Whereas the 12-3-30 method corresponds to 12-percent incline, 3mph, for 30 minutes, the 25-7-2 method focuses on 25 minutes on the StairMaster at a level 7 intensity, twice a week. With just one addition, though: no hands!
While the intent was to create an ‘ab trick,’ this type of exercise will definitely do more than help develop core strength; you’ll tone and strengthen your glutes as well, which can prevent low back pain, energize your steps, and help create more overall stability and strength in the body. To boot, the largest muscle groups in the body are located in your legs, so leg day is always a good idea—particularly because strength training your legs can help rev your metabolism. It’s a mix of cardio and strength—a win-win!—in an accessible format for less than a half an hour. Sounds pretty good, right?
It’s important to note that if you’re still building your strength and stability, if you're just starting out, or if you've never used a stair mill before, please do use your hands and the handrail until you feel stable and safe. Coming from a fitness writer who fell off a StairMaster at a college gym and proceeded to avoid the gym for eight years, it’s not a fun experience. Safety first!
If you don’t have access to a StairMaster, try walking a hilly area near you for 25 minutes. Check out this StairMaster vs. treadmill comparison to see which workout is right for you. You could also start by using the stairs, either in your home or nearby at a local park. Get creative, and remember to drive through your heels and glutes to really activate the back of your legs. Keep the intensity steady and moderate.
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