To date, the neurophysiological correlates of muscle activation required for weight bearing during walking are poorly understood although, a supraspinal involvement has been discussed in the literature for many years. The present study investigates the effect of simulated ground reaction forces (0, 20, and 40 % of individual body weight) on brain activation in sixteen healthy participants. A magnetic resonance compatible robot was applied to render three different levels of load against the feet of the participants during active and passive gait-like stepping movements. Brain activation was analyzed by the means of voxel-wise whole brain analysis as well as by a region-of-interest analysis. A significant modulation of brain activation in sensorimotor areas by the load level could neither be demonstrated during active nor during passive stepping. These observations suggest that the regulation of muscle activation under different weight-bearing conditions during stepping occurs at the level of spinal circuitry or the brainstem rather than at the supraspinal level.