We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Stairmaster®?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Stairmaster® is a brand name that manufactures stair stepping machines. Commonly found in gyms and fitness centers, the Stairmaster® originally hit the market in the early 1980s and was considered a revolutionary piece of gym machinery. The original Stairmaster® was a step-treadmill that functioned similarly to an escalator; the stairs rotated in a constant motion to mimic the motion of walking or running upstairs, and the speed could be varied to deliver different levels of resistance for a workout. Stairmaster® has since created different and more advanced models of the stair stepping machine, as well as other fitness equipment, though machines similar to the original model are still in use today.

A modern Stairmaster® generally consists of two platforms, one for each foot. The platforms move independently of each other, allowing each leg to move at its own rate. The platforms are raised off the ground to allow for downward and upward movement, and the platforms are attached to arms that are affixed to a center point within the machine. Resistance is controlled by adjusting the computer system, which controls the rate of the chain drive system inside the machine. The frame of the machine extends to the front and sides of the user to provide strength and support. The user can grasp hand rails for stability during exercise as well.

The Stairmaster® today has a much smaller footprint than earlier models, and the computer system affixed to the machine is far more advanced. Such a machine measures heart rate and calories burned, as well as other features that vary by model. Some models now come equipped with LCD screens that are capable of being hooked up as a television so the user can watch shows to pass the time while exercising. Some models also feature water bottle holders and other amenities.

Since it first hit the market, Stairmaster® machines have spawned copies, some much cheaper and not nearly as solid, and some built as direct competition to the original. Today, the company is owned by Nautilus, Incorporated, which manufactures other exercise machines that may or may not bear the Stairmaster® name and likeness. The original machines targeted the muscles of the legs, particularly the calves and thighs, though it also provided a cardiovascular workout at higher speeds. The use of the machine was common among athletes, particularly runners and skiers who routinely use those muscles while participating in their respective sports.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.