Time for our Workout Of The Month. Each month we take a look at a different exercise and break it down by movement, how to do it, and discuss some of the positive versus negative impact that it can have to you and your level of fitness. Some workout’s of the month breakdown how to do a common exercise, others feature a specific exercise. This month we’re taking a look at the infamous StairMaster. The StairMaster can be a great exercise – if people only knew how to use it correctly. Here’s what to do – and what not to do when using a StairMaster.

How To Use A StairMaster (Properly)

how to use a stairmaster (properly)First of all, if you’re not familiar with a StairMaster – now is the time to get properly acquainted. It’s actually a great piece of gym equipment meant for simulating climbing up stairs. The machine CAN have some great cardiovascular effects as well as being a great tool on developing strength endurance in the leg muscles.

The Problem With Using The StairMaster

Every time I’m at the gym I cringe literally every single time I’m there when I see people that don’t know how to use a StairMaster. The machine is meant to simulate going up stairs – so why then do people find it necessary to add all of this un-natural movement to the machine?

 
 
 

Stupid Things People Do With A StairMaster

1. StairMaster Kickbacks

Did someone tell you that this would help give you a bigger butt? Or did you see someone else doing this exercise so you thought you would give it a go? Try doing squats instead. Kicking out your leg while going down on a machine does nothing for you other than giving you the impression that you think you’re actually doing something. After you do some squats do some hip bridges.

2. StairMaster Dancing

I get that you might want to have fun, but seriously, why?

3. StairMaster Hanging

There are only two reasons you should need to hang on to a StairMaster:

1. You’re older and have poor balance.
2. You’re completely new to working out and have developed no balance – which in that case you should slow down the machine and not go so fast.

4. StairMaster Sideways

Again, seriously, why? Because someone somewhere told you need to try to develop the side of your legs? Those muscles are probably already tight on you and if they’re not then going sideways on a StairMaster isn’t going to fix that.

5. StairMaster Reading

StairMaster Reading

Do you go to the gym to workout or do you go to the gym to study? There is a time and place for everything. Focus on the task at hand. If you want a good workout, then do a good workout. Reading at the gym is about as bad as an idea as treadmill desks.

6. Slumped Over StairMaster

slumped over StairMaster

For those of you that spend time looking like the people above on the StairMaster, do you think it’s okay to look like this when you sit?

poor sitting posture

Then why would you think it’s also okay to look like that when you use the StairMaster?! I see this just about every time I step into a gym. Seriously, WHY would anyone do this? It’s bad enough that people sit slumped over in an office chair all day long but going to the gym is supposed to correct those imbalances, not make them worse. Slow down the machine a little bit and stand straight up – chest out, shoulders back, and for God’s sake, let go of the bars!

How To Really Master A StairMaster

running up stairs

This picture should be worth a million words. Try a real set of stairs – there’s no machine going to help you with your movement (you actually have to work). You can’t lean on anything. You can’t read. You can even still even dance on these if you want to…