This Cardio Machine Burns the Most Calories (and You're Probably Ignoring It)

Kelsey Clark

Let's be honest: Our busy schedules only allow for minimal gym time, which means we're constantly searching for ways to make the most of it. If calorie burn after an indulgent meal is your goal, look no further than the 1980s relic known as the StairMaster. "It's actually my favorite cardio machine," said Seth Maynard, the director of fitness at Switch Playground in New York City, to Well+Good. "It lifts and tightens everything, burns a lot of calories, and is easier on the knees."

Having made the switch from the treadmill to the StairMaster myself, I second his notion about calorie burn; I've been shocked on multiple occasions by the number of calories burned after just 10 minutes of climbing (especially compared to the slow burn on a treadmill). The machine works your glutes, thighs, quads, and calves while taking the pressure off of your joints.

"You can also let go of the handles and keep your chest up high, which is going to increase core strength and engage your stabilizers," he adds. He recommends 20 to 30 minutes of climbing on the moving staircase version of the machine (the outdated pedal-pumping style won't cut it). If you want to target your butt, "You can also do a lunge walk on it … instead of doing every step, do every other step to really engage the glutes," he concludes.

Are you a fan of the StairMaster? Share your review of the classic cardio machine in the comments below!

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