If you’re looking for a cost-effective, space efficient alternative to ellipticals and treadmills, the Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper can be a great way to get a low impact cardiovascular workout from home.
In this review we take a look at the design features behind this bestselling piece of fitness equipment, together with workout options, display console functions, and customer reviews.
What is a stepper?
There are generally 2 main types of stepper:
- The full sized machines that you would be more likely to see in a commercial gym
- The much more compact and easily transportable mini fitness steppers
The commercial gym models are classed more as ‘stair steppers‘ and designed to emulate the feeling of walking up flights of stairs. These are generally much better for burning calories and strengthening lower body muscles due to the increased range of motion.
In contrast, mini steppers tend to emulate a movement that’s much closer to walking (due to the shorter stride), and will usually cost between $30 and $150.
Before we take an in-depth look at some of the features of this stepper trainer, it’s worth mentioning that Sunny actually have 2 models available; the Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper, and their Mini Stepper.
The main difference is in the contrasting plane of motion that the pedals move through when in use, with the Mini Bike providing more of a vertical motion, whereas the Twister Stepper pushes your feet out to the sides more.
This twisting motion is a subtle but important difference, as it affects the muscle groups that will be targeted and toned during your workouts.
Whereas the vertical motion of the Mini Stepper places more of a focus on your quads and calves, the twisting motion of the Twister Stepper targets more of the outer and inner thigh, in addition to your glutes, calves, quads, and hamstrings.
There is also a slight difference in the design of the foot plates.
Whereas the Mini Stepper only has the raised lip at the front of the plate, the Twister Stepper actually has the raised lip on 3 out of the 4 sides.
This combines with the slip resistant design that creates extra traction against the soles of your shoes to prevent your feet from slipping while you workout.
The resistance that you push against when pressing down on each foot plate is also fully adjustable, and can be done in just a few seconds using the small hand wheel positioned at the front of the frame.
Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper – Features Summary
- Compact, surprisingly versatile home fitness device, is essentially a portable elliptical machine with built-in resistance training
- Twist action helps you tone thighs and buttocks, while achieving a challenging cardiovascular workout
- Work deep muscles in hard-to-reach places without putting stress on joints
- Resistance is adjustable, and exercise bands work arms, chest, back, and shoulders for total body workout
- Heavy-duty steel construction provides years of reliable use
- Oversized, slip-resistant foot plates keep you firmly planted during workout
- Onboard computer with LCD display shows total count, time, calories burned, and rep count
Resistance bands and upper body training
Resistance bands have even been included to act as a form of balance assistance, as well as providing you with the option to tone your upper body muscles while your lower body muscles go through the stepping motion.
Although the level of resistance created by these bands isn’t adjustable, they’re certainly a nice feature to have if you want to tone your arms, shoulders, back, and chest.
Display console design
If you’re already familiar with some of the other fitness equipment from Sunny, such as their exercise bikes, then you’ll probably notice that the display console for their Twister Stepper looks a little different.
That’s because there aren’t strictly any preset programs that can be followed for stepper workouts. You just need to step onto the pedals and start stepping.
It’s this simplicity that accounts for one of the reasons behind the popularity of the Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper, which has so far amassed over 700 reviews on Amazon alone.
Despite its small size and lack of backlight, the onboard computer still manages to display your total count, time, calories burned, and rep count.
These can all be used as useful goal setting targets.
By setting yourself a new rep target each week, you can guarantee that you are improving your fitness with each new goal achieved.
Before making a final decision on whether or not the Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper is the best choice for your own home workouts, it’s important to carry out some basic research using the customer reviews.
While pictures and video certainly offer an insight into what’s possible with a piece of fitness equipment, they’re usually produced by the company that makes the product, and may exclude some important information that has been picked up by a reviewer.
That’s why it’s important to take into account the pros as well as the cons, which you will often only find through researching ecommerce sites in the customer reviews section.
In terms of the Twister Stepper from Sunny, there are currently over 500 reviews and 800 ratings, making it their bestselling step machine.
But having this many reviews can make it difficult to find those key pieces of information that are unique and useful.
That’s why we read through many of these reviews ourselves, then put together the following lists of pros and cons to act as a quick reference guide.
- Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to find a space to workout, then store the stepper when not in use
- Slip-resistant foot plates
- Twisting motion to recruit more muscle fibers in your glutes, inner, and outer thighs compared to steppers with a more vertical range of motion
- LCD provides useful feedback on your current workout
- Adjustable resistance caters for a wider range of personal strength and fitness levels
- Resistance bands provided to increase upper body exercise options and the number of calories you burn each session
- The calorie count function of the onboard computer isn’t always accurate
- Fairly short stride length
- Some reviewers report the hydraulic system that control the twisting resistance can become quite noisy after a few months of workouts. This can quickly and easily be resolved with an application of WD40
- Lack of preset training programs
- Sunny recommends in the maintenance section of the user manual to only use the stepper for 15 minutes at a time
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Full 90 day warranty.