riding178


Stair Climbing482

Walk Dog214

Walk Stroller100

Washing Car204

Self CareCalories

Brushing Teeth200

Sex (moderate)210

Sex (vigorous)357


Home ActivitiesCalories




House Cleaning214


Making The Bed142

Preparing Dinner136



Washing Dishes164

Watching TV68

Lawn & GardenCalories






Washing Windows204

7 Workout Habits You Should Drop Now

Are you spending hours working out every week, and not getting the results you want? Chances are you might have a bad habit or two when it comes to exercising. Never fear, there’s a quick fix for even the most ingrained workout no-nos. Check out these 7 workout habits you should drop: Not only will ditching these help you lose the pounds, they will help you become a more efficient exerciser.

1) The elliptical. I’m not a fan of the elliptical. Not only is it the most boring piece of equipment in the gym, it is also extremely ineffective. First off, the elliptical doesn’t use a natural body motion to work your body. Workouts that use natural motions like running, bending, or jumping are much more effective at toning muscles. Sure, the gliding motion of the elliptical burns calories, but that’s about it. It is also easy to slack off on the elliptical. With the treadmill you at least have to keep up with the pace you set. On the elliptical you start off with guns blazing, and 10 minutes later you are crawling along like a turtle. You are much better off doing a 20-minute cross training circuit (burpees, jumping rope, jumping squats, etc.) than 45 minutes of slogging along on the elliptical. If you are looking for another low impact exercise, try the rowing machine. This will get your heart rate up, and also work your upper body and back.

2) Working out for long periods of time at a moderate pace. When it comes to working out, slow and steady does NOT win the race. Maximize your time, people! Instead of working out for an hour at an easy-to-moderate intensity level, step it up a notch. Challenge yourself to 30 minutes of nonstop, intense exercise. You can take 15- to 30-second breaks, but move quickly from one workout to the next. Give it 100% for 30 minutes, instead of 75% for an hour. Need ideas for shorter, high intensity workouts? Check out 15 Minutes to Change Fat to Muscle.

3) Lollygagging. You know that girl at the gym who’s always fixing her hair in the mirror? Don’t be her. Come to the gym with a time frame and a plan. This means no wandering around, no texting your boyfriend in between reps. Come with a set workout to complete, limiting your water breaks to specific points in your circuit for a designated amount of seconds. If this means writing down your regimen, great! Tattoo it to your arm! Whatever! Make the most of your time. Get in, get out. No one likes a gym rat.

4) Too much cardio. Too little strength training. But cardio burns more calories, right? Not so fast, lady. Sure, an hour on the treadmill gives you that instant satisfaction of burning 400 calories. Or so that little blinking screen says. A quick strength training or cross training session, however, will get your heart rate up, burn calories, and develop your lean muscle mass. Building muscle means that those muscles are able to work throughout the day burning more calories when you aren’t working out.

5) Hydrating with sports drinks. Sports drinks may give you a boost, but are full of sugar and calories. During any given daily workout, hydrating with plain ol’ water should do the trick just fine. If you feel tired during your workout, try fueling before. Eating a healthy snack 45 minutes before your workout can give you more energy, and allow you to skip the Gatorade. Try some almond butter on toast.

6) Doing the same exercises over and over again. When you do the same workout routine over and over, your body gets used to it and it becomes easier. The Stairmaster might have been challenging at one point, but pretty soon your muscles become familiar with that motion. Your body only uses half the energy to complete this task that at one point had you huffing and puffing your way to the locker room. Mix it up. By changing your workouts daily you will trick your body into working harder and burning more calories. It will also save you from boredom! Take that new kickboxing class or try one of my workouts!
7) Going it alone. Working out alone can be great. It gives you time to clear your mind, listen to music, and feel the burn. However, sometimes it takes a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Working out with a partner not only makes it more likely that you’ll work out, it makes most people try harder than they would on their own. Your partner can cheer you on to finish that last half mile or to finish those last four deadlifts. And let’s not forget the power of good old-fashioned competition. If your friend is doing 50 lunges, don’t you suddenly feel inspired to do 51?

Now that you’ve dropped those pesky habits, try a new workout: 4 Fitness Trends You Need to Know About.

Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+and on Pinterest.

How (In)Accurate Are Calorie Counters at the Gym?

After 30 minutes of sweating on the elliptical, you look down at the console (326 calories burned-not bad!) and start feeling pretty triumphant about your cardio session. After all, you just torched off the calories in the turkey sandwich you had for lunch! Or did you? We went to the experts to find out just how accurate your calorie readout really is. Read on to see which machines you can trust, plus tips on how to maximize your burn.


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Why pound your joints on the treadmill when you can burn just as many calories getting in the elliptical groove while you watch Real Housewives? Here’s why: A recent study named the elliptical trainer the least accurate when it comes to calorie counting, with most machines overestimating your burn by 42 percent, says Jay Cardiello, SHAPE fitness editor-at-large and founder of the JCORE Accelerated Body Transformation System.

Why are elliptical machines so off base? Unlike treadmills, which can closely replicate your normal gait, the movement of the elliptical is not a natural motion, Cardiello says. Ellipticals also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of the range of motion, so a ‘standard’ just is not feasible. Plus, while using the arm levers (handles) will increase your heart rate, your arms don’t weigh a lot compared to your hips, butt, and leg muscles, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University. “So don’t confuse a pronounced increase in heart rate from more arm movement to mean a pronounced increase in calories expended.”

Boost your burn: If you really want to maximize your calorie burn, try not to rely on this machine too often. The elliptical works well in cross-training cardio circuits because you spend a shorter amount of time on it (as sort of a recovery break in between two higher-intensity machines such as the treadmill and the stair mill, for example). If you can’t bare the thought of stepping on a treadmill, use this ramped up routine to get the most out of your time on the elliptical.

Stair Stepper

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Hang out at a gym long enough, and you’ll notice a trend among most stair-stepper users: They lean over the console while taking super-short, quick strides instead of using their full range of motion. What’s so bad about that? Leaning forward can decrease your total calorie burn by as much as 50 percent, Olson says. And even if you make it through your session without looking like a hunchback, most stair steppers still overestimate your total burn by about 20 percent, she adds.

Here’s why: “Many models calculate the ‘gross energy expenditure’ and not the ‘net energy expenditure.’ Gross energy expenditure includes your resting metabolic rate, or the calories you would burn anyway,” Olson says. “What you really need to know is how many more calories above your resting metabolic rate you are burning.” So if the machine reads 400 calories burned, a 20-percent adjustment to find your net number reveals that the stair stepper workout is responsible for 320 of those 400 calories. “In other words, the workout caused you to burn 320 calories, and you would have burned the additional 80 sitting and reading a book anyway.”

Boost your burn: Always stand up straight and only hold onto the handrails lightly (if necessary). If your gym has a stepmill-the machine with the big moving staircase-try using it instead of a stair-climber or stepper, which only require your legs to make small movements. It isn’t easy (there’s a reason a stepmill is always open when all the treadmills are taken!), but it’s worth the sweat.

Try this fat-blasting plan once and you’ll discover why, in the quest to lose the jiggle, it pays to take the stairs.


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Good news for treadmill fans: Experts agree that the calorie counter is pretty accurate, especially if you input your weight and don’t use the handrails. The problem is that many treadmills don’t ask for your weight and use a reference of about 155 lbs, Olson says. That means if you weigh 135 lbs, you’re really burning about 15 percent fewer calories than the machine says (300 calories vs. 255 calories, for example).

Relying on the handrails-especially during higher inclines or while running at high speeds-can throw off your reading by as much as 40 percent (that 300 calories burned just became 180). And we’re not just talking about the people who pull themselves up a hill for 20 minutes. Placing even just a slight amount of weight on the support rails can decrease the actual calories burned by 20 percent (or more), Olson says.

Boost your burn: To maximize your treadmill time, avoid the handrails and be sure to practice good posture. “Slumping over can have a major impact on your oxygen intake, making your workout harder,” Cardiello says.

If you can, take your run outdoors whenever possible. “Running outdoors is more difficult on the body. And you can’t equally compare the distance and speed with your treadmill run vs. outdoor running; the calibration and physical stress is less from the treadmill than your outdoor trail run.”

Can’t make it outside? Go a little longer (or farther) with your indoor session to make up for the terrain difference, or try this fat-blasting interval routine.

Stationary Bike

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Stationary bikes are in their own class of cardio machines because they support your body weight, Olson says. “If the bike is calculating calories based on technical data such as METs (metabolic equivalents) and watts (which measures power output), the calorie readout can be very accurate.” In fact, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco’s Human Performance Center found stationary bikes to be the most accurate of all cardio machines, with an overestimation of only seven percent.

One thing to keep in mind: A bike can’t determine your pedaling technique, which could throw off your final count, Olson says. “For example, you will burn more calories if you are using a standing climb posture at a heavy resistance, compared to seated pedaling at the same resistance. This is because when you stand and climb, you are no longer weight supported.” How big is the difference? According to Olson, a 15-minute standing climb burns about 15 percent more calories than seated pedaling at the same resistance.

Boost your burn: Pedal with purpose! You’ll burn fewer calories overall (seated or standing) if you pedal without enough resistance. Try this killer cycling routine to blast 500 calories in 35 minutes!

The Bottom Line

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Take your calories-burned readout with a grain of salt. Too many machines ignore important factors such as your weight, use of handrails, or fitness level, which makes a big difference, Cardiello says. ” is the biggest factor. How can a 200-lb, out-of-shape man and a 165-lb male considered to be in excellent physical condition burn the same amount of calories? They don’t!”

Instead of relying solely on calorie counts, try monitoring your heart rate during cardio sessions or gauge your efforts using perceived rate of exertion. The “talk test” makes it easy to determine if you’re really working hard (if you’re gasping for air while trying to sing the lyrics of a song, you are at a near maximum intensity, Cardiello says).

  • By Jessica Smith @jessicasmithtv

Treadmill Calorie Calculator

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Our Calories Burned Calculator helps you to determine how many calories you burn while Bicycling, Walking, Running or Running on a Treadmill.

Running, Bicycling and Walking Calorie Calculator
Your Weight: lbs Kg
Activity Duration: Hours Mins

Activities’ Total Calories

You can scroll down the list of exercises below to see the calories burned, or alternatively you can search for exercises from the list. Due to the number of exercises, the search will typically be more useful.

Search Exercises:

Activity METs Calories Burned Add To Total

Note: Always consult your doctor before commencing a weight loss program. This tool is not relevant to children or pregnant women.

The treadmill is one of the most utilized pieces of cardio equipment in the gym, at home, or anywhere else where the goal is to lose weight and/or improve cardiovascular health/endurance.

But is the performance monitor on most treadmills accurate when it comes to telling us how many calories we’ve burned during each session? Well, we’d assume most treadmill displays are probably somewhere in the vicinity of accuracy depending on the quality of equipment used.

But a treadmill’s own built-in device isn’t the only way to determine energy expended during a workout which is why we’ve created our treadmill calorie calculator for something to compare against. But we’ll get back to that shortly after we talk a little about how calories are determined based on several factors which need to be determined in order to get the most accurate numbers.

How Calories Burned is Determined

There are several different criteria for determining how many calories are burned during a treadmill session. So… let’s talk about each one.

Weight – The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn over the course of a distance when compared to someone weighing less covering the same distance at the same rate. This piece of info is very important for ensuring accuracy.

You should include the weight of your clothes and shoes when entering your weight.

Intensity – Your level of exertion is a big factor in how many calories you burn as you’ll be uptaking more oxygen and your heart will be working harder to pump blood as you walk, jog, or run.

Speed – The faster you move on a treadmill means the more distance you’ll cover in a shorter time.

Stride – The more steps you take means more calories burned.

Incline – This is another obvious one but moving on an inclined surface takes more effort, therefore, you’ll be expending more energy to maintain this.

Now to factor in the intensity factor for total calories burned, you’ll need to have your heart rate monitored during your workout and this will provide you with the best estimate. So, you can use a heart rate monitor device if it’s attached to the treadmill or set up your own through a wireless connection if the treadmill supports it.

Otherwise, if your heart rate is not taken into consideration then you may not have the most accurate results for calories burned.

Treadmill Calorie Calculator

The treadmill calorie calculator not only calculates calories burned from treadmill sessions but it’s also useful for most types of activities.

So, you’ll type in your weight in lbs or kg followed by your activity duration and then select from the activities list (or perform a search) to determine overall calories burned.

The calculator is rather simple and it’s a great tool for determining your calories burned during exercise. So, be sure to keep it handy during your activities.

For the latest news and updates please follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Exercise Calorie Calculator Help – Information

The calories burned calculator calculates an estimate of the number of calories burned for a wide range of activities. Enter your weight and the duration of exercise, click the calculate button and the calculator will calculate the calories burned.

The calculations are based on the activities Metabolic Equivalent (MET). This is an estimate of how much energy an activity burns as a multiple of an individuals resting metabolic rate (RMR). One MET is considered the energy expended at rest, while an exercise that was, say, 5 METs would expend approximately 5 times the energy than in a resting state.

It is common to use METs to estimate an individuals energy consumption during an activity through the equation:
Calories expended (kcal) = METs x (Weight in Kg) x (Duration in Hours)

The calculator allows you to total the energy expended during a number of activities. Simply click the “Add to Total” link next to the exercise once the calories have be computed. This will add this exercise to a list of exercises at the top to be added to a total calorie expenditure and the total calories of your added activities as well as their total duration will be displayed. You can also remove exercises from your total once added.

When using this calculator, it is important not to add the calories here to your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or the related estimate of the number of calories you burn a day from our calorie calculator, as the energy expenditure here includes your resting metabolic rate for the duration of the exercise.

This calories burned calculator is used to produce an estimate of the number of calories burned in various activities, however these estimates are based on the findings of experiments that generalize accross people. A given individuals energy expenditure may vary from that shown due to the persons individual characteristics as well as the intensity of your exercise.

Much of the research for this calorie calculator was based on the Wikipedia entry on Metabolic Equivalent. The MET values for this calculator were adopted from the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

Disclaimer: Please understand that these calculations are based on scientific formulas that generalize between people, and as such may not be relevant in all cases. Additionally, this calorie calculator is not applicable to children or pregnant women. Always consult your doctor before commencing a weight loss program.

How Many Calories Does a Stair Stepper Burn?

The calories you burn using a stair stepper depend on your weight and the intensity of your workout. For instance, someone who weighs 175 pounds and workouts for 30 minutes will burn about 243 calories. A person doing that same workout, but who weighs 130 pounds, will burn 162 calories.

This discrepancy boils down to energy requirements. Heavier people need to use more effort because they are moving a more substantial mass. The same goes for intensity, where a higher pace requires more energy than a slower one. If you are curious about how many calories you would burn on a stair stepper, you can use this calculator.

How Does a Stair Stepper Work?

A stair stepper works by simulating the movements of walking up a flight of stairs. As the name suggests, a stair stepper, also known as a StairMaster, is a stationary fitness machine. The device uses a rotating set of steps so that the user can walk indefinitely. Stair stepping is a more robust version of a cardio workout, though, because of the built-in incline.

Generally, during a walking workout, an individual moves along a flat surface at their desired pace. The stair stepper, however, forces more concerted action on the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes with each step. That is because the person must not only move forward to continue the workout but also fight against gravity in the process.

What Are the Benefits of a Stair Stepper?

Cardio Benefits

The largest benefit of a stair stepper is the rigorous cardio workout you get from using it. The machine taxes your heart and lungs and bolsters your overall aerobic fitness. It also strengthens your heart as it can more easily pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body, especially during rigorous exercise.

Additionally, stair steppers are an enhanced form of calorie burning. Remember, 30 minutes on a stair stepper burns 243 and 162 calories, respectively, for people weighing 175 and 130 pounds. Consider this. Someone walking briskly on a firm surface would only burn 180 and 133 calories during the same amount of time.

Stronger Muscles

Stair steppers are a tremendous resource for fast and intense calorie burns. Using the machine targets visceral fats that the body stores along the waistline, hips, and intestines. Of course, the stair steppers also work to strengthen and tone your core and leg muscles.

Your hamstrings and calves will be the biggest winners of any stair-stepping routine. These are the muscles located in the back of your tight and lower leg. These are vital anything you need to bend your knee to step up or push off the ground. Stair stepping requires both with every step, so your hamstrings and calves will get a thorough workout.

Another winner is the glutes. These buttock muscles are among the strongest and are essential to the movement of the hip and thigh. Your body needs the glutes to thrust forward with each step, which is why your backside may be sore after an especially intense workout.

Let’s not forget about your core, either. While stair-stepping primarily uses the legs, it also requires stomach muscles. That is because each step works to expand and contract your center. The result is stronger muscles that can improve your posture, stabilizing your gait, and reduce lower back pain.


Working out can be monotonous. Fortunately, stair steppers have a variety of built-in programs to ensure you get a different workout every time. For instance, you can do sessions that specifically target your glutes or an interval workout where you change pace every minute or two.

Temptation Bundling

If these perks are not enough, many stair steppers come with computer monitors where you can watch TV to take your mind off the exercise. If you are not inclined to use a stair stepper, the monitor can be an excellent form of temptation bundling. Temptation bundling is a way of combining a “temptation” with another activity to engage in the desired behavior and adopt positive habits.

Let’s say you find yourself continuously avoiding your trips to the gym. An incentive may be to watch your favorite show only when you are exercising. There are mini steppers available which are more suited for the home due to their portability and size. The combination of the thing you love with the activity you want to do is a form of temptation bundling and ensures you get the result you want.

Last Updated on November 27, 2019

A mini stepper machine is an effective way to get yourself a great, low impact, cardio workout that can additionally offer you the opportunity to tone up those thighs and calves. Think about using this type of fitness equipment as climbing stairs in front of the TV and you get the picture.

If your ankles, knees, and hips suffer when you run or if you are carrying a little to much weight and don’t want to risk damaging your joints, a mini stepper could be ideal for you.

Forcing the footplates downwards (without bouncing!) mimics stair climbing. We all know that climbing stairs for a few flights can get the heart rate up! When your heart rate is up with physical exertion then you are burning calories and potentially promoting weight loss.

The added benefit is that you are using leg muscles so you will contribute to improved leg tone from the extra exercise a stepper can give you.

All in all, this could be a convenient piece of equipment to promote your fitness with, aid weight loss and improve the tone of your legs. The problem is how do you pick one? There are multiple options and styles, which should you go for?

Check out our top picks and reviews.

Our Top Picks

Click the link to get the latest prices. Visit our reviews below to get more details on each choice.

  • Best Mini Stepper: Xiser Commercial Grade Mini Stepper
  • Best Value Mini Stepper: Golds Gym Mini Stepper
  • Mini Stepper With Handlebars: Sunny Health & Fitness Stepper With Handles
  • Best Mini Stepper With Resistance Bands: Sunny Health & Fitness Stepper With Resistance Bands
  • Mini Stepper With Twist Action: Sunny Mini Stepper/Twister

Mini Stepper Reviews

Best Mini Stepper Twister – Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Twister Stepper

There are few twisters available on the market but the one that stands out as the most highly rated is the Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Twister Stepper.

It comes with a number of features – it has an adjustable step height, variable tension to make workouts harder, twist function, LCD display (tracking steps, calories, time) and features resistance bands that can give you an upper-body workout whilst you twist or help you boost your heart rate for increased calorie burn.

Additionally, this twister has a small footprint at 18.5x16x8 (WxLXH) and a great weight capacity at 250 lbs. This machine is small enough to slide under a bed or put away in a closet when your workout is finished.

However, this equipment does have some issues – it is not perfect. It comes with a manufacturer’s recommendation to use for 15 minutes at a time due to the overheating of the hydraulic cylinders. Additionally, users report that it can get squeaky over time, can be difficult to adjust tension and LCD monitor and cables can break over time.

All in all, these are minor user gripes and this model scores favorably with reviewers on the net securing its top spot for best twister stepper.

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Best Mini Stepper With Handle – Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper With Handlebars

If a mini stepper with a handlebar is attracting you as the best option for your circumstances then the Sunny model mentioned previously in the handlebar variant could be the best option for you. With handlebars, this equipment stands at 48 inches tall. It does not feature the resistance bands of the standard twister and, strangely, does not feature the variable tension.

Users confirm it does need assembly on delivery but is not too complex that you need any special tools and despite the slightly lower technical spec it does get a higher rating than the standard model.

It does suffer from similar drawbacks to the standard model – it does have a reputation for getting squeaky, does have a user time limit and may not give a thorough workout for your average gym bunny.

If you are concerned your balance may not be good enough to use a standard stepper then this is the model for you.

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Best Mini Stepper With Resistance Bands – Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper

If you think a standard mini stepper is not going to give you the workout you need and you don’t own dumbbells then a model with resistance bands might bridge the gap for you. The most highly rated stepper with resistance bands is not the Sunny Twister but rather the bog-standard Sunny Mini Stepper.

The resistance bands should help you get your heart rate up if you are finding stepping too easy.

This model obviously doesn’t have the twist-action of the sister model but like the twister model features a small footprint, adjustable tension, non-slip pedals, LCD display and takes a user up to 220 lbs. It also seems to suffer from fewer defects than other models in the Sunny range. However, some users report issues with leaking shocks over time but this is not a widespread issue that has helped make this one of Sunny’s most popular models.

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Best Mini Stepper – Golds Gym

If you want a basic model mini stepper machine without additional bells and whistles then the Golds Gym model is the most highly rated basic model on the market. It’s only negative aspect is that it only has one resistance setting. Apart from that, this model is renowned for build quality.

Unlike the Sunny models, the Golds Gym actually has no issues with squeaking hydraulic cylinders, high levels of customer satisfaction and a slightly smaller footprint at 16x13x8.

This model will take a max user weight of 250 lbs and does not have time restrictions on use – you can go as long as you want.

The Golds Gym is relatively feature free but does come equipped with an LCD display that can give you basic data on your workout.

Golds Gym has focused on build quality and no-nonsense features with this model but this has reaped benefits with widespread positive reviews from users over the net.

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Commercial Mini Stairmaster – Xiser Commercial Mini Stepper

If money is no object and quality is everything you may be tempted to buy a commercial model. Perhaps you have owned one of the other models discussed and have suffered from build quality issues or have found your fitness levels have outstripped other domestic equipment. In either case, the Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster could be the equipment for you.

Commercial steppers are going to take lots of punishment so build quality has to be fantastic. Gym users are also going to be fitter than average so the equipment has to be capable of giving a worthwhile workout. This is where the Xiser excels. Here are some of its notable features, good and bad, as identified by owners :


  • Stylish polished airframe grade alloy construction.
  • 5-year consumer warranty, 1-year gym warranty.
  • Adjustable resistance.
  • 100% USA manufactured.
  • No time restrictions – use as long as you want.
  • A patented hydraulic configuration that allows for HIIT workouts or steady-state workouts.
  • Very quiet in use.
  • A good, hard workout is possible for fit people.
  • Not comparable to the average domestic mini stepper in terms of build quality or use – far superior.


  • May need a mat beneath to prevent scratches to tiled or timber floors.
  • Adjusting resistance requires the use of a screwdriver or quarter.
  • Needs minor assembly on delivery – under 5 mins.

Clearly, the Xiser is built to last and is a high-quality construction. Additionally, you are guaranteed a good workout no matter how fit you are. The quality allows for extreme use and any machine that can take the stresses of a HIIT workout is going to last the course. For these reasons, as well as the fact it simply looks great we are going to confirm the Xiser as our top choice.

>>Check Here For The Latest Price On Amazon<<

Which Type of Mini Stepper Should I Choose?

Life would be simple if there was just one style to choose from but unfortunately there isn’t. You can get steppers with a twisting action, units with handlebars, equipment with resistance bands and even extra hard-wearing commercial-style models. Here we will guide you through the pros and cons of each type so you can make an informed decision as to which is going to suit your needs most. Then we will identify the best in each category for you so you can get the best model on the market to suit your needs.

Mini Stepper Twister vs Mini Stepper?

When you look for a stepper you’ll find twister steppers, plain steppers, and mini ellipticals. All a bit confusing. Mini ellipticals are covered here, they are very different from steppers and involve a different style of workout so we won’t comment on them here other than to say you can check out the differences here.

Twisters and standard steppers differ in as much as the footplates on the twister have an uneven stepping motion. The step motion semi rotates as the footplate is depressed and then rises. It seems to be a bit of a novelty but there is thinking behind it. The idea is that the twisting stepper motion recruits more muscles in the thigh as the footplates are depressed. The motion creates additional stress on the outer and inner muscles of the thigh giving a workout to more of your thighs than a standard up-down stepper might give you.

Before you go thinking “that’s for me”, there are practical considerations to evaluate here. How balanced are you going to be when you use such a machine? Are you going to have a nearby handhold or not? Might you want to use your hands for other exercises? Perhaps you might be considering using dumbbells at the same time?

If you are well co-ordinated, have little intention of doing other exercises simultaneously and want a better thigh workout than the standard stepper a twister could be for you.

With or Without Handle Bar?

Should you get a model with handlebars? Both twisters and standard steppers are available with handlebars. Handlebars can be a nice safety feature if you are a little unbalanced on your feet but do have some disadvantages.

The two main disadvantages are that they take up more storage space and they reduce the opportunity you might have to do some upper body workouts whilst stepping. On the other hand, a twister stepper can be difficult to use without a balancing aid so a handlebar can be particularly useful on a twister model.

On a standard mini stepper machine, the handlebars may be overkill if you already have a reasonable balance or you have a spare table or chair back you can use until you are confident enough to do without.

With Tension Bands?

If you are after a bit of an upper-body workout whilst you step, then a stepper with resistance bands might be appealing. The bands attach to the base of the stepper for secure anchorage and can then be used to carry out arm curls or the like whilst stepping. The effect is to increase the possible aerobic workout you get and to offer a bit of upper body strength training whilst you step.

This option certainly adds more exercise options whilst maintaining easy storage options for the equipment. Additionally, if you are a little unsteady then a stepper with resistance bands might be ideal as you may get additional stability from holding the resistance bands.

However, be sure to check the rating of the bands on offer – are they going to offer enough resistance? Would you be better off with a set of dumbbells that could offer more practical exercise options?

Commercial or Domestic?

Should you opt for a domestic or commercial model? Putting your whole body weight through a stepper is going to create pressure and wear on joints and components.

Carefully investigate whether the model you are interested in can really withstand the punishment it will go through if it is used regularly. You can check online reviews easily these days to evaluate models’ reliability.

It may be worth buying a cheap option first to see if the style of equipment is really for you or whether it will be discarded after a period of time before opting for an expensive commercial model.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Mini Stepper?

The beauty of mini stepper machines is that they are cheaper than lots of other fitness equipment and are small so easy to store or move around. Do these obvious benefits of a compact stepper include any health benefits?

How Do You Use Them?

Compact step machines are pretty straightforward to use. You simply step onto the footplates and power the footplate’s downward alternatively with each foot in a stepping motion. The footplates offer resistance through hydraulics, which on many machines can be regulated depending on your fitness levels. The secret to getting the most out of the machine is to avoid cheating by bouncing the foot-pedals, you need to use thigh and leg power to depress the footplates rather than body weight.

There are more advanced portable step machines on the market now which allow you to carry out basic upper body exercises using resistance bands built into the stepper. With these bands, you can do arm curls and the like whilst stepping through your routine.

How many calories can you burn on a mini stepper?

As we can see from the rundown on how to use a mini exercise stepper the type of exercise you are going to get will be low impact cardiovascular exercise with a dollop of light resistance exercise. This cardio exercise will burn calories. Burning calories in exercise depend on factors such as your current weight, duration of exercise, etc. Not all fitness machines or types of exercise burn calories at the same rate per hour. For a general idea of how many calories you might burn on a stepper with moderate exercise for 30 mins, you can check this link: Calories Burned Estimator. If you compare calories burned compared to other machines the results are interesting. For myself, a 180lbs individual, I might expect to burn 286 calories in 30mins using a stepper. This would be the same if I was using a rowing machine, doing light jogging, or carrying out low impact aerobics. However, on an exercise bike at 10mph I might burn closer to 450 calories in 30 mins. So you will burn calories but maybe not as much as on other types of exercise machines.

Can you lose weight with these compact step machines?

If you can burn calories you can lose weight. Simply put, if you absorb more calories through diet than your body uses in normal daily functions your body will store excess calories for later use in the form of body fat.

Regular use of a portable home stepper will help you use more calories than you would normally use. It is generally recommended that you should only look to lose one pound of body weight a week. To achieve this you would have to burn 3500 calories by exercise over the course of the week, to achieve this with a mini stepper I would have to do a 52-minute workout each day. Alternatively, I could cut my calorie intake by 250 calories a day and do a shorter 30-minute workout and get the same result. Either way use of a mini stepper can help you lose weight but you have to be disciplined in your approach and use of the machine.

Are Mini Steppers Good For Toning Thighs?

As well as helping to lose weight a portable step machine can be used to tone up your legs. The resistance your legs meet when forcing the footplates downward not only give a cardio workout but also help strengthen and tone the various leg muscles used in the stepping action. The main muscles used are the thigh muscles but calves, hip muscles, and gluts also get worked out. Within about a month of regular use, you should notice thighs and legs becoming more toned.

To conclude you can get some benefits of using this type of equipment. You should be able to lose weight and tone your legs, hips, and rear with consistent use. The machine will also offer a light but useful work out for your heart and lungs. You can get equipment that will work all these areas quicker and harder but for a cheap and easy to store machine the stepper offers some unbeatable benefits.

Our Top Choice Of Mini Stepper

The Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster is simply the best on the market offering gym like performance, reliability, build quality and awesome levels of user satisfaction. If you buy this you simply will have the best on the market and it will last you years.

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Are Exercise Steppers Good For Weight Loss?

Exercise steppers are ideal for working out at home.

Using an aerobic stepper regularly can help you:

• Improve your cardio fitness

• Strengthen your lower body

• Burn calories

• De-stress

• Release endorphins

They’re lightweight and easy to use. Plus they can be stored away at home and brought out when needed. As you progress, add height and/or small weights to increase intensity.

How do I lose weight using an exercise stepper?

Losing weight is no mean feat, and with so many different diets and slimming programmes around, it’s difficult to know where to start. However, if your waistband is starting to feel a little tight and you’re looking to drop a few pounds, then the good old-fashioned approach of healthy eating, balanced with exercise, plenty of water and sleep, is the way to go.

Here are some of the things you can do to help:

• Do HIIT based workouts – High Intensity Interval Training is a great way of burning fat and you can do this using an exercise stepper and a timer. A good ratio of time for HIIT workouts is 2:1 (intensity : rest). So pick a high intensity stepper exercise, such as lateral jump squats, plank jacks – with your feet on the stepper – or tuck jumps over the stepper; these are all intense exercises. Do them as hard as you can for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds, then start again. Do this for as many rounds as you can, but if you can aim for 10 rounds or more then this will stand you in good stead.

• Build muscle – a good way of burning a few extra calories while at rest is by having a higher percentage of muscle mass. This is because your body uses more calories to maintain muscle than it does fat. Strengthening therefore is key and you can use an exercise stepper to build muscle mass. Add ankle weights and wrist weights – or even hold a medicine ball – to increase the intensity while performing exercises such as lateral jumping squats and step knee pull downs. You can also use the stepper to work on other areas of your body by doing tricep dips, jack knives, incline and decline push ups and incline plank. You can also supplement your stepper workout with some free-weight exercises.

• Exercise regularly – exercise can help you lose weight as well as maintain it, so even if you’re not trying to shred a few extra pounds, exercising regularly will help you avoid putting weight on. Fitting an hour on the stepper into your routine everyday – or as often as you can – will not only burn calories but help to increase your metabolism.

• Challenge your body – your body is a master of adaptation – keep doing the same routine and it will learn how to be more efficient (and therefore burn fewer calories) while you do it. To ensure that you are burning the maximum amount of calories during every sweat session, make sure you keep switching up your routine which in turn will keep your body guessing and metabolism high. Change the height of your stepper, switch up the intensity, challenge yourself and mix it up with both strengthening and cardio.

Lower body workout using an exercise stepper

A great way to shape your body as well as burn a few extra calories is by strengthening your muscles. You can do this by using an exercise stepper – increase the intensity by adding extra raiser blocks and heavier weights.

Here are some good strengthening exercises you can do using an exercise stepper:

Bulgarian split squats

This is a normal lunge but with the back foot resting on the stepper behind you, allowing you to front-load your weight. Hold dumbbells with your arms down by your side as you lunge, or bicep curl as you lower yourself down for added movement.

Posture check: Make sure you keep your chest elevated, shoulders down and hips square facing forward.

Elevated lunge

These are lunges but with your front foot on your stepper. You can either do front elevated lunges – which open up your hips and ramp up the intensity on your quads – or backward elevated lunges which make your glutes work harder.

Posture check: Make sure your hips are fully-extended and bring your knee down to the floor, before focusing on pushing yourself back up with a good level of power.

Elevated jump side lunge with step

Use the stepper to jump from side-to-side so you have one foot on the stepper and the other on the ground, squat and push back up to swap sides. Focus on power and elevation and use extra height blocks to up the intensity.

Posture check: Make sure you are keeping your weight on the foot that is on the ground as you squat down. Keep your legs wide and your squat deep to target your glutes.

Box jumps

Start with a low step and then build the height as you go. With the stepper in front of you, squat down keeping your spine straight and your bum pushed out then jump up with both feet up onto the platform. Squat down and then push up and jump back down, landing back into a squat.

Posture check: Keep your hips open and your feet wide as you squat.

If you’d like to do more strengthening exercises at home, check out our complete upper body workout using resistance bands.

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Running Calorie Calculator

2020/01/26 04:40 Male / 40 years old level / An office worker / A public employee / Very / Purpose of use I like to understand the calorific expenditure of running with my dogs Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. 2020/01/23 05:52 Male / 60 years old level or over / Elementary school/ Junior high-school student / Useful / Purpose of use To see how many of them cookies I can eat cuz imma chunky 60 year old in elementary school 2020/01/16 21:38 Male / 40 years old level / An office worker / A public employee / Very / Purpose of use This tells me how many biscuits I can get away with before I turn into a chubster. 2020/01/16 00:35 Female / 30 years old level / An office worker / A public employee / A little / Purpose of use curiosity/ seeing if the treadmill is accurate Comment/Request treadmill said 380 cals, another website said 450 cals and this one says 334 cals. I am an overweight female so I think it should be on the higher end. 2020/01/14 06:49 Female / Under 20 years old / Elementary school/ Junior high-school student / Useful / Purpose of use To check how many calories I burned after exercise. 2020/01/08 04:47 Male / 40 years old level / An office worker / A public employee / A little / Purpose of use curious 2019/11/21 02:26 Female / 40 years old level / A teacher / A researcher / Useful / Purpose of use Noticed a big difference in estimated calories between Endomondo and Garmin Connect and wanted a third opinion (this one was very similar to Endomondo) 2019/11/19 04:12 Male / 20 years old level / A homemaker / Useful / Purpose of use Checking how accurate my app is 2019/11/16 02:48 Male / 50 years old level / Others / Useful / Purpose of use Checking calories burnt running 2019/11/13 06:25 Male / 50 years old level / A retired person / Useful / Purpose of use running as a hobby

What Are The Calories Burned On A Treadmill At An Incline?

Goran Bogicevic/.com
By Simon Gould

Treadmills are great for losing weight because you burn so many calories when exercising on them. It’s that your moving your body weight against gravity and no other cardio machine can do it like a treadmill. This is probably why they’re so popular. The incline is good because you can burn even more calories in the same amount of time. Here we look at how inclines affect calorie burn.

Calculating the amount of calories burned

For this I’ll be using my favorite treadmill calorie burn calculator. As you can see it’s got all the necessary information you need to put in to help it determine how many calories you’re using. Most importantly for this case we have the gradient input. This is where we input the incline percentage and we’re told the calories burned based on it.

What I’ll do is show the calories burned from exercising on the flat and then at an incline. To make a treadmill like exercising outside you should put the incline at 1% so the science says. For jogging and running you shouldn’t exercise on an incline for too long a period because it’s bad for your joints.



We’ll take the average speed for walking on this one which is 3.1 mph. We’ll also take the weight for the subjects when they’re walking flat and at an incline. We’ll take the incline at flat, 2% and 6%. The higher 6% is something we can do when we’re walking. Here are the calculations:

As you can see the only thing that changed was the incline in 2 of the 30 minute workouts. Otherwise the calories burned went from 250 on the flat to 305 when the incline was 6%.The incline makes a big difference when you’re walking. This is something to remember if you’re stuck with time and need a tough workout to make use of the incline button.



As we get faster the difference between the calories burned will be greater for each incline. This is because it takes more energy to move something uphill at speed and that’s what we’ll be doing. Jogging we’ll take at 5 mph, this may seem a bit slow but you’re still having to lift each foot of the ground on each stride so it counts.

30 minutes of jogging is something you may not be able to do straight away and may need working up to. You burn a good amount of calories even when the treadmill is flat: 376. Jogging at 2% is not that much more but it might feel a lot harder. 6% is when we start to see a significant calorie difference. This level is probably not advisable to jog 30 minutes for because of the stress on the joints.

SG SHOT/.com


I’m taking running as going at 6.5 mph. This is quite quick for doing 30 minutes on. You’ll have to be used to running and be built for running as well to continue at this level. You will certainly have to be quite slim to last this long at this speed because your weight has a big influence in your speed and time of running. Here are the stats:

Running at 6% is definitely not advisable but I put it up here for comparison. This is where some serious calorie burn goes on when you’re running at 6.5 mph. Again the difference between 0% and 2% is not that great. If you’re running at 6.5 mph then I would guess you are an experienced runner who probably knows this information:).

Jasminko Ibrakovic/.com


Walking on an incline is something I see people do in the gym on the treadmills all the time. It gives a good workout and you get more calorie burn because of it. You maybe see one of those walkers who stride purposefully with their arms too. This gives those arms some activity too. The incline does make a difference and is perfect if time is limited.

We have some routines for people who like to use the incline. For walkers we have 3 treadmill hill walking workouts for weight loss. For runners we have one too: 3 treadmill hill running workouts for weight loss. As you can see the hill mention is because it’s an incline workout that should give everyone a challenge and a bit of variety in their workouts.

Related pages:

  • Do treadmill inclines improve my butt?
  • Can I just walk on a treadmill to lose weight?
  • Can you lose belly fat by running on a treadmill?
  • How do I lose 2 pounds a week on a treadmill?
  • 500 calorie treadmill workout


Meet The Author

I’m Simon Gould. I’ve been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept’s of national stores. I’ve run outside and I’ve run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.
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