I love changing it up at the gym, my cardio style has evolved since high school when I first started working out at the gym. I used to hit up the elliptical and give a half-ass effort as I mostly just talked and read my magazines. As I got older this cardio approach didn’t work so well, so I moved onto the treadmill. Don’t get me wrong I still use the treadmill most days at the gym, I love walking at an incline, doing intervals, and running. I just get bored doing those things over and over again. A few years ago I discovered two forgotten machines at the gym, the stair stepper and the rowing machine. I will talk a little bit about the benefits of both and give you some workouts you can test out on each machine.
When I lived in Wisconsin my friend Alana was training for a body building contest or a bikini contest or whatever it’s called. Anyways she looked fabulous and shared with me her love for the stair stepper.
Side Note- these machines will be at the very back of the gym, most likely won’t have a tv and will never be in use.
I immediately became hooked and now incorporate the stair stepper into my workout routine. If you want to start sweating immediately get on the stair stepper. It will get your heart rate elevated, and the calories will start to burn off. You are able to work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. I don’t hold on when I’m on the stair stepper so I make sure to use my arms as well which makes the workout more strenuous and forces you to keep your core tight to stay balanced.
According to my research the stair stepper allows you to burn more calories than traditional cardio machines due to the fact that you are constantly lifting your body weight up with each step. You are then using your large muscle groups in your lower body which allows for more calorie burn. Because stair steppers helps you efficiently burn calories, it is are a good option when you are trying to shed some pounds.
As you know I’m a big fan of interval workouts and many of my interval workouts I get from Peanut Butter Fingers Blog! If you haven’t checked her blog out you should. I love this stair stepper workout, it’s a doozy!
My Husband and I used to do crossfit and those of you who do crossfit know the rowing machine is a big part of every warm up and some WODs. I wasn’t super interested in the rowing machine before crossfit, but after working out on a rowing machine I know the benefits. I usually end my workout with 10 minutes on the rowing machine, that is if I can make it for 10 minutes. Sometimes it is only 5, but hey it’s an effort right!
Here is why I like the rowing machine. It is a combination machine that combines muscle building resistance and cardio elements. It strengthens the major muscle groups like shoulders, arms, back, core, legs and glutes. Not only that it is a great way to burn calories.
I especially like to use it when I’m focusing on my arms, it is the one cardio machine that focus on the muscles in your back and arms. It is also great for your legs, I mean you are working those legs the entire time, basically it is a great FULL body cardio workout. I personally like to do intervals on this machine, go hard for 30 seconds, lighten up for 30 seconds then back at it!
I challenge all of you this week to try out the stair stepper and the rowing machine and let us know how you like it. I can guarantee you will be sore after using these two machines and you will feel the burn!