Arm Ergometers – What are they and how to use them

Arm Ergometers are a great option for individuals with limited mobility or for those looking for a cardio vascular workout for their upper body.

Upper body trainers, arm ergometers or UBEs as they are sometimes referred to are not a gym staple, however they have become more readily available in gyms and fitness centres as more manufacturers have been designing these units to include within their cardio equipment offering.

Arm Ergometers are however common in physical therapy gyms, hospitals, rehab centres and universities.

Arm Ergometers offer a great cardio workout using the upper body and are specifically targeted to meet the fitness needs of individuals who cannot use their legs for physical activity.  Many offer direct wheelchair access, while some ergometers are simple, lightweight designs that rest on a table top alone.

Alternatively Arm Ergometers are used just as an alternate cardio exercise to the more common bikes, ellipticals or treadmills.

Arm Ergometers work in exactly the same way as a traditional cycle or exercise bike but rather are for the arms rather than the legs.  You can either sit on a supplied seat, stand or otherwise wheel up a wheelchair or use your own seat depending on how the Trainer is designed.  You grasp the handles in front of you and you turn just as you would pedal on a bike.

Some models offer dual passive movement for the legs which can be controlled by your arms.  Other models offer bi-directional resistance allowing you to turn the handles in the opposite direction when tired therefore utilising slightly different muscles but still maintaining the cardio exercise.

Using the upper body for cardio is an effective method for elevating your heart rate to an aerobic level.

Who can use an arm ergometer?

  • Individuals with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, or lower body disability
  • Individuals who need a low-impact exercise program
  • Individuals who are recovering from foot or leg injury/surgery and have clearance to continue working out
  • Anyone who wants to vary their cardio workout program

Monark offers a complete range of Upper Body Trainers and Arm Ergometers.  From their standard Arm Trainer Model the Monark 871E to their most popular Monark 881E Ergometer they also offer a full range of testing Ergometers including the Monark 831E Ergomedic Ergometer and Monark 891E Range.

PhysioTrainer also offers a series of Trainers including the PhysioTrainer UBE and the PhysioMax Trainer that includes a seat and lower body exerciser.

Upper Body Trainers