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Stair Climber For Weight Loss: Can It Help Burn Belly Fat?

Lisandra Fields

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

Does Stair Climber Burn Belly Fat

Weight loss is a crucial undertaking that involves a lot more than just a proper diet. It also requires a ton of perseverance and plenty of physical activity. On that note, who said you don’t need to hit the gym every other day to lose belly fat? 

One way to lose fat is an intense workout session on the stair climber. The stair climber is more than enough to burn more calories and give you a flat tummy. 

Fat-burning pills for women are another great option.  

In this article, we’re going to explore what you stand to gain from stair climbing and how you can utilize it as a significant part of your workout regimen. Let’s get right into it, shall we? 

Does Stair Climber Burn Belly Fat? 

Stair climbers are a great alternative to staircases. They’re basically stationary fitness machines with a constant step rotation. They help you lose weight by allowing you to climb up based on your preferred duration and speed. They’re a worthy addition to other cardio exercises such as jump rope, running, burpees, and so on. 

Stair climbers come in handy especially if you live in a place where staircases are hard to come by. Stair climbers target body parts where visceral fat is most likely to accumulate (i.e., your abdominals, hips, thighs, and glutes). Here are a couple of ways the stair climber helps you to lose belly fat fast:

  • Burns calories 
  • Builds core muscle strength
  • Makes your workout session more enjoyable
  • Offers several workout variations
  • Offers aerobic conditioning

Burns Calories 

The stair climber is an effective and efficient tool for either adding more muscle around your abdomen or losing extra fat in that area.

In fact, a 30-minute workout on a stair climber can quickly burn anywhere between 180 and 260 calories[1]. Of course, it could even be more, depending on the intensity of your workout and your body weight. 

To put this into perspective, a person who weighs 180 pounds may burn more calories than a 130-pound individual in a similar workout. 

A faster ‘climb’ also has a higher potential to burn extra calories compared to a slower one. 

Most stair climbers come complete with a calorie-burning calculator that gives a rough approximation of the calories you’ve lost. The approximate figure will depend on your current weight. 

Builds Core Muscle Strength

When you work out on a stair stepper, you engage your core and strengthen your abdominals. This tool is most effective for high-intensity interval training. The hip action also acts as a calorie burner by engaging certain abdominal muscles such as the abs and intercostal and external obliques. 

It’s estimated[2] that taking an average of 10 steps on the climber is equivalent to taking approximately 38 steps on the ground. It’s, therefore, safe to say that the stair climber is almost four times more time-saving than a treadmill. 

The level of muscle strength you stand to build on a stair climber may depend strongly on your weight. If you weigh more, you’ll burn more. With every step you take on the climber, your body will be forced to move against a stronger resistance. 

Streamlines your Workout Session 

Stair climbers come pretty easy to use and serve their purpose effectively. There’s generally no learning curve with this machine. Literally, anyone can use it to lose weight, but it’s most beneficial to injured individuals under rehabilitation.

If you run often, the stair climber pits you against gravity and strengthens your abdominal muscles at a stationary position. Climbing stairs also stimulates vital muscles like the abs, gluteus medius, and other essential areas.

Working out on a stair climber is far better[3] than going upstairs. With the stair climber, you’re on a constant upward climb. Your joints and connective tissue will barely feel the wear and tear that comes with the earth’s gravitational pull as you go down the stairs.  Stairs work as a great alternative in the absence of a stair climber. 

Offers a Number of Workout Variations 

Stair climbing offers unlimited variations to keep your belly workouts stimulating and engaging with every session. You’ll also notice that you can work various muscle groups (calves and hamstrings) with backward walks on the climber. 

Stair climbers are splendid machines to integrate into a circuit exercise[4] and shed that body fat faster. When you combine it with other resistance and cardio equipment, the climber gives you an intense workout session that engages your entire body. 

The next time you’re in the gym, try these workout variations to burn more calories for a slimmer belly

  • Warm-up on the treadmill (5 minutes)
  • Stair climber exercise (1 minute)
  • Body squats (1 minute)
  • Stationary cycle (1 minute)
  • Bench press (1 minute)
  • Jump rope (1 minute)
  • Rowing machine (1 minute)
  • Stair climber exercise (1 minute)

Each rep on this list should be done consistently, leaving very little room for rest. At the end of your session, take a 1-minute breather. Once you complete at least ten rounds of this routine, strive to do it at least five times a week for the next three months. As time goes by, you can improve your climber workouts by including these four exercises:

  • Side Step: While on the machine, turn your body to the left side. Take a step with your right foot, and then cross up and over with your left foot. Perform a predetermined number of steps on your left side, then make a switch to the right side. Ensure you do these pretty slowly as it requires a ton of coordination.
  • Sumo Step: In between steps, try taking an exaggerated step to your left as you imitate the typical walking style of a sumo wrestler. Ensure you keep your shoulders back and maintain a neutral spine.
  • Squat Step: Take a parallel squat position on your stair climber. Keep stepping from this position until you realize a burning sensation on your quads. This position will also boost your cardiovascular workout and increase your V02 max. 
  • Alternate leg raises: As you take medium-paced steps, bend toward your waist and make backward kicks with your right leg. Ensure that you’re entirely contracting your glutes with each back kick. As you take the next step, try to balance yourself, then do the same with your left leg.    

Offers Aerobic Conditioning 

Anaerobic conditioning uses oxygen to fuel your fat loss workouts. This kind of workout leaves you breathless and strengthens your lungs and heart. 

The stair climber is one of the best tools to burn more calories and improve your aerobic conditioning[5]. One round of fast-paced steps can significantly increase your heart rate and give you a much-needed adrenaline rush. 

You can experiment on the machine and choose how many climbs you can accomplish in each session. Between your rest periods, do some light exercises to get you warmed up for the next round. 

When your conditioning gets better over time, you’ll notice that your sets of climbs increase, your rest intervals become lower, you can boost your number of climbs, and even use a weighted vest during your workout. 

Improved conditioning also translates to a flatter tummy as well as a better fitness level.  The more rounds you add on the climber, the more belly fat and calories you burn in the process. Within a week or two, you’ll notice your stomach getting more toned and your body feeling a little lighter. 

The Stair Climber and Fat Loss

Overweight individuals can use the stair climber to reduce their blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and the burden on their joints. You can also include simple and effective belly exercises that involve strength training and aerobic exercise for general fitness and fat loss. 

Stair climbers accomplish both those goals and more. While some may prefer walking upstairs in their own home, it’s generally a matter of what works best for you.

On the other hand, you can keep things even more interesting physically and mentally by adding in upper-body weight exercises, stretching exercises, and a blend of other sports exercises. 

But, it takes more than just spending more time and effort on the climber to notice positive abdominal results. 

It also helps to keep track of your calorie intake and incorporate clean eating into your lifestyle. Cut down on saturated fats/sugars and incorporate more lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

Final Thoughts

Have you used a stair climber before? If not, take time to work with your trainer at your local gym or fitness center. Learning to use it might be somewhat easy, but finding the proper exercise routine for a trimmer beer belly might be surprisingly challenging. 

The only way you can learn a proper exercise routine is to hire a personal trainer. Your personal trainer[6] should have an American Council on Exercise certification. The ACE certification is a well-recognized certification that assures your trainer is qualified to do what they do. 

Overall, the best thing about using a climber is that you won’t need constant supervision or training. After a month or two, you’ll be good enough to use one safely and at the right intensity that works for you.

We recommend that you stay consistent in your efforts even after you lose fat. Focus on your nutrition and lower body fitness levels as well. 


+ 6 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Harvard Health. (2004). Calories burned in 30 minutes of leisure and routine activities – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights
  2. ‌Sumathi Reddy (2013). Do the Fitness Math: Gym vs. Stairs. [online] WSJ. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324096404578354590581579014#
  3. ‌Whittaker, A.C., Eves, F.F., Carroll, D., Roseboom, T.J., Ginty, A.T., Painter, R.C. and de Rooij, S.R. (2021). Daily stair climbing is associated with decreased risk for the metabolic syndrome. BMC Public Health, [online] 21(1). Available at: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-10965-9
  4. ‌Sciencegate.app. (2021). Circuit Exercise Latest Research Papers | ScienceGate. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencegate.app/keyword/1702160
  5. ‌Patel, H., Alkhawam, H., Madanieh, R., Shah, N., Kosmas, C.E. and Vittorio, T.J. (2017). Aerobicvsanaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system. World Journal of Cardiology, [online] 9(2), p.134. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5329739/
  6. ‌Acefitness.org. (2020). Find A Personal Trainer | ACE Certified Pro. [online] Available at: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/find-ace-pro/
Lisandra Fields

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

Lisandra Fields is a freelance medical writer from Pennsylvania who creates articles, blog posts, fact sheets, and website content for health-related organizations across North America. She has experience working with a wide range of clients, from health charities to businesses to media outlets. She has experience writing about cancer, diabetes, ALS, cannabis, personality psychology, and COVID-19, among many other topics. Lisandra enjoys reading scientific journal articles and finding creative ways to distill the ideas for a general audience.

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

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