Is the StairMaster a Good Workout?

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Talk about a throwback Thursday — remember the StairMaster? Arguably an icon of the ’90s wellness scene alongside eight-minute abs, sugar-free everything, neon spandex, and cottage cheese out of a cantaloupe, we had almost forgotten about this cardio machine — until now.

Lately, tons of women have been heading back to the StairMaster. Just take a look on Instagram and you’ll see fitness stars like Jen Selter showing off more advanced routines mixing up this otherwise monotonous stair-climbing workout. And the results are well . . . eye-catching. To say the least. Let’s just say it’s peach season.

Can the StairMaster transform your derrière? Trainers are saying yes. “You get great glute and core activation in a low-impact cardiovascular setting, said DIAKADI personal trainer Liz Letchford, MS, ATC, PhD candidate. “As long as your form is strong and your knees aren’t painful during or after the StairMaster, it is a great way to gain endurance and lower-body strength.”

New to the machine? It’s easy to use, albeit a little intimidating at first (you might feel like you’re going to fall off, but don’t worry — use the hand rails!). Machines vary, but generally speaking you can set your speed and resistance and slowly up each of those to increase the intensity of your workout. Start at a slow speed to get acquainted with the machine, and build little by little as you get comfortable. We’d recommend keeping things slower (especially at first) and simply increasing resistance.

While it might seem like a boring machine, it’s anything but(t). You can get creative with barbells or booty bands, as well as side steps or skipped steps. Take up your speed or mix up your routine with kickbacks. Who knows? The StairMaster might just become your new favorite part of the gym. Your booty will definitely be partying like it’s 1990.