How Many Stepping Calories Are Burned With A Mini Stepper?

Written by: Chris

Updated on:

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The calories burned using a stair stepper depend on your weight and the intensity of your workout.

For instance, someone who has a body weight of 175 pounds and works out for 30 minutes will burn about 243 calories. A person doing that same workout but with a body weight of 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 close up of a woman using her stair stepper machine

A stair stepper works by simulating the movements you do when you’re climbing stairs. As the name suggests, a stair stepper, also known as a StairMaster, is a stationary fitness machine. It’s intended for burning calories, promoting weight loss, and improving posture. It even offers strength benefits.

The device uses a rotating set of steps so that the user can walk indefinitely. You can think of a stair climber as 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 – as if they’re climbing stairs.

What Are the Benefits of a Stair Stepper?

A woman using her stair stepper machine in her home

Cardio Benefits

The largest benefit of a stair stepper is the rigorous cardio workout you get from using it. It’s good for your heart health.

The machine taxes your heart and lungs and bolsters your overall aerobic fitness, providing a great cardio workout. It also strengthens your heart and gives you stronger lungs as it encourages your cardiovascular system to 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 of stair climbing burns 243 and 162 calories, respectively, for people weighing 175 and 130 pounds. In comparison: Someone walking briskly on a firm surface would only burn 180 and 133 calories during the same amount of time.

In essence, this means that using a stair stepper promotes greater weight loss. And you get to burn more calories per session depending on your current weight and the intensity of your stairmaster workout.

Stronger Muscles

Stair climbing machines are a tremendous resource for fast and intense calorie burning and weight loss. 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 for any movement that requires you to bend your knee to step up or push off the ground, including climbing stairs.

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 muscles, either. While stair climbing 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, stabilize your gait, and reduce lower back pain.


Close up of a stair stepper machine that has different programs

Working out can be monotonous. Fortunately, stair steppers have a variety of built-in programs to ensure you get something different to add to your exercise routine.

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 to achieve your weight loss goals, 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 in your daily life. Simply put, a stair stepper helps makes losing weight more enjoyable. You’ll consider every exercise as good exercise.

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.

Maximizing Stair Stepper Calories Burned: Tips and Tricks

To maximize the number of calories burned on stair climbers, you need to maintain proper form and intensity levels. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve this:

Maintain good posture: Stand up straight, engage your core, and keep your shoulders relaxed. When doing an exercise, whether it’s aerobic exercise, low-impact exercise, or strength training, it’s important to maintain the proper form throughout. It lets you burn more calories safely.

Increase resistance: The more resistance, the more calories you’ll burn. However, as with any exercise for weight loss and building muscle, it’s important to not rush yourself. Remember to gradually increase the resistance level as you get stronger.

Use intervals: Alternate between high- and low-intensity intervals to boost the machine’s calorie-burning effects.

Don’t lean on the handrails: Leaning on the handrails reduces the intensity of the workout, which can lower the number of calories you burn.

Add arm movements: Incorporate arm movements while using the stair stepper to engage more muscles and increase the calorie burn.

Use proper footwear: Wear shoes with good support to prevent foot and ankle injuries, and to maximize your stairmaster workout.

Know your heart health: When you exercise, your heart rate increases, which causes your blood pressure to rise. This is a normal response to physical activity and is generally not a cause for concern.

However, if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease, you should talk to your doctor before stepping on a stair climber machine.

Factors Affecting Calories Burned on a Stair Stepper

Here are some factors that can affect the number of calories burned on a stair stepper:

Body Weight

Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories than lighter ones during exercise because it takes more energy to move a larger mass.

For example, a person weighing 185 pounds may burn around 300-400 calories during 30 minutes of stair stepper exercise, while someone weighing 125 pounds may burn around 180-250 calories in the same amount of time.

Intensity Level

The intensity level of the workout can greatly affect the number of calories burned. A high-intensity workout that involves climbing quickly and using more resistance will burn more calories than a lower-intensity workout.

Duration of the Workout

The longer you work out on the stair stepper, the more calories you’ll burn. A 30-minute session on the stair stepper can burn around 200-400 calories, depending on intensity level and body weight. If you increase the duration of the workout to one hour, you can burn double the number of calories.

Rest Periods

Rest periods can also affect the number of calories burned during a stair stepper workout. Taking shorter rest periods or doing interval training can increase the number of calories burned.

Muscle Mass

Building and maintaining muscle mass can also help burn more calories during exercise, including on a stair stepper. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re not working out.

Fitness Level

A person’s fitness level can affect the number of calories burned on a stair stepper. Individuals who are more fit and have higher endurance levels may burn fewer calories than less-fit individuals doing the same workout, as their bodies are more efficient at using energy.


Stair steppers are a great way to burn calories and get cardio exercise, but it’s not the only way. Reducing your calorie intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and increasing your physical activity can give you the results you’re looking for. Strength training may help too.

There are also other machines that can help you achieve your fitness goals. For example, the top-rated recumbent exercise bikes available on the market can offer many of the same benefits. You’ll be burning calories better if you use it with your stair stepper.

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