Stair Stepper vs. Stair Climber: What’s the Difference & Which One is Better?

Stair stepper
Image by Amaviael/Depositphotos

If you’re new to using workout machines at your gym, it will take a little bit of time to figure out how each of them works. Some of them can seem quite similar, such as stair climber and stair stepper, but what’s the difference between the two, and which one is better?

Stair Climber

A stair climber is more reminiscent of a regular staircase and they’ll move down continuously as you keep climbing. This machine comes with handrails for safety, but you shouldn’t use them too much because they can negatively impact your form. Like stair climbing itself, this machine will do wonders for your glutes, but it also targets the quadriceps, calf muscles, and hamstrings.

Stair Stepper

A stair stepper gives you the sensation of climbing stairs without looking like a staircase. It features two platforms that look like pedals, where you’ll place your feet and push them down. Smaller versions of stair steppers exist, featuring just pedals without handles, and they’re great for home workouts.

Final Verdict

Both stair climbers and stair steppers activate the same muscle groups, but they have their ups and downs. A stair climber has the potential to work your muscles in a more functional way, but it also may be harder on your knees and you might make exercises less effective by using handrails.