What Muscles Does a Stepper Machine Work?

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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Sienna Condy began writing professionally in 2001 while attending the University of Cincinnati, and she's been at it ever since. Since graduating, she's written everything from marketing materials to articles on removing stains. Today, she enjoys writing about weddings, legal issues, science, health and parenting.