StairMaster Vs. Stationary Bike
Just like climbing a flight or two of stairs is very different from riding your bike around the block, the StairMaster is equally different from a stationary exercise bike. Both cardio machines constitute major parts of the average cardio workout and are very good at upping heart rate. In order to foster cardiovascular health, adding these exercise machines into any HIIT, or high intensity interval training, program or programs meant for a solid calorie burn is a must.
What is the difference between a StairMaster Vs. Stationary Bike
StairMaster is a popular brand of motorized stair-climbers in which the steps move similar to those of an escalator. You step onto the StairMaster from a standing position and you remain upright throughout. The continuous movement of the steps requires you to keep stepping upward. Conversely, a stationary bike, or recumbent bike, requires you to sit and pedal. A common misconception is that a stationary bike is the same as an elliptical, but those machines require a walking motion instead of a pedaling motion and have movable handle bars.
What are the health benefits of StairMaster Vs. Stationary Bike?
Both the StairMaster, or stair stepper, and the stationary bike are cardio equipment that provide excellent cardio exercises because they engage the major muscle groups of the hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Likewise, you can easily perform intervals on either machine by increasing your stepping or pedaling speed for a period of time, then slowing back down. Both types of machines will effectively strengthen and tone the muscles of your lower back and lower body even at just low to moderate intensity. It can also foster weight loss in the upper body which makes it a great full-body workout for beginners.
The stationary bike comes in a variety of types, ranging from the traditional upright to the recumbent versions. They all support your body weight and are pedaled. Conversely, the StairMaster is always used in a standing position, requiring stepping. You can choose between two varieties of motorized climbers, a stepper or a split-track treadmill. Both are low-impact exercises but the stationary bike has no impact on your bones which is perfect for those suffering with joint pain.
Dawn Lindy Roberts is a longtime fitness and natural health advocate, and writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Building Better Bones certification, and is pursuing the Bone Estrogen Strength Training certification from the University of Arizona. In addition, she will complete the Master Nutrition certification from AFPA in 2014.