5 Simple Beginner Stairmaster Workouts To Try Today

There are several differences between Kim Kardashian and me: Our bank statements, 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 attitudes about a beginner StairMaster workouts.

Kim starts her 5 a.m. daily workouts—which she usually shares on the ‘gram—with a few minutes of a beginner StairMaster workout. I, on the other hand, staring at the machine with disdain any time I come within 10 feet of it at the gym and have only ever truly gotten onto it when a trainer commanded. But despite how completely painful StairMasters tend to be, KKW appears to be onto something, because they actually do make for an efficient workout.


Beginner StairMaster workouts are a wonderful machine to workout on because it works your entire lower half—your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and you use your body weight to push yourself upward, so it’s excellent for everyone. It also increases your entire body temperature, which is the purpose behind working out. Have you ever walked up three flights of stairs and noticed your heart and breath rate is high? That’s because it raises your heart rate in no time. Climb it for 30 minutes and you’re all set for your sweat session.

To make your workout as un-boring as possible, here are five of our favorite beginner StairMaster workouts worth stepping into.

1. A HIIT Routine

This beginner StairMaster workout from Kim Kardashian’s trainer, Melissa Alcantara, is excellent 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 hurdle is not falling off”

2. A five-minute leg warmup

Fitness influencer Maggie De Francisco loves this five-minute warmup for leg day but you can use it to build your workout: Start with one minute on your toes, followed by one minute of kickbacks, 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 Stairmaster for this part!).

3. A weighted warmup

To take your beginner StairMaster workouts 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

The Stairmaster is the Lizzo of the workout machine world. Hear me out: It bodes well for ponytail flips, it is bold and once you take a closer look you’ll immediately realize it’s more badass than it might seem, and it’s famous amongst the youths. At least, it was for me when I first started working out at my neighborhood gym as a teen.

While it looks like any person can just jump on and start stepping, it’s not as simple as just walking up a flight of stairs for half an hour straight. Form comes into play (of course), and you can injure yourself if you don’t follow along in the correct way. Trainers notice a lot of people make mistakes on it, which destroys the whole full-body cardio benefits that the Stairmaster awards to everyone who climbs onto it at the gym.



“Stairmasters can be a great low-impact cardiovascular option,” says a program manager at a local gym. That said, it’s only if you’re doing it with proper form. And so, avoid these five most common mistakes that trainers see people make on with the beginner Stairmaster workout.

1. Focusing on speed

One way to never get stronger? Only looking at speed on the Stairmaster. “Faster is not necessarily better,” says one fitness trainer. “Instead, concentrate on your strides per minute when developing your step length. Try to skip a step as you’re increasing instead of just increasing the level.”

2. Improper form

Just like there’s a proper way to run or to spin, there’s a proper way to move on the Stairmaster. “You should keep your back upright and shoulders back, head held high with your core engaged,” says one fitness trainer. “Avoid leaning too far forward, slumping your shoulders, or leaning on the handrails.” As for your lower body, he says to keep your feet close to the center of the step of the and your legs slightly bent, avoiding locked knees. Also: Keep your body weight in your heels, shoulders stacked over your hips, and keep your hips on an even plane and your shoulders and chest pointing forward.

3. Leaning

Another trainer pointed out that she notices a lot of people doing three main things: leaning, rocking and twisting. “Leaning is when, rather than driving your body weight in the center and engaging the core, you shift right and left instead of having your hips on an even plane as much as possible and your shoulders down, away from your ears,” she says. “When you’re leaning side to side, you’re shifting your bodyweight and not getting the most effective workout in your entire body.”

4. Rocking

This is when you’re moving forward and back, which destroys your full-body workout potential. “When it comes to forward flexion and arching your back, most people tend to lean back rather than engaging their core and working their ribs, pulling shoulder blades back to stay engaged,” explains the trainer. “People lean too far forward or arch too far back, but you want your shoulders aligned with your hips. The straighter you can keep your body, the more engaged you’ll keep your core.”

5. Twisting

Another trainer explained that a lot of people twist their upper body when on the Stairmaster, too. “This kind of engages the obliques, but for the best overall compound workout, you should keep your shoulders square. Instead of twisting while stepping, use your abs and upper back so that your lower body can benefit from the machine, too.

When do you know that you have hit your plateau with this beginner Stairmaster workout? That can occur when your body has gotten used to what you’ve been putting it through. It happens with every exercise. Whether it’s running at a regular pace, consistently operating the same cycling speed, or repetitively doing the same lift with the same weight, he says that once you feel like your gains have stalled, it’s time to re-think your routine.

The key to working out is to find programs you actually like, stick to them, and establish how to reward yourself after a workout because a little TLC to look forward to is the best form of motivation. Make sure to stick to your goals and keep your end result in sight.