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Step aerobics can be a great way to get in a cardiovascular workout. Find out what equipment you need and what equipment can benefit your step aerobics sessions.
Step aerobics can be a fun way to get exercise benefits that include losing weight, improving cardiovascular health, engaging muscles, improving lung health, improving balance and coordination, etc.
To do step aerobics you do need a stepper. Besides that, you don’t need every single item on this equipment kit list but some can definitely be a good addition to your exercise sessions.
Also keep in mind that even though there are upsides, like with any exercise there is always a certain injury risk. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.
1. Step platform
To do step aerobics at home or in the gym, the first and arguably only piece of equipment you need is a step platform. This is simply a sturdy elevated platform, sometimes with an anti-slip surface.
Once you have that, you can start doing sequences of steps with extra movement on and off the step platform, usually with music in the background.
Some things to keep in mind as you choose your step platform are its weight capacity, how high it goes, whether it has an anti-slip surface, whether its contact point with the ground has an anti-slip surface, how big the step platform is, how adjustable it is, etc.
2. Anti slip workout mat
During step aerobics there will be a lot of back and forth steps. Even if you have good exercise shoes some floor-step platform combinations will benefit from this step aerobics equipment.
Some of these mats are also thick enough to make other floor exercises a lot more comfortable. Especially for many core and stretching exercises, a good mat can improve comfort a lot.
The downside of anti slip workout mats is that can be a bit pricey. On the other hand, possibly not as pricey as slipping and falling down.
3. Weighted vest
While step aerobics is mainly a cardiovascular workout but exercise beginners, and possibly intermediates, may be able to build some muscle. However, as your muscles get stronger, the same step aerobics workout will become too easy for muscle growth.
A weighted vest, literally a vest with extra weights, can help you build more muscle for longer with step aerobics. Besides that this piece of equipment also makes step aerobics a more challenging cardiovascular workout. In turn, this can also lead to things like more weight loss.
Another benefit of a weighted vest is that it is extremely versatile. You can use it in many exercises for many body parts and different exercise categories.
Weighed vests are not that expensive but they do require an additional investment in your step aerobics equipment kit.
4. Neoprene dumbbells
Similar to a weighted vest, dumbbells can make step aerobics more challenging and offer the benefits related to this. Compared to a weighted vest, it feels less natural to do step aerobics movements with dumbbells.
On the other hand, dumbbells make step aerobics more challenging with your arms which can make them look more toned. A weighted vest mainly makes step aerobics harder for your legs and cardiovascular system.
Next, the weight ceiling of a weighted vest for step aerobics will be a lot harder than the weight ceiling of dumbbells. Step aerobics is only doable with relatively light dumbbells.
One benefit of dumbbells is that you may be able to use them in other exercises too. However, you may need heavier dumbbells to see a lot of progress.
5. Wrist weights
Wrist weights are simply straps with some extra weight that are attached to your wrists. Similar to dumbbells they can make step aerobics more challenging for your legs, cardiovascular system, and arms.
One benefit of wrist weights over dumbbells is that you can’t drop them while doing any step sequences.
Additionally, they can be used both as wrist and ankle weights in a variety of exercises for many different body parts. Wrist weights are also relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and very portable.
One potential downside of wrist weights is that they generally only come in light weights compared to equipment like weighted vests or dumbbells. However, for step aerobics this is not that big of an issue.
6. Bosu Ball
The next piece of step aerobics equipment is a Bosu Ball. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.
If you get to a point where your cardiovascular health, ankle strength, balance, and coordination are strong enough, you can consider a Bosu Ball as an alternative step platform for step aerobics.
Doing step aerobics on a Bosu Ball instead of a platform will help you train these areas of your physical health to a larger extent.
A benefit of the Bosu Ball is that this equipment can also be used in other exercises and workouts. Usually with a focus on improving your balance.
A potential downside of Bosu Balls is that they can be pricier than some of the other options on this list. If this is an issue, the Bosu Ball is a brand name. Off-brand alternatives may suit your needs too.
7. Plyo box
A plyo box, also known as a jump box or step box, is simply a box that is strong enough to deal with jump exercises. You can however also use a plyo box for a wide variety of other exercises, including as a step platform for step aerobics.
A downside of the plyo box for step aerobics is that it is relatively high compared to a standard step platform. This will make certain step aerobics moves more awkward to do.
Plyo boxes may also be more slippery and keep in mind that they require a good amount of storage space.
On the other hand, the height of the plyo box does make step aerobics a lot more challenging for your leg muscles. In turn, this can lead to more muscle gain faster.
All in all, a plyo box is not ideal for cardiovascular-focused step aerobics workouts. You could consider investing in this equipment if you are also interested in doing some of the other plyo box exercises.