Treadmill vs Stairmaster

Treadmill vs Stairmaster: which is the best cardio workout?

Take Treadmill vs Stairmaster as a measure of how behind I am: I used a Stairmaster for the first time a couple of months ago. That he was waiting for? I liked it. The Stairmaster has not replaced my loyalty to my “beloved” treadmill, but he has given me a terrific alternative to change things.

Maybe you’re like me and just tried a stair master. You’re now curious how it stacks up against a treadmill as a running-specific exercise machine. Is it worth changing your time on the treadmill to work out on the stairs from time to time? We will answer that question and others!

The similarities and differences between using a Stairmaster and a treadmill will be discussed in this article. We’ll discuss which one gives you the best cardio workout, as well as other considerations like impact, duration, cost, etc., and finish with a rundown of the pros and cons of each.

Treadmill vs Stairmaster

To start, a brief explanation: you will be going up many stairs with the stair master, while a treadmill is just a forward movement. It means that if you’re walking on the treadmill, you’ll burn many more calories on the stairs. Walking is simpler than climbing steps!

However, the gap narrows as the race’s pace picks up. Below, we’ll go over that and other things to think about.

Were they related: Which Burns More Calories? Treadmill or elliptical?


Running is the best cardio activity, by far. And if you go at a high intensity, you’ll get a better workout on the treadmill than on the stair climber. Although walking is more straightforward than climbing stairs, running is more challenging!

But this makes sense. Many people who walk climb stairs, but many people climb flights of stairs every day to work but never run. This is because jogging is a more excellent aerobic workout than ascending stairs; if you haven’t been running, it will be more difficult!

One warning: It should go without saying that a vigorous jogging session will result in greater calorie burning than a simple stair workout. We argue that the treadmill outperforms the stair machine for demanding activities. Your level of effort will determine everything.


While the Stairmaster is low-impact because he’s not hitting the treadmill, he must complete a repetitive stair-climbing motion, which can be very hard on the knees.

It can also be easier to injure a Stairmaster because he moves vertically instead of horizontally. You will have to fight gravity more, which can lead to injury.


You could burn close to 600 calories in an average workout if you dash. You will burn roughly 400 calories with the same high intensity on the stairs. However, the stair climber will be the best choice if you have a slower running pace or walk on the treadmill.

The treadmill is a solely cardio machine, which explains why. Cardio is the only thing that matters. The Stairmaster, in contrast, combines resistance training and cardio, giving your lower body more of a strength exercise but less of a cardio workout.


Depending on how hard you’re going and what you’re trying to accomplish, the treadmill will likely give you a better workout in the same amount of time. On the treadmill, as opposed to the stairs, you might burn more calories and, thus, more fat.

However, the Stairmaster is the most excellent choice if you want to incorporate weight training because you have to walk, which is more complicated than simply swinging your legs forward and walking/running.

With a Stairmaster, you’ll get more exercise for your money if you want to practise cardio and strengthen and extend your lower body simultaneously.


The latter is much less expensive when deciding between a treadmill and a Stairmaster. For less than $1,000, you can purchase a decent treadmill. Most people can’t afford a Stairmaster because it costs several thousand dollars.

Stairmasters are a standard cardio machine at gyms, though. If you have access to a gym, try incorporating the Stairmaster into your regimen over the next several weeks to observe how it affects you. It can still be a proper cross-training technique, even if you don’t think it’s as effective as jogging.


Treadmills have many features that help you reach your cardio goals and keep you motivated. In hindsight, having your treadmill will help eliminate excuses, and the time it would have taken to get to the gym.

Our top six picks for treadmills for at-home exercise.

1.ProForm SMART Pro 2000


ProForm SMART Pro 2000

You will love this one if you are looking for a versatile and resistant treadmill. It’s equipped with a relatively wide 22-inch tread and is powered by a beefy 3.5 CHP engine, making it a perfect choice for dedicated racers.

It has a ProForm ProShox damping system combined with a 15% camber and a 3% drop. The console has a 7-inch LCD monitor that offers guided workouts and streaming through the subscription-based iFit service.

The app also controls all the basics of the treadmill. Like our previous pick, it also folds to a reasonably compact size.

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2.LifeSpan Fitness TR7000i

LifeSpan Fitness TR7000i

It is a commercial-grade treadmill used primarily in gyms, but it’s also a great addition to your collection of home exercise equipment. It boasts 15 levels of inclination, a powerful 3.5 CHP motor, and a top speed of 12 mph.

The running deck includes four separate shock absorbers that actively lessen stress on your body and the deck itself. It measures an astounding 22 x 62 inches. Users that weigh up to 400 pounds can utilize this treadmill.

Basic statistics like speed, time, and slope are shown on the 6.5-inch LCD monitor. The downside is that it doesn’t stream live training sessions, but you can connect it to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

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3.Echelon Stride: The best smart treadmill


Echelon Stride

When it comes to modern sensibility, the Echelon Stride has outdone itself. It comes with a large LCD touch screen with Bluetooth connectivity. To top it off, it folds down at the touch of a button.

It has a reasonably small 1.75 CHP engine but can reach top speeds of up to 12 mph, with a max lean of 10 degrees.

Echelon’s on-demand fitness program will motivate you with live classes and on-demand training sessions for just $40 per month. This subscription fee is reduced to $29 when you subscribe for two consecutive years.

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4.Pro-Form City L6 Treadmill

Folding treadmills don’t disappear; you don’t slide one into a closet when you’re done jogging. But, the City L6 collapses almost flat and could slide under a bed. With its small motor and low top speed, buy it if you want a machine for light hiking only. But it still contains many training tools you find on Pro-Form treadmills: If you have an iPad or tablet, you can connect to the iFit interactive training platform for virtual workouts, workouts, and walks through scenic locations.

Pro-Form City L6 Treadmill

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5.Sole F80 treadmill

Sole F80 treadmill

Although it has a more basic feature set than our other selections, the Sole F80 is a well-made treadmill with a durable frame. Its 3.5 nonstop-horsepower motor gets it to the same 12-mph top speed and 15-per cent max incline as our top pick, but it doesn’t fail.

The belt measures 60 inches long and approximately 22 inches wide, which is on par with our top pick. It has a comfortable and responsive platform that we enjoy running on.

In addition to the speed and incline controls on the console, it has adjustment buttons on the handrails, which proved convenient. The simple 9-inch LCD clearly shows metrics (although mileage only measures a tenth of a mile; our other picks measure to the hundredth of a mile). The treadmill features ten pre-programmed workouts and Bluetooth connectivity.

A tablet holder provides a location for a gadget over the console. The F80 was one of the loudest and heaviest treadmills to fold (it made more noise than our other picks). It comes with one of the best warranties:

  • Lifetime on the frame, motor, and deck
  • Five years for electronics and parts
  • Two years for labour

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 6.Nordic Track EXP 7i

Nordic Track EXP 7i

The NordicTrack EXP 7i offers a nearly identical experience to the Commercial 1750 but in a slightly smaller package. Its 3.0 continuous horsepower motor (0.75 less than 1750, though not particularly noticeable) helps the machine achieve the same top speed of 12 mph and a maximum incline of 15%.

However, unlike our top pick, there is no decline capability. The EXP 7i’s belt measures 60 inches long and 20 inches wide, 2 inches narrower than our top pick, yet still feels comfortable. The EXP 7i has a 7-inch touchscreen (3 inches smaller than our top pick) but the same Bluetooth connectivity and an optional iFit fitness streaming platform subscription. The treadmill is foldable. The warranty is the same as our top pick and covers the frame for ten years, parts for two years, and labour for one year.

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Let’s do a quick rundown of stair vs treadmill machines so you can have an easy way to compare the two.

Stairmaster’s benefits

The Stairmaster is an excellent choice for people who are elderly or healing from an accident. It’s low-impact, which means it’ll be easier on your joints. At the same time, you’ll still be getting a great lower body workout.

You’ll burn through calories quickly and develop lean muscle. Additionally, it stimulates the mind more than treadmill running does. You must follow the moving footprints!

Advantages of a treadmill

Treadmills are widely available and available in all gyms. Get to your feet and begin running. Using a treadmill doesn’t require much coordination, and you can probably watch TV while using one.

Exercise on a treadmill will give you stronger bones and muscles, more endorphins, and improved mental and emotional health. Depending on your pace, you’ll probably burn more calories on the treadmill than on the stairs because running is one of the best exercises for weight loss.

Cons of the treadmill

We all know running is hard on your joints because it’s the high impact, so you won’t be giving your body a break. It can also be challenging to stay stimulated on the treadmill because it’s a repetitive action.


Ready to burn some serious calories? Do it figuratively (and literally) with a stepping machine. These cardio machines are built around one of the most functional movements: the stepper. Climbers target your calves, quads, hamstrings, and all three major glute muscles for an all-in-one lower body workout.

Here is our list of the six best STAIR STEPPERS to keep fit at home.

1. Mini Stair Stepper Machine with Resistance Bands

Mini Stair Stepper Machine with Resistance Bands

Insufficient space? Weighing less than 15 pounds, this mini stepper stores easily in a closet or under the bed when not in use. The machine is built with two hydraulic resistance cylinders that provide a smooth step motion and the option to adjust the height of the step motion for short bursts or long steps.

Get even more out of this stepper with the removable resistance bands. Low-impact workouts can help you tone your chest, back, shoulders, abs, and obliques as the steps target your lower body. The small LCD monitor between degrees will record your steps per minute, actions during the workout, and time and calories burned.

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2.Vertical climber

Vertical climber

Stepping is a workout for the lower body; Climbing is a workout for the whole body. As you scale the moving steps of this vertical climber, using your body weight as resistance, you’ll engage all your major muscle groups (without adding unnecessary shock to your joints) and get your heart rate soaring.

It’s an excellent option for small spaces, with its small footprint and the ability to fold up after your workout (it weighs less than 35 pounds, so don’t worry about putting it back in your closet).

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3.Bluetooth stair stepper

Bluetooth stair stepper

Don’t want to invest in a vast machine that takes up a lot of space? One of the smallest footprints is provided by this Bluetooth-enabled stepper (see what we did there?

However, it connects to the MyCloudFitness app to unlock a world of opportunities: not only can you track your workouts, but you can also access personalized training programs. And scenic routes that are streamed to your TV.

Increase the pace and intensity by adjusting the step height to 10 inches, then add an upper-body workout using the attached resistance bands.

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4.Best Climber Overall: ProForm Carbon HIIT H7

ProForm Carbon HIIT H7

Advanced tech features, multiple resistance levels, best-in-class workouts, and rugged construction are just a few reasons we chose the ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 as the best climber overall. Serious fitness enthusiasts who want a solid cardio workout at home will appreciate how this machine also mimics elliptical motions by allowing your feet to travel 10 inches vertically and 5 inches horizontally. You will also burn your upper body as the handlebars simulate a punching or boxing action.

Other features we enjoy are its 24 resistance levels, compared to the competition, and linked HD touchscreen, which works with an iFit subscription to provide thousands of live and on-demand programmes.

Other noteworthy characteristics include a built-in fan with two settings, Bluetooth speakers, a high maximum user weight capacity, and silent magnetic resistance for a peaceful ride. Even though it is intended for home usage, the machine does need a sizeable space, so before buying the Carbon HIIT H7, make sure to measure your floor area.

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5.Best 2-in-1 Stair Climber: XTERRA Fitness Seated Stair Climber

XTERRA Fitness Seated Stair Climber

Participating in effective dynamic exercise depends on your body, ability, and fitness level. We advise the XTERRA Fitness Seated Stepper for anyone who requires a cardio machine that offers a seated, full-body aerobic workout. As for many people, it also needs to be safe and accessible.

This unique stepper offers a lower body workout similar to a standing or upright stepper with the added comfort of sitting. Plus, the articulating padded grips come with 360-degree rotation allowing you to challenge your upper body muscles differently every time you work out. We also like that the handlebars swing away for easy entry and exit.

A large, simple-to-read LCD that measures your heart rate, speed, and distance travelled is included in the XTERRA Seated Stepper’s 24 resistance settings. Up to 300 pounds and six-foot-two people can use this seated climber. Although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, it is essential to note that this machine is expensive, heavy and requires a lot of space.

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6.Step-by-step cardio for women’s health

cardio for women's health

Small space? No problem. The WH cardio stepper (yes, we’ve made our own!) is portable and easy to store under the bed or in the closet. Take it out when you’re ready to sweat. You may intensify your workout by altering the step height up to 10 inches or using the adjustable resistance bands.

The ideal machine for my home gym, says the reviewer. I like to alternate between dancing and running for my cardio.

This allows me to watch my favourite shows while getting a good workout! My heart rate increased 10 points above what I could do on my recumbent bike. I’m sweating like crazy right now! I’m so happy with this!

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StairMaster Cons

If you’re a bit uncoordinated (like me), keeping up with the ladder master can be challenging, even if he’s going at an average speed. Additionally, if you are inclined to recline, it might be difficult for your upper body. You ought to stay upright for the most satisfactory outcomes.

Because it’s a less common machine than a treadmill, if you go to a smaller gym or have one in your apartment or condo complex, there’s a chance there won’t be a Stairmaster, making it less accessible.

What is the effect of stairs and treadmills on a person’s heart rate?

Taking the stairs or walking the extra mile can take time, but in an interview with “Scientific American,” William Haskell, a professor at Stanford University, points out that regular exercise can extend life by up to seven years. Moderate activities, such as walking or climbing stairs increase the body’s demand for nutrients and oxygen.

During the activity, the heart rate rises to meet the body’s oxygen demands. Regular training, however, lowers your resting heart rate as your heart’s efficiency improves. during exercise

When you walk on the treadmill or take the stairs, you force your muscles to do the work. Oxygen is a fuel source for the muscles, so as you walk faster and longer, the body’s need for oxygen increases.

According to Montana State University, oxygen consumption is proportional to heart rate. In other words, the more oxygen you need, your heart will pump faster. Ultimately, the maximum heart rate is reached, the fastest speed at which the heart can pump adequately.


Finally, Treadmill vs Stairmaster varies in quality. You probably don’t have a luxury treadmill at a smaller gym, and an older gym may not provide you with the ideal workout.

In the end, each machine has its advantages and disadvantages. You may consider incorporating both devices into your workouts to get the best of both worlds. Then you can reap the lower-body toning benefits of the stair climber and the cardiovascular benefits of the Treadmill vs Stairmaster.