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VersaClimber Muscles Worked | In-Depth Guide

VersaClimber Muscles Worked Featured Image With Male On TheTS / TSA Commercial Vertical Climber

The VersaClimber is a versatile fitness machine designed to engage multiple muscle groups for an effective full-body workout.

This unique equipment, also known as a vertical climber, simulates the motion of climbing stairs or a ladder through its independent stepping pedals and hand-grips, offering an intense exercise experience.

With its ability to work all the major muscles of the body in one safe, smooth rhythmic motion, its popularity among fitness enthusiasts is ever-growing.

One key aspect of the VersaClimber workout is the full body engagement of many muscle groups.

In this article we will get brutally detailed about what exact muscles you are working while exercising on the VersaClimber machine!


VersaClimber Basics

The VersaClimber machine is and easy to use. 

You simple secure your feet in the foot holders, grab the handles, and the start performing the climbing motion. 

It provides an efficient way to burn calories and increase cardiovascular endurance.

This section covers the machine's overview, operation, and how to use it effectively.

Machine Overview

Unlike other cardio equipment like rowing machines, treadmills, and ellipticals, the VersaClimber combines activity from both upper and lower body limbs for the movement pattern. 

The machine features adjustable resistance settings, accommodating users of various fitness levels and goals, such as weight loss and increased cardiovascular fitness.

Due to its full-body engagement of muscles, the VersaClimber stands out as an efficient cardio machine that also offers HIIT (high-intensity interval training) options.

Its vertical climbing motion supports aerobic and anaerobic exercise while simultaneously working on both upper and lower body muscles.

Renowned athletes, such as LeBron James, have included VersaClimber workouts in their regular training routines to enhance their cardiovascular fitness and overall performance.

How to Use A VersaClimber

When approaching the VersaClimber, users should first place the feet in the stirrups and grasp the handles with both hands.

The machine operates with alternating arm and leg movements, so as the left arm moves upward, the right leg follows suit, and vice versa.

Beginners can start with a gentle pace and shorter strides of 4-6 inches for approximately 15-20 minutes.

As users gain confidence and strength, they can work up to longer workouts and increase the stepping distance per stride.

Ideally, those aiming for endurance or cardio training should target sessions of 20-30 minutes, adjusting their step lengths and speed accordingly.

Maintaining proper technique is essential for an efficient and safe workout on the VersaClimber.

By engaging one's core, maintaining good posture, and focusing on smooth, fluid movements, users can make the most of each workout session.

Remember to always warm up before working out and gradually increase the intensity to avoid potential injuries.

VersaClimber Muscles Worked

VersaClimber Muscle Worked Diagram With Female Using The Machine

The VersaClimber engages various muscle groups in the upper body, core, and lower body, offering a comprehensive workout. It targets muscles such as the lats, rhomboids, biceps, triceps, deltoids, pectoral muscles, forearms, abdominals, obliques, erector spinae, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, providing support for posture, balance, stability, and overall fitness..

Upper Body Muscles

VersaClimber exercises engage various muscle groups in the upper body, providing a comprehensive workout. Some of the key upper body muscles activated during a VersaClimber session include:

  • Back: The lats (latissimus dorsi) and rhomboids are primary muscles worked in the upper back, while the lower back sees engagement from the erector spinae muscles.
  • Biceps: Biceps brachii, responsible for upper arm flexion
  • Triceps: Triceps brachii, which are used for arm extension
  • Shoulders: The deltoids (anterior, lateral, and posterior) and rotator cuff muscles are all activated during VersaClimber exercises.
  • Chest: The pectoral muscles (pectoralis major and minor) are worked as the arms push against the hand grips in a front or back grip position.
  • Forearms: The muscles responsible for wrist flexion and extension, such as the flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialis, and extensor carpi ulnaris are utilized as well.

Core Muscles

The VersaClimber effectively targets several core muscle groups, supporting posture, balance, and overall stability. These core muscles include:

  • Abdominals: Both the rectus abdominis (the "six-pack" muscle) and the transverse abdominis (the deep, internal muscle)
  • Obliques: External and internal oblique muscles that help with torso rotation and lateral flexion of the spine
  • Lower Back: The erector spinae, which support the spine and aid in maintaining erect posture

Lower Body Muscles

As with the upper body and core, the VersaClimber offers a thorough workout for the lower body. Some of the major lower body muscles targeted include:

  • Quads: Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius) are activated during leg extension
  • Hamstrings: The biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles, responsible for leg flexion
  • Glutes: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus all work together to support hip extension and stabilization,
  • Calves: The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, which aid in plantar flexion of the ankle

In summary, the VersaClimber provides a full-body workout that engages a wide range of muscle groups across the upper body, core, and lower body. This versatile machine can help users develop strength, endurance, and overall muscle balance for improved daily movement patterns and posture.

VersaClimber Workout Benefits

The VersaClimber machine benefits don't end after the list of muscles used in the exercise. In this section, we will discuss the following sub-topics:

Calorie Burning and Weight Loss

Using a VersaClimber for your workouts can help significantly increase your caloric burn, making it a promising tool for shedding extra pounds.

The climbing motion engages the major muscle groups, resulting in a higher energy expenditure than traditional aerobic exercises like running or swimming.

This makes VersaClimber workouts an ideal option for those looking to lose weight, trim belly fat, and improve overall body composition.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Regularly incorporating VersaClimber sessions into your exercise routine can greatly contribute to the improvement of your cardiovascular health.

The machine's design encourages an increased heart rate, leading to more efficient blood flow and lung function.

As a result, consistent use of the VersaClimber not only strengthens your cardiovascular system but also enhances your aerobic endurance and stamina.

Muscle Toning and Strengthening

The VersaClimber targets numerous muscle groups, from your thighs and shins to your arms and core.

The comprehensive range of motion provided by the machine allows for greater muscle engagement, leading to improved strength and toning throughout the body.

This multi-muscle workout is particularly beneficial for those seeking a full-body strength training regimen.

Low Impact and Joint Friendly

As a low-impact exercise machine, the VersaClimber offers a workout that is easy on the joints and suitable for all fitness levels.

Its climbing motion limits the stress placed on sensitive areas like knees, hips, and ankles, affording users a safer option for cardiovascular exercise.

This makes the VersaClimber an excellent choice for those with a history of joint problems or those who are seeking a gentler workout routine.

Versatility and Variation

With its inherent adaptability, the VersaClimber allows individuals to tailor their workouts according to personal preferences and fitness goals.

Users can choose between various workout styles, such as interval training and sustained endurance sessions, to keep their routines fresh and engaging.

In addition, warm-up and cooldown periods can be easily integrated to ensure proper preparation and recovery.


Can You Build Muscle On The VersaClimber?

The VersaClimber is a versatile fitness machine that provides a full-body workout, engaging multiple muscle groups in your arms, legs, chest, back, and shoulders.

While its primary focus is on cardio and endurance training, it can also help build muscle when used consistently and with proper technique.

Is the VersaClimber Good For Weight Loss?

Yes, the VersaClimber can be an effective tool for weight loss.

Its unique design provides a challenging and efficient cardio workout, which is essential for burning calories and shedding excess pounds.

The machine utilizes both upper and lower body movements, allowing for a higher caloric expenditure compared to other cardio machines, such as stationary bikes or treadmills. 

How Many Calories Does VersaClimber Burn?

The number of calories burned during a VersaClimber workout varies depending on factors like your weight, individual fitness level, and workout intensity.

That said, the VersaClimber has been known to burn more calories per minute compared to other cardio machines, thanks to its full-body engagement.

On average, a person can burn anywhere from 300 to 800 calories in a 30-minute VersaClimber session.

Is The VersaClimber A Good Workout?


The VersaClimber offers a unique workout experience that targets multiple major muscle groups and provides an effective form of cardiovascular training.

Since it thoroughly engages both the upper and lower body, it can help improve overall fitness, endurance, strength, and coordination.

With adaptable settings and workout options, the VersaClimber can cater to a wide range of fitness levels, from beginners just starting their fitness journey to seasoned athletes looking to optimize their performance.


In conclusion, the VersaClimber is a highly effective full-body cardio machine that targets a wide range of muscles.

From core stabilizers to the upper and lower body, using the VersaClimber allows for a comprehensive and low-impact workout.

By simulating the motion of climbing stairs with independent stepping pedals and hand-grips, users can expect an exhaustive full-body workout that engages muscles such as:

  • Hands and forearms
  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Traps
  • Upper back
  • Lats
  • Lower back
  • Abs
  • Glutes
  • Thighs
  • Calves

As you incorporate the VersaClimber into your fitness routine, you'll likely start noticing improvements in your overall strength, endurance, and muscle tone.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced exerciser, the VersaClimber undoubtedly offers a unique and challenging workout experience for all.

So, give this versatile machine a try and discover the comprehensive benefits it brings to your fitness journey.

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About The Author

Matt Gemkow, the author of this content section at Select Fitness USA, boasts more than 15 years of fitness experience. He started out in sports and athletic training for many years and has since 2014 transitioned into heavy-weight training and bodybuilding. As a result, he has become one of the most experienced fitness equipment experts out there, and a valuable source of information.