Cardiovascular exercise is crucial to the overall health of your body. After all, our bodies are designed to move. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 5 days a week.
There are several benefits associated with a consistent cardio program:
- Weight loss
- Strong heart and prevention of heart disease
- Strong bones
- Healthy lungs
- Reduced stress
- Better sleep
It’s obvious that the benefits can lead to a better quality of life; however, there are two common problems with frequent exercise:
- Overuse injuries
This is where the Cybex arc trainer can assist you in meeting your fitness goals, while adding variety to your routine.
What is the Arc Trainer?
The arc trainer has adjustable settings and is a combination of an elliptical trainer, stair climber, and cross country ski machine.
Dr. Paul Juris, Executive Director of the Cybex Institute, explains that the arc trainer is a low impact machine that requires less overall movement than its elliptical counterpart because its footplates move in an arc pattern. Traditionally, the elliptical’s footplates operate in an ellipse movement.
Features of the Arc Trainer
- The arc trainer’s manual workout option allows users to exercise at their own pace.
- The trainer is equipped with preset routines for low and high intensity workouts.
- There are also options for several routines; these routines include hill intervals, weight loss programs, increased resistance for strength conditioning, and various cardiovascular programs.
- The machine is equipped with a heart rate monitor and a calorie counter.
Cybex currently manufactures two different types of arc trainers. There is a total body version, which is outfitted with moveable hand poles. During exercise on this machine, you simply push the hand poles as you operate the foot pedals. This movement works the entire body.
The lower body version is equipped with stationary hand rails, which allow the user to hold for added support during exercise.
Benefits of Using the Arc Trainer
The arc trainer is often compared to an elliptical machine and a treadmill. Perhaps the leading benefit of the arc trainer compared to both an elliptical, and a treadmill is that the arc trainer requires less exertion and impact on the body. This equates to an effective low-impact alternative.
According to the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, an exercise routine with an arc trainer activates more muscles of the body and with less effort than elliptical machines.
This study also explained that the arc trainer provides less impact and stress on the knees and other joints of the body. The combination of less work along with more muscle stimulation will result in increased cardio gains and stronger legs.
There are a couple of considerations to think about when comparing the arc trainer to a treadmill. People that routinely run on a treadmill can be prone to joint problems, due to the impact on the body.
Although running and jogging offer tremendous cardiovascular benefits, many types of overuse injuries have been associated with this high impact activity.
Runners often suffer from knee injuries because of unequal force that can be absorbed in one knee over the other.
The arc trainer provides less stress on your knees and hips because of Cybex’s patented arc movement. Dr. Paul Juris advised that this movement allows for “no unnecessary forward motion” of the knees.
There is one benefit to consider regarding running on a treadmill. People who suffer from osteoporosis may benefit from some type of impact training. For example, walking on a treadmill can sometimes slow mineral loss in the bones, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Whether you have a knee injury, joint problem, or are simply looking for a way to cross train, the arc trainer offers an effective low impact workout. You can challenge yourself with a pre-set routine, or just exercise at your own pace. Either way, this piece of equipment is a valuable tool in your fitness arsenal.