Why I Love the Arm Ergometer!

IMG_9794I was telling my friend yesterday how much I love the Arm Ergometer!  I feel like it gives my arms a good pump and makes them look nice and sculpted like I’ve just lifted weights.  It burns calories and also helps to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder girdle to keep them healthy.

This machine usually sits in a corner of the cardio area and doesn’t get much use.  People that have just had knee or hip surgery will use it to get some cardio without having to use their legs and people that have had shoulder surgeries will use it to rehab the shoulder.  It is also used by those individuals that are wheelchair bound and can use their arms.  The seat can be removed and a wheelchair can be put in place of the seat.  Johnny G – the creator of Spinning, combined his own version of the arm ergometer to pair with his Spinning classes.  Part Spinning for the legs and heart and part Arm Ergometer for the arms and heart.  It’s a great workout!  He calls his version – Crank!

How do you use it?

  • Sit down and adjust the seat forward or back like you would in your car.  The handles are your steering wheel….you don’t want to be too close or too far that you feel like you are reaching forward.  Sit erect with a tall spine and adjust the seat from there.
  • The arm crank is like a bike for your arms.  Crank the ergometer handles in full circles using the hands, the same way you would turn the pedals on a bike with your feet. In this case, the handles should be cranked clockwise, which is forward and away from you. The speed and resistance of the ergometer can be set to increase the difficulty. A variation of this exercise can also be performed with one arm instead of two.The arms go around either forward or backwards much like the pedals on a bike.  I suggest doing both directions.
  • Hit start and then push the arrow key up to increase the resistance.  I usually go to 4.0 for my resistance.  I go for 5 minutes.  This level gives me a good push.  Increase or decrease as needed.

My routine: 

  • 1 minute cranking forward
  • 1 minute cranking backwards
  • 30 seconds using one arm cranking forward, 30 seconds cranking backwards
  • Repeat on other arm
  • Finish with one minute of cranking forward or back or a combination of the 2.

Give it a try and see what you think!  Hopefully you will love it like I do and incorporate it into your cardio routine!



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