If you’re looking for an effective way to burn calories, shed weight and build leg strength at home, then a vertical climber machine could be the way forward.Vertical climbers provide a great workout and don’t take up a huge amount of space, making them perfect for your home fitness regime.However, the choice of climbers out there can be mind-boggling, so I’ve put together this quick guide of the 4 best vertical climbers available in the UK and surrounding countries to help you choose the right one.
I’ve also added a buying guide at the bottom to better explain some of the features and things to look for… plus some tips for getting the most from your climber.
(Table may show alternatives when the below aren’t available)
Maxi Climber Vertical Climbing Cardio Exercise Machine
The Maxi Climber vertical climbing machine is a home exercise machine that provides a decent workout without spending the earth. With a small footprint it’s a great bit of kit to have at home because it’s easy to store and doesn’t take up much room. Assembly is simple and it’s very beginner friendly, but it doesn’t stand up well to intense use so best kept for beginners or those looking for a gentle workout.
- Ideal for those needing low impact exercise. It’s joint friendly and the speed is self-governed
- Easy set up – limited DIY knowledge required for installation
- Maximum user weight of 110kg, so usable by a lot of people
- Unable to adjust resistance on the machine
Sportstech innovative 2-in-1 Stepper & Vertical Climber
The Sportstech 2-in-1 stepper and vertical climber is designed in such a way that the user can enjoy both a stepper or a climber in one bit of kit, simply by adjusting the grips they use. It’s a simple design and easy to fold away. It’s one of the more expensive home vertical climbers on the market, justified by the double use. Easy to assemble and well made, despite its light weight.
- Two exercises in one, offering more variety for people with limited space and budget
- Simple construction – can be built within 20 minutes by most people
- Easy to store – small footprint and easily folds away
- Higher price point than similar products
Zerone Vertical Climbing Machine
The Zerone Vertical Climbing Machine is a sturdy and adjustable offering to the home vertical climber machine market. With a maximum user weight of 200kg it exceeds almost all of the competition and the build quality is better than almost any other in its class. With 5 adjustable settings it offers more workout variety too, which makes is perfect for family to use. Multiple adjustments means a lot of people of different sizes can use it comfortably.
- Great build quality – very sturdy and able to last a long time
- Multiple settings – this allows for extra workout variety and means people of different sizes can use it comfortably
- 200kg Maximum user weight, so it usable by almost everyone
- Heavier than some, because of the build quality
Simlive Vertical Climbing Cardio Exercise Machine
This is an interesting product for the home gym because it combines two bits of cardio kit – a climber and a stepper. It’s even able to accommodate two users at once! It’s adjustable to fit different sizes, well-built and versatile, but a little bigger than most others in its class. It folds up for easy storage as you’d expect. The bike doesn’t have adjustable resistance, which may disappoint some users wanting it for the bike.
- Two bits of kit in one – again great if you have limited space or budget
- Can be used by two people at once – exercise with a family member!
- 160kg maximum user weight, so usable by the majority of people
- Bike doesn’t offer adjustable resistance, so is limited in effectiveness
What is a vertical climber machine?
A vertical climber machine is a piece of cardio kit that mimics the climbing action, providing a whole-body workout. The machines are usually quite simple, have a small footprint and are ideal for home use because they’re relatively cheap to buy, easy to assemble and store. The whole-body element of the exercise means that working out on one can burn a lot of calories in a short time period.
What are the benefits of using a vertical climber?
A vertical climber offers advantages over other methods of exercise. Here are a few…
- Whole body workout without leaving the house – the climber uses both upper and lower body effectively.
- No impact (meaning no repeated hitting of your feet on the floor, so good for those with ankle/knee/hip and back injuries. Treadmills aren’t ideal for anyone with these problems.
- No technique to learn – movement is self-guided, so it’s very easy for beginners to get started and use a vertical climber.
- Appropriate for all abilities because speed and resistance are determined by the user, not a machine.
- High calorie burn because of the whole body nature of the movement. The more muscle you use in an exercise, typically the more calories you burn.
Effectively what this means is that a vertical climber provides a great workout whilst reducing the likelihood of picking up an injury. If you suffer from pain or have a diagnosed injury to your knees, back, hips etc. then running isn’t a great option for you. Cycling could be, but it’s only a lower body exercise. By picking up a vertical climber for home use, you can train your whole body safely and with the added benefit of not leaving the house!
5 tips on using a vertical climber
Although the vertical climber is easy to use, there are a few ways to get more from it, taking it from a gentle exercise to a serious workout.
- Start slowly – get used to the movement pattern and get into a good rhythm. A smooth use of the machine means you’ll engage muscles properly.
- Balance the movement between upper and lower body – don’t rely on just your legs to do the work. Put effort into making the arms do their fair share of the exercise!
- Mix the intensity – perform interval training like you would on any other cardio kit. Mix periods of high intensity effort with low intensity effort.
- Move smoothly – if you move your body smoothly you’ll work more efficiently, so can keep going for longer, burning more calories and improving fitness further.
- Don’t move your body weight from side to side – keep your weight centred for the best use. This will also prolong the life of the kit.
How to choose a vertical climber
There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to buying a vertical climber. Here are the main ones…
The obvious advice here is to buy something you can afford! There isn’t a huge range in price here, so look at the features and benefits of the different products and decide what you need, rather than what you want. If you don’t need a built in exercise bike for example, save the money and buy a different one. If it’ll come in handy, make the purchase and get twice the kit!
With any kit you have to check does it fit you? Some vertical climbers are adjustable, so if you’re particularly tall, take a look to see if you can adjust it to fit. Then there’s the other issue – storage. Can you fold it down or shrink the kit to store it?
If you have limited space and are looking for additional features, look at the climbers with a couple of different options. Some machines include a stepper, others include a built-in bike. These can provide you with different workout options without the extra expense.
Maximum User Weight – will it support your body weight?
If you’re 150kg for example, don’t buy a vertical climber with a max user weight of 110kg. Even if you manage to use it, the likelihood is it won’t last long before it breaks apart.
Typically vertical climbers do not offer massive adjustments in resistance – the increase in difficulty comes by you moving faster or wearing ankle and wrist weights as you climb. There are some machines that offer resistance adjustment, if you’re willing to spend the extra money.
Ease of Assembly
If you’re not great at DIY, you’ll need it to be easy to put together. Thankfully most machine are, but remember the more features it has, the more work it’ll be!
Choosing your best vertical climber machine
By following the advice above you won’t go far wrong with a vertical climber. Adding this bit of kit into your home gym set up will provide you with exercise variety that most don’t have and it’s a perfect way to still train whilst avoiding impact. It’s a safe and effective way to burn a lot of calories at home.