Adding a stepper machine or a walk up a staircase to your exercise routine can improve the muscle strength in your lower and upper legs. Muscles affected by stepping include: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus.
The gluteus muscles (the glutes) are the muscles in your butt. As you step up and down on a stair stepper, you extend and contract these muscles giving them a good workout.
Your hamstrings are the muscles that run along the back of your upper legs. Exercising and working on your hamstrings can help you tone and loss fat in your thighs.
The quadriceps are the muscle group found in the front upper part of the leg and is the area most worked by stepping machines.
The gastrocnemius is located at the back of the lower leg and is more commonly referred to as the calf muscle. Stepping machines can help tighten and tone your calves, but beware. The calves are prone to injury.
The soleus muscle is the smaller muscle in the calf. It runs from the gastronemius to your foot and can get a serious workout from a stepping machine, especially if you're heavy on your heel.