A stair climber is a popular fitness machine that can be found in most gyms and fitness facilities. It will elevate your heart rate and enable your body to burn a significant amount of calories, thus facilitating the weight loss process. There are a few variations of the stair climber; some machines have actual stairs that continue to rotate, while others have panels that allow your legs to move up and down. Both of these models are great for burning fat and for toning the lower half of your body. However, they don’t enable you to simultaneously work your arms as some machines do, such as the rower and elliptical. Therefore, would it make sense to incorporate some weights into your stair climber workout to increase the intensity and get more out of your session?
Combining Weights and Cardio
You’ve probably heard that if you combine cardio and strength training into one power workout, you can burn more calories in less time, and make your workout more effective. This is true, and as a result of this proven theory, many dual fitness classes have come into existence, such as the boot camp class. As previously mentioned, some dual fitness machines have also been created, enabling you to tone your arms while getting in a good cardio session. One machine that does not incorporate your arms in your workout is the stair climber, and there might be a good reason for this.
Using Weights on the Stair Climber
The stair climber is an extremely effective machine for its intended fitness purpose: cardio. The constant movement of this machine requires coordination and focus, especially on the variation with the moving stairs. The motion takes some getting used to, and your body will need to adjust to this unique rhythm. It is important that you use your arms to support your body, and to keep your upper body stable so your lower body can work to its maximum capability.
It you were to incorporate using weights into this already complicated movement, you would likely throw off your balance. This would not only take away from the focus of your workout, but it would put you at risk for injury. You could fall off the machine or strain a muscle while trying to stabilize your upper and lower body and keep up with both movements. The outcome would not be pretty, and unless you are extremely coordinated or a fitness professional, you should not attempt to take on this task.
Maximizing Your Workout
Just because the stair climber does not incorporate your upper body, do not write this machine off as ineffective. The elliptical and rower might include arm training, but that’s because these movements naturally flow with the machines’ motions. The stair climber's initial movement is complicated enough on its own, and it does not need further functions to increase the intensity.
You should always incorporate the stair climber into your workout routine, even if you can’t work your arms while climbing the stairs. You are still benefiting your overall fitness goals, while improving your health and cardiovascular function. And since strength training is a likewise important component of your fitness plan, you should lift weights after your intense stair climber exercise to get the best of both worlds.