A stair-climber is commonly found in about every gym. It is rather simple to use. It is just one step in front of the other. Taking steps is known for its importance in building a strong lower body and for weight control. However, it is important to use the machine correctly in order to have an efficient workout.

Here are five reasons why to use the stair-climber.

1) It builds lower-body muscle. The stair-climber engages glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads with every step. It’s an excellent way to tone the lower body. To make the most out of the workout however, make sure to keep your back straight and core engaged. This ensures that the lower half of the body takes the force. Essentially, not hunching over offers the best results.

How your foot lands with each step determines which muscle you are working as well. If you want to target your hamstrings or glutes, put more weight on your heels. If you want to focus on quads, push off and land on the ball of your foot.

2) It helps with weight loss. Since the stair-climber makes use of your body’s quads, hamstrings, core, and glutes, it burns calories quickly. These muscles are the most metabolically active. Compared to the average, steady state cardio, this machine boosts heart rate along with training your lower body strength. This ensures you’ll burn more calories, even after the workout.

Try a HIIT, otherwise known as high intensity interval training, workout on the stair-climber for effective weight loss. This type of training takes the intensity up a notch, therefore increasing the oxygen to the muscles being using. Afterwards, calories are able to burn post-workout.

3) It helps with injury recovery. Since the stair-climber is a lower-impact exercise, it is a useful alternative to those who have back issues and are unable to use a treadmill. The machine is effective at utilizing glute muscles and relieving lower back pain. it takes off pressure from your back as well. However, the stair-climber may not be the best for those who have knee joint issues so use this machine wisely.

4) It improves your posture. Although the stair-climber does help with posture, you should note that some effort should be put in to keeping your back straight. If you already tend to lean forward when walking up the stairs, it is likely you will follow this behavior on the machine as well. Hunching over the handrails also limits the amount of weight you have to use, making you burn less calories.

However, if you normally walk up a flight of stairs with good posture, you should be able to walk normally up on the stair-climber. You should have adequate core strength to workout effectively and stay upright without a harsh grip on the handles. This will increase the strength of your core with each step. The stair-climber will solidify your good posture and prevent chronic back pain.

5) It can replace the elliptical. Any machine made for cardio should be able to effective as long as it is used properly. Sometimes a workout can become boring without variety, however. Many face elliptical burnout so the stair-climber is a great alternative. In addition, climbing stairs is a common thing people do everyday. Using a stair-climber can improve functional movement while the movement on the elliptical is not as common.

The muscle gain and cardio burn you will experience with this machine will surprise you. Go ahead and give it a try!