Does Climbing Stairs Help Lose Belly Fat? What Experts Say

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: January 25, 2024
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Climbing stairs is one of my most recommended cardio exercises. As a personal trainer, I know how difficult it can be to get to the gym every day, but most people have a set of stairs available that they can use in an effort to lose belly fat.

Using your own body weight to train your core and leg muscles can be one of the easiest ways to speed up your weight loss progress at home.

I decided to research this exercise with our team at Total Shape to see if there was a more effective way to approach it for fat loss.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Climbing stairs can help lose belly fat, and it is a good cardiovascular workout routine.
  • The increased metabolism from climbing stairs helps burn body fat.
  • Climb stairs for about 10-15 minutes or do 45 to 60 seconds of stair climbers at a fast pace, alternating with some incline push-ups at the machine for optimal weight loss results.
  • Based on my experience, stair climbing not only sheds belly fat but also significantly boosts overall fitness and endurance.

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Climbing Stairs?

A woman climbing the stairs

Yes, you can lose belly fat by climbing stairs. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise that gives you a lot of control over your heart rate and blood circulation, as per WeekAnd [1].

Regular stair climbing has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which are often linked to weight gain and poor health choices.

With the added intensity of stair climbing, you'll burn more calories. I've seen this firsthand with my clients. One of them, who combined stair climbing with dietary adjustments, experienced a remarkable transformation in just a few months.

Here are some tips to lose belly fat fast.

“Whenever people eat more calories than they immediately need, some of the excess is stored in fat cells found throughout the body.”

- Ferris Jabr, Contributing Writer for Scientificamerican.com

Even if you don’t do stair climbing as a specific form of strenuous exercise, taking the stairs rather than the elevator on a daily basis burns calories more effectively and will help you lose fat.

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How Does It Help With Weight Loss?

Climbing stairs is incredibly effective for weight loss, mainly due to its impact on metabolism. I remember a client who struggled with weight loss until we introduced stair climbing into his fitness plan. The change was dramatic – his metabolism increased, leading to more effective weight loss.

According to Human Kinetics, when you burn more calories than you have blood glucose reserves, then your body has to resort to other energy sources like body fat [2].

The great thing about using a stair climber is that it’s naturally more strenuous than just walking or running.

It’s like running uphill, and therefore you should be able to get rid of extra fat in less time as your body will burn calories at a faster pace.

How Long Should You Do It for Best Results?

A woman stretching on a stair

Based on my professional experience, I recommend about 10 to 15 minutes of stair climbing for optimal weight loss results. You could also make it part of your warm-up routine by grabbing small dumbbells and doing some curls with each step.

Like other cardio exercises, you’ll burn away more fat when you increase the intensity level, so don’t go slowly.

Adding Stair Climbers To Your Gym Workouts

I often suggest to my gym clients to try the stair climber machine. It can significantly enhance workouts.

Not only does a Stairmaster help you burn more calories, but if you combine it with a high-intensity interval training routine and proper nutrition, like staying hydrated and eating balanced meals, it could significantly enhance your results in losing belly fat and building lean muscle.

What I would suggest is that you do 45 to 60 seconds of stair climbers at a fast pace, and then maybe alternate with some incline push-ups at the machine.

Related Article You Might Like: Stair Stepper Benefits and How to Use It

FAQs

Is It Good to Climb Stairs Every Day?

Yes, it’s good to climb stairs every day. It’s a great way to exercise your lower body and core and will make your metabolism burn off more calories. It’s also a low-impact physical activity that won’t cause damage to your leg joints.

When Should You Climb Stairs to Lose Weight?

You should climb stairs as often as you get a chance in order to lose weight more consistently. That means that anytime you have the option of getting in an elevator, consider at least partially going up the stairs.

Is Climbing Stairs Enough for an Effective Belly Fat Burning?

When you get into the habit of climbing stairs on a very regular basis, you’ll quickly notice that you’ll be less out of breath. That will allow you to increase the intensity, which will in turn trigger fat loss over time.

And if you want to speed things up a little bit more, then I would suggest that you look over these fat burners for belly fat.

These combine amino acids, herbs, and minerals to boost your calorie deficit. And when you combine that with a lower calorie intake, you will notice much faster progress toward your ideal weight.


References:

  1. https://www.weekand.com/healthy-living/article/walking-up-stairs-lose-belly-fat-18072157.php
  2. https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/the-bodys-fuel-sources
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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