Steps and Platforms
The uniqueness of steps and platforms is the ‘step’ aspect and the way they are so effective in burning fat. They really took off in the 1980’s when aerobics was all the craze but the step is still a popular piece of home and gym equipment today. They are usually 3 feet by 1.5 feet so will fit easily into any home gym.
What Are They?
Essentially it is a raised platform, usually made of plastic with a non slip surface.
Which one should I buy?
Do check out that what you are buying has at least two adjustable height levels and a maximum user body weight that you can see. The maximum body weight is usually about 110kg. It is also essential that the surface is non slip for obvious safety reasons.
What are the Fitness Benefits?
They are great for cardiovascular and muscular endurance. They incorporate both upper and lower body movements and the constant stepping up onto the platform does improve your leg strength. You heart and lungs will have to work hard, you will burn calories and of course fat!
An added benefit of a step platform is that you can do a cardio workout yet it remains a low impact activity, so will stress your joints out less than say running or jogging.
Can I Modify it at all?
Yes you can. Most platforms can be modified to make them higher. If you increase the height you will make the platform work your body harder. You will also have to work your arms harder. Adding hand weights can also make your step routine more challenging.
Compared to other pieces of gym equipment the step platform is actually quite cheap and small so you don’t need a huge space for them. It is also relatively simple to use. You really do start by simply stepping up on to it, and then you can progress to more complicated moves.
Whilst we have said that the step is a fairly straightforward piece of gym equipment it does need to be treated with respect. Things to consider include always making sure your complete foot touches the ground. Your knee should also never be lifted more than 90 degrees. Also always place your foot on the centre of the step with the heel down to avoid tendon injury.