Stair climbers are sometimes also called climb mills. These pieces of exercise machines are more recent innovations than other types of equipment, such as treadmills as they only first began being produced in the 1980s. They can provide an intense cardiovascular and lower-body workout, although some now have full movement handles.
Types of Stair Climbers
Many of the stair climbers produced are intended for athletic club use as opposed to home gym use. Stair climbers are typically big and bulky and are quite expensive. Therefore, most people prefer smaller pieces of fitness equipment. Although some climbers are smaller, depending on the type of machine.
There are two main types of stair climbers. One has pedals and the other has a rolling set of stairs. Regardless of the type, a stair climber simulates climbing flights of stairs. It gives the user a very challenging cardiovascular workout. In both types, the speed and resistance can be controlled by the user or by a pre-set computerized program.
Another distinguishing factor in different types of stair climbers is whether the machine is manual or motorized. Motorized stair climbers have motors that regulate the steps and activity. Manual stair climbers are often smaller, and use pistons to regulate motion.
Another less common type of stair climber is a dual-action stair climber. Dual-action stair climbers have full movement handles to give the users upper body a workout as well. These climbers are not usually preferred unless the user is an advanced exerciser as adding the upper-body workout provides an even more intense workout.
Brands of Stair Climbers
Stairmaster is a very popular and well-known producer of stair climbers for both commercial and home gym use. They offer both the pedal steppers as well the stepmill type of stair climbers. These stair climbers don’t vary too much between the six models. They are all basically similar models with the differences being in the console – from a more basic console up to an upgraded one.
Matrix also manufactures stair climbers, although their selection is somewhat limited with only two models currently to choose from. Their machines are the rotating step mill; they do not offer the pedal stepper machines. Their models vary in their display type, display output, warranties as well as some technology innovations. Each model offers many similar features including 35 levels of resistance, USB workout tracking, iPod capabilities, and overall dimensions.
Star Trac is also a company that manufactures stair climbers. This manufacturer offers 3 different types of stair climbers that are of the pedal-stepper type. These stair climbers are different than other stair climbers as they offer specialized training programs that target certain parts of the body and the Famous Steps program which allows the user to choose to climb steps at famous landmarks.
Price of Stair Climbers
Stair climbers are one of the most expensive pieces of fitness equipment that can be purchased. This issue makes it a much less typical piece of gym equipment for home gym use. The piston climbers type of machines are often lower in price, making them more affordable for the average consumer. The manual stair climbers also can be found to be less expensive that motorized machines. Of course another factor that needs to be considered when looking at the price of these fitness machines is the offering of features. The more upgraded features a machine offers, the greater the price. Depending on the manufacturer the features can significantly increase the overall price of the equipment.