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Stair Climber vs. Treadmill: Which One Offers a Better Workout?

 Written by 

Ilinka Trenova

 Last updated on 

Feeling tired of the same old workout routine? Want to try something new to reach your fitness goals? Stair climbers and treadmills are undoubtedly two of the most popular cardio workouts for toning and conditioning your body.

But which one is best for achieving optimal results? Let’s take an in-depth look at the stair climber vs treadmill comparison to help you decide.

A woman who wondered which between stair climber vs treadmill is the best
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Stair Climber

This is essentially a stationary workout machine that imitates the motion of going up and down stairs. It consists of a moving stair-like set of steps and handrails that you can hold on to while exercising.

Stair climber vs treadmill is a common question at gym
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What Benefits Does It Offer?

The exercise benefits from this machine are numerous, often making regular fitness workouts more challenging and enjoyable. Some of the advantages of using this device include:

Lower-Impact Exercise

There’s no doubt that doing any kind of exercise can put a certain level of stress on your joints, but the stair climber is designed to be particularly gentle on them. The fluid motion it allows can help reduce the risk of injury while still providing an effective and calorie-burning workout.

Tones Core Muscles

Stair climbing inherently involves the use of your core leg muscles – mainly your calves, glutes, and quads. As you move your leg up and down on the step, your muscles are contracting and working to keep you on track.

Your quads and glutes drive the motion, whereas your calves help to support the movement. This makes it an excellent exercise for toning those difficult-to-target areas of the body.

Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness

As your body is working to keep up with the rapid motion of rhythmic climbing, there’s a notable increase in heart rate and breathing. Not only does this help to improve flexibility and range of motion, but it also stimulates circulation and respiration.

In fact, research shows that you can improve your heart and lung health by regularly doing moderate to intense stair climber workouts. The way it engages your entire body also means that you can burn calories quickly and efficiently.

Improves Balance and Coordination

While the handrails on the device do offer a certain degree of support, they don’t take away the need to be aware of and control your movements. As you climb, you must maintain balance as well as coordination in order to remain steady and in the correct position. This kind of workout can help you become more agile and less prone to accidental slips or falls.

A woman doing workout on a stair climber
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Who Should Use It?

This machine is a suitable match for anyone looking for an effective and low-impact workout. It’s especially beneficial for those who might have joint problems, as it doesn’t burden the body as much as other exercises do.

It also provides a great way to mix up your individual workout and add more variety. With a few modifications and different techniques, this machine can be used by beginners as well as seasoned gym-goers.


Most of us have either used or seen a treadmill before. It’s usually a large machine with a platform and belt that you can walk, run, or jog on while remaining in one spot.

A group of people working out at the gym on treadmills and stair climbers
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What Benefits Does It Offer?

For the most part, treadmill workouts are usually seen as less intense and challenging when compared to stair climbers, but don’t be fooled. They still offer plenty of advantages that are worth considering when you’re planning your exercise regimen.

Enhances Running Cadence

Whether you’re a professional athlete or not, having the right running cadence is essential. This is the rate at which you take strides and is determined by the length of your legs, body type, and other factors.

Treadmills are an excellent tool for helping to perfect your running cadence, as the moving belt can act as a guide, prompting you to increase and decrease your speed as necessary. This can not only help you make progress in terms of speed and stamina, but it can also improve your overall running form.

Gives You More Control

Your exercise session can be tailored to your exact needs when you use this device. You can adjust the treadmill incline and speed settings as you go, often at the press of a button. This helps to maintain a consistent and steady rhythm, allowing you to customize your workout as you progress.

Greater Calorie Burn

An average 180-pound individual burns approximately 500 calories during a 30-minute moderate exercise session on the treadmill. As you add more intensity and increase the incline, you can burn even more calories and benefit from a higher metabolic rate.

Who Should Use It?

A woman running on a treadmill
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This fitness machine is great for all levels of fitness, from beginners to more experienced athletes. The versatility of the device allows you to make small modifications and find a pace suitable for your particular level.It’s also an excellent tool for those who want to reach a certain goal in terms of speed, endurance or weight loss. You can increase the intensity as you go and observe how your body responds, offering a personalized approach to your workout.

Stair Climber vs Treadmill: FAQ

Are stair climbers good for losing belly fat?

Yes, stair climbing uses your entire body and engages the muscles around your core area, including your abdominal muscles. Regular workouts can help you to lose belly fat and minimize fat around other areas of the body as well.

How long should I do the stair climber to lose weight?

The amount of time you spend on the stair climber will depend on your fitness goals and current level of physical activity. You’ll need to do at least 15 minutes of exercise to see any benefits, but the recommended amount is 30 minutes at least three times a week. As you become more fit, you can increase the intensity and duration of the workout.

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