Guides & Information

Mini Stepper Benefits In Workout Routines: Is it Effective?

Learn all you need to know about mini steppers and if they are an effective workout solution.

by Josh Mitchell

One of the most popular and neglected workout machines, the mini stepper, is an easy way to tone your lower body from the comfort of your own home.

While you work your lower legs, it is also possible to pump your arms with free weights, work at your desk, or watch TV. Mini steppers are great for multitasking but are they effective at keeping you fit?


At their most basic, mini steppers are two footplates on a small metal frame with a motor and screen.

Carefully put one foot on each footplate and stand so that each foot is level.

Then press down one foot at a time and repeat.

Doing this for 20-40 minutes targets areas of the body such as the cardiovascular system, the hamstrings, the thighs, the glutes, and the calves.

Some mini steppers also come with stretch bands or handles.

Mini Stepper Benefits & Advantages

  1. 1
    Living in a small home or apartment with limited storage options can make working out difficult and owning a treadmill or elliptical impossible. Luckily, mini steppers are compact enough to fit in small spaces for your convenience.
  2. 2
    Can be used sitting or standing
    Sitting at a desk all day is incredibly damaging for the body. Mini steppers can be used when sitting or standing to keep you in top condition no matter what your needs are.
  3. 3
    Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
    Depending on the speed and effort put into your stepper workout, you can use a mini stepper to add some cardio into your routine and improve your cardiovascular health.
  4. 4
    Increased Bone Mass 
    Working out with a mini stepper over time can increase an average user’s bone mass and strength as well as their overall health. This is just one of many mini stepper benefits.

Mini Stepper: Drawbacks

Mini Stepper workout

While mini steppers can be a great fitness tool, there are some drawbacks to them.

Some users find it difficult to balance without handles.

Because of the repetitive motion, mini steppers can be considered monotonous, and this is a big reason why people stop using them.

The stepping motion is not always a natural movement for the body and can be hard to get used to.

Calorie Burn & Weight Loss

Just stepping at an average pace will burn some calories, but mini steppers do not burn as many calories as other fitness machines. To get the most from your workout, it is best to add different workout styles such as HIIT training into your routine. To track your progress, the LED screen will often show distance, calories burned, and time. Other ways to track your progress include monitoring how you feel over time, using a fitness app or accessory, or using a calorie burn estimator like this one.

Muscle Toning

When a mini stepper user presses down on each footplate, the clenched muscles combined with the resistance from the plates tones the following muscles over time:

  • The thighs
  • The calves
  • The hips
  • The glutes
  • The hamstrings
  • The arms (for mini steppers with stretch bands)

Mini Stepper: HIIT Workouts

Stepper training often consists of mini stepper workouts that last for 20-60 minutes with maybe some arm workouts or body twists. While this is a valuable exercise, it does not fully utilize your stepper. HIIT training is a workout that uses short bursts of intense activity to shred calories and fat content. One example of a HIIT workout that is suitable for beginners is:

  • Warm-up for 3-5 minutes with no incline or resistance
  • Increase the resistance or incline if possible and move at full speed for 15-30 seconds
  • Remove the resistance and incline for 30-60 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times. Build up to 10 rounds and adjust to suit your needs
  • Cooldown at a reasonable pace for 3-5 minutes
  • Stretch your body carefully
  • Do this workout every other day

Mini Stepper: Who Will Benefit the Most?

While the mini stepper is useful and straightforward enough that it is accessible to anyone, certain people may find the mini stepper more beneficial. People who spend long hours at desks, have weak legs, or are on a budget will find mini steppers the most helpful.

Tips for Using a Mini Stepper

To make the most of your mini steppers, make sure to do the following:

  • Always purchase a mini stepper that has a warranty
  • Always warm-up and cool down before and after a workout
  • Look for quality brands and builds
  • Check if you can make adjustments to the pedals before purchase
  • Check the product dimensions before purchase
  • Listen to music or watch TV while working out to avoid monotony
  • Switch up your routine with HIIT or arm workouts to prevent boredom
  • Try different mini stepper exercises like the twist for variety

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I exercise on a mini stepper?

Typically, it is best to work out for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week.

Are there any safety issues or risks associated with using mini steppers?

The risk of falling off of a mini stepper or getting a shoelace stuck are the main risks. Have the stepper near a wall for balance and make sure that your laces are tucked in before beginning.

How do I track progress on a mini stepper?

Use the LED screen, a fitness accessory, to monitor how easy to workouts are over time to keep track of your progress.

How long do mini steppers normally last?

Typically, mini steppers last anywhere from 1-5 years but can last longer with regular care and maintenance.

How much do mini steppers normally cost?

On average, mini steppers cost anything from $40 to $500 or so, but most good ones are on the lower end of the spectrum.


As you can see, mini steppers are an excellent way to fit some lower body exercise into a busy schedule or small home. To see some of the best models on the market, see our ratings and comparison guide for more information.

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