Unlike traditional treadmills, both steppers and stair climbers come in a wide variety of forms, offering plenty of versatility across both size and functionality. While some more closely resemble elliptical machines, others mimic the appearance of staircases, but both deliver a dynamic way to elevate your at-home gym.
Considering an investment in a stepper or stair climber? Keep reading for the five best machines you can buy in Australia.
Vertical Climber Exercise Machine by Viva Life, $129.95 at Amazon
Similar in style to the Lady Gaga-endorsed VersaClimber, this vertical stepper targets and tones your entire body by simulating a motion akin to rock climbing. It boasts an easy-to-read four function display, which features a timer, counter total count and an estimated total of calories burned (as with most gym machines, it's best to take this number with several grains of salt). It's also very durable and can be easily folded up and stored away when you need it out of sight.
Fortis Mini Stepper Exercise Machine by Kogan, $169 at Kogan
If you're short on space, prefer some portability and aren't looking to spend too much, this mini stepper by Kogan has got you covered. Great for strengthening and firming your abdominal, leg and gluteal muscles, it offers all the physical benefits of climbing stairs without putting pressure on your joints. While you work out, the display shows your steps per minute, elapsed time and estimated calories burned. It also features two resistance bands with handles, for when you feel like adding some upper body resistance for a full head-to-toe burn.
Gauntlet 8 Series SM8 Stepmill by StairMaster, $11,999 at Cardio Online
Made by the original creators behind the Hollywood-loved StairMaster machines and workouts, this at-home piece of gym equipment is an investment for life. It features a revolving staircase that truly captures the motion of climbing, a number of speed and intensity settings, in-built workout programs (including some that you let you 'climb the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty'!), an LCD console that showcases the statistics of your workouts, can stream all your favourite shows and lets you browse the web while you're sweating it out.
CardioHIIT Trainer by Proform, $1,650 at Gym Direct
An excellent all-rounder at an equally admirable price, this machine offers great value for those who want to get their cardio fix in the comfort of their own homes. An elliptical-style machine, this gadget effectively replicates the biomechanics of stair climbing to target your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps (if you hold onto the handle bars, you'll also get a nice arm workout as an added bonus). The climber offers 32 built-in programs and controls, with 24 resistance levels and a spot to hold your water bottle and tablet.
3 in 1 Health and Fitness Twist Stepper with Handle Bar, Twister & Dumbbells, $219 at Dshop
Like the other machines, this stepper is designed to take the pressure off your joints and bones while strengthening your legs and boosting your endurance. Unlike the others, however, it offers a twist board that helps to target those deep abdominal muscles and whittle and work the waist. It also has a built-in display that monitors the time, estimated caloric burn and number of steps while the dumbbells give the option to add an upper body component to your session.