Really Though: the Stairmaster Is a Pretty Stellar Way to Start Your Sweat Sesh

Photo: Getty Image/gradyreese
There are many differences between Kim Kardashian and I: Our bank accounts, for one. Our opinions on bike shorts as outerwear, for another. But never have I felt so different from the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star than when it comes to our feelings about the StairMaster.

Kim starts her 5 a.m. daily workouts—which she regularly posts to the 'gram—with a few minutes of a warmup on the StairMaster. I, on the other hand, stare at the machine in contempt any time I come within 10 feet of it at the gym, and have only ever actually gotten onto it when a trainer insisted. But despite how downright painful StairMasters tend to be, KKW seems to be onto something, because they really do make for an effective warmup.

"The StairMaster is a fantastic machine to warm up on because it works your entire lower half—your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and you use your bodyweight to power yourself upward, so it’s great for everyone. It also raises your entire body temperate, which is the purpose behind warming up before your cardio or strength routine," says John Thornhill, Aaptiv Master Trainer. "Have you ever gone up three flights of stairs and noticed your heart and breath rate is high? That’s because it skyrockets your heart rate in no time. Climb it for five minutes and you’re ready for your sweat session."

To make your StairMaster warmups as un-boring as possible, here are five of our favorite (free!) workouts worth stepping into.

A HIIT Routine

This series from Kim Kardashian's trainer, Melissa Alcantara, is great getting your legs fired up. Start 10 minutes of sprints, 30 seconds on a level 20, and 30 seconds of rest. As she puts it, "The real challenge is not falling off ?."

A five-minute leg warmup

Fitness influencer Maggie De Francisco loves this five-minute warmup for leg day: Start with one minute on your toes, followed by one minute of kick backs, one minute of skipping steps, one minute of "get low"(AKA holding onto the handles and walking in a semi-squat position), and one minute of jumping up the steps (be sure to slow down the treadmill for this part!).

A weighted warmup

To take your StairMaster sesh to the next level, grab a set of weights. For one-minute per move, cycle through each of the following while you walk: arm pumps; alternating shoulder presses; bent arm lateral raises; alternating front raises, regular to alternating upright rows; alternating tricep kickbacks.

A resistance band glutes workout

Light your glutes on fire by adding a resistance band into the StairMaster mix. With a band around your thighs (just above your knees), perform each of the following for one minute: banded steps, squatted step-ups on the left side, squatted step-ups on the left side, and kickbacks. Repeat two to three times to really feel the burn.

A full cardio sesh

If you're looking for a more intense warmup, or something that can count as full-blown cardio, try this 15-minute body-blaster: one-minute regular walk, one-minute “skip a step” walk, one-minute squat walk, two-minutes kickbacks, one-minute lateral walk with a kick, rotating left and right for a total of four minutes, 5.5 minutes of walking regularly, final 30 seconds of in-and-out jump squats.

One last pro tip: If you're not able to access a StairMaster at a gym, you can always bring the stairs to your home with one of the best mini steppers. While they're not going to give you as much range as the StairMaster, they're still a great small-space cardio machine for at-home workouts.

Kim isn't the only Kardashian sister we're stealing wellness tips from: Here's what Kourtney Kardashian eats when she's on a detox, plus the *buzzy* piece of fitness equipment Khloé Kardashian swears by for recovery.  

Loading More Posts...