For a gym owner, a step machine makes an excellent choice for a number of reasons. They offer an excellent low-impact workout which focuses on your glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles. This makes them particularly popular with women, who are often highly focused on toning their butt and legs.
Their advantages in a gym include the following:
- Step machines are compact, taking up far less space than a treadmill or rower.
- Durable - step machines are relatively simple machines, less prone to breakdown than a treadmill, for example.
- Popular with both men and women.
- Joint friendly - this is a low impact workout.
Using them is easy - stepping is an intuitive motion - though care needs to be taken to get the action right. Encourage people to:
- Stand up straight, rather than bending forward. If they need to hold the handrails, use them to stabilize, rather than for support.
- Climb in the middle of the machine's range, and avoid letting the steps touch the floor or come to a stop at the top.
- Take deep full steps to engage the large muscle groups (quadriceps and hamstrings). Rapid, shallow steps are not nearly as effective.
When choosing machines, look for a smooth stepping action, and a variety of pre-programmed workouts such as hill workouts and intervals. Some machines also come with heart rate monitors, which helps clients to better measure the effectiveness of their workouts.