Mini-steppers are smaller, portable versions of the larger steppers you use at the gym. They allow you to do cardio exercises in front of the TV, in a hotel room, or in any small, confined space. Some mini-steppers have different resistance levels, while others only have one setting. Most mini-steppers can be used standing up, but others are designed to be placed under a desk and used while sitting.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of a mini-stepper and provide some of the best options on the current market.
Top 3 Recommended:
What is a Mini-Stepper Used For?
A mini-stepper is a lightweight, portable stepper you can use to tone muscles. It’s a smaller version of stepping machines you find at health clubs. Mini-steppers provide an excellent way to keep your legs moving when you’re stuck indoors or can’t get to the gym.
You can use it to tone thighs, the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (calve muscles), and the glute muscles (namely, the gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae muscles).
Differences Between Mini-Steppers and Full-Size Steppers
Unlike full-size steppers at the health club, mini-steppers lack handles for you to hold. This omission makes it easier for you to build and tighten muscles. You need to use your core muscles to maintain balance instead of merely holding handlebars. Some mini-steppers provide resistance bands to help you work your upper body and arms.
Mini Stepper Benefits
A mini-stepper has two pedals that move up and down. The repetitive motion of the steppers provides an aerobic workout to improve cardiovascular health and makes your heart and lungs stronger.
The cardio boost offered by a mini-stepper controls your blood glucose and helps your immune system stronger, protecting you against colds and helping you heal from injuries quicker. Using a mini-stepper will also boost endorphins and fight depression.
Burn calories by using a mini-stepper by bringing it to work with you and pedaling underneath your desk. Utilizing the mini-stepper for one hour will burn 100 calories. Standing up on the mini-stepper will burn even more calories. (2)
While mini-steppers tone your body, they don’t give you the same intense benefits as larger machines. Compact steppers offer a limited range of motion so that they won’t work as deeply into your muscles as the machines at your gym.
You won’t get a lot of variation using most mini-steppers, although you can adjust the steps on some to provide more extended or quicker movements. You may want to use a mini-stepper for a while and then walk up and down a staircase in your home a few times to work your muscles some more and vary the movements. (You can skip a step while walking up a staircase or walk sideways.)
Using Your Mini-Stepper Safely
Always place your stepper on a flat surface, and avoid using it on a rug or carpet. Wear sturdy sneakers that can cushion blows from the machine, and never use the device barefoot or in stocking feet.
Make sure you have steady balance before ramping up the speed on your mini-stepper. (3)
Mini-Steppers as Part of Your Weekly Cardiovascular Routine
Using a mini-stepper is part of your weekly exercise routine, which should consist of between 150 and 300 minutes of cardio a week. You can swim, walk, dance, or jog and use your mini-stepper during the week to get in the required minutes. It doesn’t matter how many minutes you spend doing each as long as they add up to 150-300 minutes per week.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start your routine cautiously with walking or mini-stepping. Talk to your doctor if you have any chronic health conditions before taking on an exercise routine.
You’ll also need to do some strength training each week using free weights, or do sit-ups and planks for your core. An all-around exercise plan will help you see better, longer-lasting results, and using your mini-stepper is one part of that.
What Exercises Can I Do with a Mini-Steppers?
There are plenty of ways to use a mini-stepper to increase circulation and strengthen muscles. The best exercise routine with a mini-stepper is the one that’s done on a regular basis, along with walking and other aerobic exercises every week. Here’s a routine you can do a few times a week. It lasts from 35 to 45 minutes, but you can add or subtract minutes according to your needs.
If you have a stepper with one resistance setting, vary the pace of your exercise from calm to vigorous in small increments.
- Before using your mini-stepper, do five to ten minutes of stretching, jump roping or walking in place
- For the first, five to ten minutes put the mini-stepper on the lowest resistance level.
- Increase the resistance for the next ten minutes, similar to light jogging.
- Exercise intensely for the next three minutes at the highest resistance.
- Exercise at your own pace (even if it’s leisurely) for the next five minutes.
- Step vigorously for two minutes.
- Set to low resistance and step for five minutes
- End the exercise session.
The Top Mini-Steppers
We looked at the features of several mini-steppers and found that the following options provided the best value for consumers in the fitness marketplace.
1. Wagan EL2273 Mini Stepper Master
- Digital display tracks cumulative workout time, step count and calories burned
- Perfect for small spaces - takes up less than 1 x 1.5 - feet floor space
- Easy assembly
This mini-stepper takes up less than 1 foot by 1.5 feet in floor space, so you can carry it with you and use it almost anywhere. Use it in your home, office dorm or on the road.
You can adjust the step height, which makes this stepper an excellent choice for people with limited mobility. The Wagan EL2273 Mini Stepper Master can be used by everyone in the family, including kids and the elderly.
Older adults can use it to build up leg muscles and improve endurance for daily walks. Kids can constructively work off excess energy, and athletic adults can get their steps in even when they’re stuck in the house all day. It’s pretty solid, and you can stay balanced on it without much effort.
Keep track of workout time via a digital display. This monitor, powered by an AAA battery, shows you the number of calories burned, number of steps and repetitions per minute on an easy to read LCD.
It has ergonomic soft-grip handlebars that you can adjust either horizontally or vertically. The durable, lightweight steel frame handles up to 225 pounds. It’s easy on the knees, and you can adjust the resistance.
2. FP1 Exercise Mini Stepper Machine Mini Twister Step Elliptical Trainer
- For a beginner, you can burn about 350-450 calories in a 40 minute workout
- As you become fitter you can increase intensity to burn about 600-700 calories in a 40 minute workout.
- Mini steppers provide a great workout for very little money while you are considering buying a stair stepper, not only save money, but also space saving.17" x 16" x 11", when you finish exercise, you...
This durable mini-stepper works on buttocks, thighs, stomach, and hips, making muscles progressively stronger. It’s quiet and compact, so you can use it while watching TV. It’s lightweight but comes fully assembled, unlike many other steppers.
The steps twist, so they work your hips as well as your legs, and the pedals feature a surface that increases friction.
At a slow speed, it may not seem like it’s getting your heart rate up, but as soon as you increase the speed, you’ll work up a sweat.
This compact mini-stepper comes with resistance bands to help you thin arms, sculpt abs and tone buttocks and calves without using big, bulky equipment.
- EFFECTIVE MOVEMENT: Move up and down with side to side action to tighten and tone your calves muscles, gluteal muscles and hip flexors. Removable toning bands offer an ultimate full body workout.
- COMFORTABLE CARDIO: The twisting stepper features independent hydraulic pistons that allow you to manually alter the difficulty of your workout for smooth low impact stepping motions.
- TRACK YOUR TRAINING: The informative LCD training computer will ensure you stay focused during your workout as it tracks Scan, Time, Count and Calories.
This compact home fitness machine combines a mini- stepper and elliptical machine for better resistance training. Put your feet on the pedals for twist action to tone buttocks and thighs while raising your heart rate in a cardiovascular workout.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper has resistance bands to improve all the typical trouble spots – chest, arms, back, and shoulders – to tighten and build strength all over your body.
Durable steel construction makes this twister stepper last longer than many other compact steppers. It features large, non-slip footplates to keep your feet firmly in place when you exercise. With a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds, it will give most users a vigorous workout.
You can adjust the step height for longer steps or quick bursts.
One of the best mini-steppers you can purchase in 2018 is the FP1 Exercise Mini Stepper Machine Mini Twister Step Elliptical Trainer. This stepper comes fully assembled and ready to use. It twists to work your hips, and offers a chance to tone your legs, buttocks and other parts of your lower body.
The pedals on this stepper slant slightly inward. Depending on how you use the pedals, you can work on your thighs, hips or your butt.
An excellent tool for increasing your circulation and keeping leg muscles toned while standing (or at a standing desk), this mini-stepper and twister can be used by everyone from teens to older adults. We recommend it for its ability to tone the lower body and for its sturdy construction.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.
Last update on 2019-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API