What is an Aerobic Step Bench?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

An aerobic step bench is a tool that is used in aerobic exercise, particularly in step aerobics. It is used to step up onto and back down in order to work the muscles in the legs and raise the heart rate. These benches are usually made out of durable plastic and have material on the bottoms that keep the benches from moving or skidding while they are in use. The top is covered in a material that keeps the feet from slipping when the user steps onto the bench. These mats are also usually made out of some kind of plastic or rubber.

Aerobic step benches work the leg muscles and provide a cardiovascular workout.
Aerobic step benches work the leg muscles and provide a cardiovascular workout.

It is common for an aerobic step bench to come with risers. Most benches come with between two and five risers that allow users to make adjustments in the height of the bench. Adjusting the height means being able to control the type and intensity of an aerobic workout. Varying heights also work different muscle groups.

Step benches often come with risers that allow the user to adjust the intensity level of a step routine by raising the height of the step bench.
Step benches often come with risers that allow the user to adjust the intensity level of a step routine by raising the height of the step bench.

Depending on the design of an aerobic step bench, various weights can be supported. Before purchasing an aerobic step bench, it is important to check the maximum weight that the bench can support. This is particularly important for people who weigh more than 200 pounds (about 90 kilograms) as it is common for an aerobic step bench to support only 200 pounds.

Before exercising or dieting, a pregnant woman should consult her OB-GYN for advice.
Before exercising or dieting, a pregnant woman should consult her OB-GYN for advice.

Gyms that offer step aerobics or aerobics classes that use step segments almost always supply each class member with an aerobic step bench. Taking a class like this is a great way to learn step aerobics and to decide if an aerobic step bench is a good investment for at-home workouts. It is also a good way to find a manufacturer who makes good step benches. Many companies that manufacture equipment for gyms also sell equipment to individual consumers.

For those who can't go to a gym to learn step aerobic routines to practice at home, there are plenty of step aerobics DVDs and videos. In fact, it is not uncommon for an aerobic step bench to come with an instructional DVD or video. There are also a number of websites that offer free video clips of workout routines, including step aerobics routines.

Remember to consult a medical professional before beginning any kind of exercise program. Also, an aerobic step bench should always be used while wearing well-fitting sneakers. It is not advisable to use these kinds of benches in bare feet.

Step aerobics may help individuals lose weight.
Step aerobics may help individuals lose weight.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

@raynbow- I think it is a great idea to build your workout by increasing the lift in an aerobic step bench. However, I also think it is important to always start with the lowest riser first and gradually work up to more height over time. If you start out with the step benching being too high, you could easily sprain a leg muscle.

Raynbow

I like to use an aerobic step bench when I work out because I can feel the results in my leg muscles. Depending on how much time I have to exercise, I usually use all three of my risers to increase the benefit of my workout as I go along.

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