Exercise in a Balance Stepper without Tension Bands

Seven years ago, I gave a review of the balance stepper for cardio workouts. It had its shortcomings which I listed in the review. But for its price and my satisfaction of its performance, the shortcomings were no obstacles to my using it.

Sadly, a week ago, one of its hard rubber tension bands broke. This is the thick rubber that provides a bit of resistance when pressing on the pedals.

Damaged Tension Band of the Balance Stepper

Here's the balance stepper as seen from above. The rubber tension band that broke is below the right foot pedal.

You'll see the broken rubber tension or resistance band underneath the stepper as shown below. Notice the band on the left is still whole while the band on the right broke or was cut around the its middle.

Here is a magnified view of the broken right tension band.

How did it come to this? I think it's simply wear-and-tear. This little piece of exercise equipment has never been abused and has been used only up to 30 minutes each time.

After seven years of on-and-off use (mostly off), the rubber tension band below the right pedal developed cracks.

Repair or Find Another Stepper?

Except for the rubber tension bands, the balance stepper was still solidly built. Hoping to still repair my balance stepper, I wondered if sports shops carry a replacement part for the rubber tension band.

So I went to the shop where I bought it seven years ago. Unfortunately, they no longer carry the balance stepper model that I had, meaning, no replacement parts either.

Same is true with the other athletic fitness or sports shops. However, they did push (to sell, of course) exercise stepper models that had no resemblance with the one I had.

Another option I was thinking was to search for the knock-off models that was similar to the Balance Stepper. The original Balance Stepper, if it still exists would probably cost 2x or more than the price seven years ago. The knock-offs would still cost less.

I've not seen any of these knock-offs lately. And if I did, I think they'd still be as flimsy-looking as they did back then.

Fitness Stepper with Twisting Motion

This is the stepper exercise machine currently on the market. This is the popular portable model that is being sold by the big chain sports outlets here (Toby's, Olympic World, JB Sports).

Unlike the sideways rocking motion provided by the arc-shaped base of the balance stepper, the twister-stepper uses two independent-moving foot pedals. Providing resistance to the foot pedals going down are a couple of hydraulic pistons or cylinders that are independent of each other.

I tried one at Olympic World for a very short period and the motion seems smooth. The movement is unfamiliar to me, of course, but it can be learned. It also didn't have the squeaky noise that the balance stepper makes. It comes with a couple of arm exercise rubber bands.

The high price I've seen is Php5,300 although I saw one at Php4,900 as of this writing.

The stepper exerciser is called JKExer or JK-Exer Stepper and is shown below on the left.

The one on the right is a similar-looking stepper exercise equipment with the brand name Sunny.

Reviews, Opinions and Comments on Stepper Exercise Machine

Currently, there isn't much online review that can be found for the JKexer stepper machine. Luckily, there's a similar exercise stepper equipment called Sunny Health and Fitness Twister Stepper (pictured above right).

For this Sunny brand, I found some internet reviews and opinions. There are positive ones, but the negative one that I found strange is the time limit in its usage.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)

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