How to choose a step platform for aerobics?
The step platform was invented in the late 1980s, serving as the beginning of a real “step revolution”.
Since then, group trainings on steps (from the English step – “step”) have become a real classics of aerobics, and the range of step platforms has grown so much that it is often rather difficult to choose a suitable step.
Step Platform Options
The most common configurations are with feet (square like The Step or round like LesMills) or steps
For maximum comfort and freedom of action, it is necessary to choose a step with a length of 80 cm. In this case, all participants in group exercises, regardless of their height, will be able to put their feet shoulder-width apart. It should also be borne in mind that in some exercises, clients lie down on the step. Therefore, the longer the step, the better. The leader here is The Step (108 cm).
Comfortable step widths start at 35 cm (Reebok) and go up to 42 cm (LesMills). The wider the step, the more comfortable it is for people with large feet to step on it. For example, for size 40, you need a minimum width of 26 cm (foot length). However, when training, a margin of several centimeters is required in front and behind the foot.
The step has three height adjustments. LesMills and The Step can be adjusted to 10 cm, 15 cm and 20 cm. Each level (5 cm) increases the load during exercise by approximately 12%. Reebok strips are adjustable to 15 cm, 20 cm, 25 cm, making the exercise harder.
Be sure to read this parameter before purchasing a step. Keep in mind that walking calmly on the steppe is only a small part of the workout. Clients will weigh themselves down with dumbbells or barbells, jump on a step, etc. Therefore, the maximum user weight should be as high as possible. The leader in this indicator is The Step with a maximum user weight of 218 kg, in second place is LesMills SmartStep (136 kg), in third place is Reebok Step (about 110 kg).
The advantage of The Step in this indicator is achieved due to the engineering solution, which was patented back in 1989. On the upper side of the step, you can see two gutters, which are an integral part of the structure. These grooves distribute the force exerted on the step over the entire surface, preventing possible breakage of the step in the center of the working surface. An important factor here is the place of production. The Step is the only step brand that is produced in the United States.
on a step you will not find any of the springs, however absorption effect is mandatory characteristic steppe. It is provided with special materials and design features. In the production of platforms, plastic is used to “damp” the impact of the heels on the surface. Therefore, the joints and the spine are not subjected to such a load when jumping on a step, as during the same exercises on a solid monolithic floor. This is why it is not advisable to buy used platforms. Even the slightest crack, which may not be visible under the rubber coating, can lead to a decrease in the shock-absorbing qualities of the step and, as a result, provoke injury. Also, don’t expect good amortization from cheap copies.
The more rubberized places on the step, the better – it is difficult to overdo it. Both the work surface on which you stand with your feet and the lower part of the “legs” should have a rubber coating or inserts. These models are more expensive, but customer safety is invaluable. It is important that the foot cannot slip off the step (including if sweat gets on the surface of the step), and that the step itself does not slide on the floor. If you decide to purchase a budget option, then pay attention that the plastic surface is corrugated, and not completely smooth.
It is worth noting that the rubber coating of expensive steps will undoubtedly last longer, and you will not need to change them regularly. However, the rubber cover and feet should be checked periodically. If they are frayed, it can lead to injury.
In this regard, LesMill’s steps have one significant advantage. Usually, the steps are made of plastic, on top of which a rubber coating is glued. Over time, this rubber coating may begin to peel off. In this case, the client can catch his foot on the unstuck corner, or the rubber coating can completely come off. All this is fraught with injury. In contrast, the LesMills step is completely made of rubberized plastic, which eliminates the possibility of peeling off.
Advanced steps may have additional options that expand functionality or convenience. For example, LesMills steps are sloped and have slots for shock absorbers.
We recommend having several TerraCore platforms in your group class as well . Exercising on these platforms will add additional complexity and variety to your workouts. Advanced tap users will definitely thank you.