By now, we know that a stepper is a type of fitness machine and can be used in your home or in a paid or membership gym. We also know that mini steppers are great for cardio exercise and that we have mini, portable StairMasters. We also know that they function by air and hydraulic cylinders and also have side or twisting motion. So now here are a few facts about the difference between a stepper and an elliptical machine.
Elliptical trainers are conditioning and cardio machines which emulate the action and motion of cross country skiing, with the only difference being that you are in a stationary position. You could say that an elliptical is to skiing, as a stair stepper is to walking up a stair case. Ellipticals have foam handles, which you grab just under shoulder height. These handles are linked to long foot plates or pedals, which move simultaneously.
In the gym where I am a member, they have three types of elliptical trainers. Of which I use only two models, because the other one is unsuitable for my height (I am 6′ 3″). When looking to buy an elliptical trainer, you should try out the model you intend to purchase before using it or you could be wasting money!
The elliptical trainer which I prefer to use has incline rollers, which gives me a smoother and reduced impact on my knees, compared to stair steppers. Whereas the other type is a bit harder on the knees. The other differences include more knee movement room, because the design of the lever handles bends away from the knees, whereas the other one has straighter handles that seem to bang my knees if I am not exercising in exactly the right position! This model, made by Lifefitness works deep into my thigh muscles, where the other one, made by Precor Fitness gives a better overall cardiovascular workout.
However, the other elliptical I use does offer a longer workout time, that is unless you really want to work deep into your quadriceps muscles – which I do not. Does an Elliptical Trainer Burn More Fat Than a Stair Stepper?
The amount of calories and fat you burn on an elliptical trainer verses that of a stair stepper will depend on the intensity of the workout on either fitness machine. However, speaking from personal experience, and using both machines for the same time and resistance level, you would burn more calories and fat by using an elliptical trainer.
To summarize, the main differences between elliptical machines and steppers are that steppers give you harder impact workouts than elliptical trainers, depending on the brand, but ellipticals burn more calories depending on how intensely you workout.