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I had always associated aerobics with women, and been a man it can be daunting to go to aerobics classes due to the high percentage of women in the majority of classes. Aerobics exercises are done by both men and women, though, so being able to do step aerobics at home really helped me as I don't even have to leave the home to do them! I were looking for a step that was just quite basic and affordable - nothing too fancy. I came across the Rucanor Profi Aerobic Step in my local sports shop and bought it after closer inspection.
The step is obviously designed for step aerobics. The general idea is to incorporate the step in your exercises and both the vertical and horizontal movement will increase the calorie burn and give you a better result from such an exercise session. The legs are the big benefactors, as they are needed to power you through the step motion and I always wear footwear whilst using this product.
I suppose one could question the need for such a product, as most of us have steps in our property! The Rucanor Profi Aerobic Step allows you to step forwards, backwards, and to the side and gives you a transportable unit to exercise anywhere with. I wouldn't be embarrassed to take this product to a friends house or outside for exercise in the Summer. It was a doddle to begin using as the unit almost arrives as you see it in the picture. Instructions of use are also included.
The step is of a very sturdy construction, though it isn't heavy or bulky in weight. I were surprised by this, but it helps with storage and moving the step. The step is fully adjustable, giving you the choice to alter the height by adjusting the feet. Unfortunately the top isn't attached to the base of the unit - this is a bit of a let-down if you wish to move it around frequently. The dull grey finish also doesn't inspire confidence, though a lot of exercise products aren't made in bright colours. The step does grip reasonably well to the ground, though I have had trouble with some of the carpets in my house where the step has slid or moved out of position during use.
The step cost me around £25, so it isn't all that cheap, but there are more expensive steps around so it is worth consideration. There are a few design flaws, but overall the construction is of a good quality, with a robust feel to it. The step itself is a solid surface and inspires confidence, just a shame the unit likes to slide around on certain surfaces. If it weren't for the problems then I would give this a glowing 5 stars, unfortunately it does have some minor annoyances in its design.
Sometimes, all you need from a piece of equipment is something basic and easy to use. Luckily, Rucanor have realised this when creating this step and it does what it says on the proverbial tin.
The step is designed to be used in conjunction with exercise, the theory being that vertical motions as well as horizontal ones will increase calorie burning as well as giving your legs a much better work out and making your heart work more to get the oxygen down to your burning legs.
Of course, you could just use your bottom step at home in many ways, but this does have its limits, as this step isn't just for standing on and then stepping off, forwards and backwards. Depending on your exercise, you may use it for jumping over, you may need to lower it or raise it, and you may need to use its 360 degree space that you get when you pop it down on its own.
You can raise it by making use of the feet it has, which come apart from the main body of it. Sadly, these feet aren't attached to the main unit, so every time you pick it up to move it, they stay where they are and leave you holding the top step. This does become a bit annoying when you want to move the whole thing, but I can see why they would have done it, as if you are the middle of a routine and need to lower it, the last thing you want to be doing is bending down fiddling with catches or anything like that. Not ideal for my purposes, but I can see the reasoning.
It's very sturdy, but deceptively it's not heavy at all. The plastic is very strong, but its lightweight nature means that moving it around is very easy. This does have its drawbacks though, as it loses a bit of grip on the surface its sitting on, depending on what this is. Carpet isn't too bad, but if you're using it outside on a smooth concreted surface or even on wooden flooring, it does have the occasional tendency to slide. This doesn't happen a lot, but enough to be a slight annoyance.
It's a rather dull black and grey colour, but then I don't use it because it's pretty - I use it for the effects it gives me, and it's a solid piece of equipment that I'd recommend getting if your bottom step isn't good enough for the exercise you need to be doing. I find that using this for a short while for just stepping soon gets my legs feeling like they're getting a workout, and on the occasions I push myself, I find the flexibility of raising and lowering it means that I can choose the intensity of step workouts, which is handy to have.
Overall, this is a nice product. It does cost around the £25 mark depending on where you get it from, and this does seem quite steep. However, when you look at it, the product you get is sturdy and reliable and it's likely to last a long time. My work gym also has some of these, and they tend to buy only quality products. They've had them for a while without any noticeable damage, and mine has lasted a while too. Recommended.
This Rucanor Aerobic Step is a pretty basic model in a very functional predominantly black colour with some grey detail on the step itself and the two support legs. Despite the basic simple design it is just as effective as any of the more pricey models however my one criticism is that even with the two booster blocks to increase the height of the step it is still not high enough and it could do with a few more inches just to provide more variety in the way that you can work out on it and to vary the muscle groups being worked.
I find that I do need to use it in conjunction with hand held weights and ankle weights to get a really effective workout as these help to increase the work out intensity and resistance. On the plus side it does provide a solid base from which to work out and it has a decent width and length as well to allow for lunges and bunny hops over the step. I also find that the width is enough that I can stand on it without my feet hanging off either front of back, then again my feet are quite dainty but my other half has used it and he reported no issues.
It is quite light and easy to carry about, it is also easy to wipe down and to keep clean. The other attractive thing about this piece of exercise kit is that it is not that expensive. I paid £19.99 for mine which I reckon represents good value.
After about three months use it is showing no real signs of wear and tear and overall it has been a good purchase, I just wish it had a little extra height to it.
When it comes to losing fat, you're going to have to change your diet but also burn off those excess calories with a bit of cardio exercise. Steps are not expensive compared to cross-trainers or treadmills and they are actually pretty hard work. They are quite tedious to use but a 20 minute to half an hour session on these could certainly burn between 200-400 calories depending on your body.
These steps are built really well and don't come at too expensive a price compared to some other well-known makes. I recently purchased them from Amazon after wanting to have some kind of simple cardio machine at home. You may think that you could just use your stair case at home - at one point in my life I did! However this is built for the job and works just perfectly.
The steps are light weight and aren't solid in consistency but still have a very rigid surface making them safe to use. They are easy to store as it does quite easily break apart into 5 pieces. On each side are two blocks, which provide the adjustable height of the steps. These click into each other to provide the height you want. The top surface of the steps is flat and has a bit of grip, which does seem to help. The lack of grip is on the underside of the steps so you have to use them against a wall or on some form of carpet or rug to keep it more still.
The steps have a simple design - black and grey in colour with the Rucanor logo on the top side. The idea is that you step on and off the aerobic step momentarily to work your legs. You would carry out this pattern repeatedly:
1. Right foot up
2. Left foot up
3. Right foot down
4. Left foot down
You might want to switch to start with left foot after that. You can attach ankle weights to your ankles to make the work harder on the step. Using the step with a heart rate monitor in the form of a watch or chest strap can enable you to track progress in terms of your heart rate. The steps retail at around £40 or just under, however they are available for almost half that price online. I'd recommend the steps as they are pretty much the same as any other and a little cheaper too. They are easy to store, durable and do the job well.
Thanks for reading
I've always been quite a vocal sceptic of exercise products designed for the home. It amazes me how people are able to find personal motivation without that regular competitive gym experience, or the aura of the outdoors. So surely my thoughts should be the same when it comes to this product, the 'Rucanor Profi Aerobic Step', I purchased many months ago for my mother. But I'm afraid you're deadly wrong, because it's brilliant.
What are its uses?
Its uses, hmm. The product has one use with regards to its specific category of calorie burning, to be stood on for small periods of time. The idea is that you step up onto the step, and back down off the step repeatedly in a relatively speedy fashion. I've had a few 10 minute sessions doing this, and despite the seemingly small amount of effort the motion should take, it's very much a sweaty experience!
I've also used the product several times for reaching items in high places, and despite the small boost the product gives you, it's incredible how many things are just that little bit out of reach!
Is it designed to full potential?
The potential for variety in design of a product like this is intensely limited. Take the controlling factors designers have to adhere to: 1. The height of the device - a set criteria. 2. The top must be perfectly flat. 3. The device must be lightweight and cupboard-able. 4. Users must be able to grip well to the platform.
Considering all this, I think the designers did a decent job. They have incorporated a hollow centre, without compromising the rigidity of the structure above, saving on costs by reducing material use. Similarly, keeping the colour scheme simple, black/grey, they would have saved money on colouring as the plastic is probably naturally one of those two colours anyway.
Am I satisfied?
I'm as satisfied as I could be with a product so limited as this. Would I recommend such a contraption? Yes, and seeing as I only paid £9.99 for this item, I believe I received a fair deal in retrospect. Despite there being nothing much to say about something so simple, the one thing I can say is that it does its job and it does it well!
Worth the money, and a well received present by my mother who has put the step to good use! This is a product which will last a lifetime without suffering a single structural blow - the paintwork will be just fine too!
Steps are remarkably useful things. Without them, we'd be a nation of bungalow dwellers and we'd never be able to reach anything in the top cupboards. Which would be awful, as that's where I keep the biscuits. Steps can also be used for aerobic purposes and whilst that's a lot less fun than using them to access biccies, it does make you feel slightly less guilty when you get stuck into the Jaffa Cakes (speaking of which, incidentally, I managed to scoff 12 on the trot yesterday. It's one of the few moments when I've managed to be simultaneously proud and ashamed of myself).
~*~What does it look like?~*~
A big step. Honestly, there's a finite limit to how eloquently descriptive you can be about something this functional. It's black and grey, which is a terribly dull colour scheme but then I suppose that makes it a bit less obtrusive for the times when you aren't using it.
~*~What can you use it for?~*~
Stepping on. And off again, if you really want to go mad.
The idea is that if you shift your body weight up and down, as well as back and forwards you will burn lots of calories and your health will thank you for it. There are vastly more entertaining ways of shifting your weight up and down and back and forth but that's really more appropriate for the erotic category. Anyway, if you step on and off often enough, your heart rate will increase, your muscles will work and you will get fit. In theory, anyway. Sadly, you also have to think about reducing your JCI (Jaffa Cake Intake).
~*~Is it any good?~*~
Despite being basic this isn't too bad. Two extra feet are stowed underneath so you can raise the height of the step but this only makes it slightly less tall than the average stair. This is fine for my purposes but serious gym bunnies may find it doesn't offer enough of a challenge; there isn't enough height to make it useful for lunges or tricep dips, for example. I use it at the lowest setting and I find it's solid and stable, and with enough room to accommodate my size sevens comfortably. When I use it for working across the step (i.e., v-steps or skipping laterally across it) I find that it's just wide enough for one stride. I'm slightly over 5' 6" so anyone taller may find that it's not long enough. A minor niggle is that the additional feet don't actually stay in place when they're slotted underneath, so they'll fall out every time you lift the step. I dealt with mine by sellotaping them in place but some kind of plastic tab to make sure they don't come loose would be better. On the plus side, it's lightweight and small enough to be very portable and easily shoved under a coffee table when not in use.
The grip is something that I'm not particularly confident about with this step; it hasn't gone skittering out from underneath me or anything, but it doesn't feel like it holds onto my wooden floor particularly well and so I tend to use it on a mat or a rug.
Quite a few bits and pieces of fitness equipment that I've bought have come with handy advice sheets suggesting exercises, or ways the equipment can be used. There is nothing like this with the Rucanor step; you get the step and the box it comes in and that's it. It's not all bad, though: the box is long and narrow and my cats had a whale of a time playing in it.
I got mine off Amazon for £25.99. It was one of the cheapest but I still think that it's quite expensive for what it is. Mind you, if your only other alternative is stacking up piles of Yellow Pages and hopping on and off them, I'd give this a cautious recommendation.
***NB. You may have noticed and marvelled at my ability to refrain from making jokes about Steps the band (and I use that term VERY loosely). That's because - egads - there has been talk of them doing a reunion concert. No sense in encouraging them by mentioning their songs in a review, even if in a brutally mocking way.
*****If the title makes sense to you, then Shaun Ryder, Bez and I all salute you.