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What Muscles Does the Cybex Arc Trainer Work?

What Muscles Does the Cybex Arc Trainer Work?

The Cybex Arc Trainer is a stationary glute machine that works out your lower body. When using it, you stand upright on its footplates and balance yourself with the moving arm bars. This is a dynamic exercise machine with plenty of adjustable options, so read on to learn about how you can use it to get the best results.

Building Glute Muscles

One of the great things about the Arc Trainer is its versatility. This cross training machine has tons of adjustable features and power levels. Because it focuses on your lower body, it’s a worthy investment for those looking to train their glutes specifically.

According to research done by Cybex, your Arc Trainer can be adjusted to target different muscle groups.

A low incline setting, between 0 and 10, will focus the burn on your glutes. Higher incline settings from 10 to 20 will shift your body and the result will be a workout that benefits your quadriceps.

For the most effective glute workout, it is recommended that you keep your Arc Trainer at a low incline and keep your rate of movement high.

Benefits of Cross Training

Cross training machines like the Arc Trainer let you work out your whole body at once. This kind of machine burns fat quickly and gives a good cardio workout, but it’s also useful for strength training.

By using the arm bars on the Arc Trainer, you can put weight on your arms and tone them while you move your legs in an arc movement below. If you keep up rigorous motion in both your arms and your legs, it’s easy to build muscle over time.

Depending on the angle, you can work out your glutes, hamstrings, or focus solely on your quadriceps. For best results, you can switch your routine to focus on different exercises (and thus target different muscle groups) per day.

Weight Loss with the Cybex Arc Trainer

One of the best things about the Arc Trainer is that you can burn a lot of calories in a single session, and the machine has programs to help you meet specific goals. Indeed, the Cybex Arc Trainer is one of the most effective pieces of fitness equipment for burning calories.

To really focus on burning fat, you’ll want to keep up the intensity of your exercise. Since the Arc Trainer comes with a screen that shows a detailed readout of your heart rate, strides per minute, and the overall time of your session. The resistance on the machine is load-dependent, meaning that it can automatically adjust to your weight.

Cybex suggests using interval training both as a general exercise and as a way to burn fat. During interval training, you’ll switch off between doing intense, fast movement and then rest with slow, low-resistance movement.

The machine lends itself to interval training, because you can adjust the settings easily. Try using the Adaptive Power setting, which increases resistance as you pick up speed, and lowers resistance as you slow down.

Arc-uate Path Exercise

The Arc Trainer has several advantages over an elliptical machine, and many of them have to do with the difference in body movement and how your weight is distributed on the machine.

The mechanics of the Trainer are like an elliptical machine, but the footplates have a different path of movement. Instead of moving in an elliptical, oval-shaped path, the footplates move in an arc pattern, guiding your body into an arc of movement. This movement path actually reduces stress on your knees and joints.

The machine only generates force when you’re in a load-bearing stance, which evenly distributes the pressure between your hips and knee joints. When the pressure is shared between those areas, your joints are under less stress.

There’s also the added bonus of a more rigorous session with more intense muscle training. The overall effect is better fitness with less stress on your body.

Adjustable Settings

To get the most out of your machine, learn about how the various settings can be a tool for having a better training session. When you adjust the incline, you can target different muscle groups in your lower body. That setting offers versatility, and it’s helpful when you want to do more specific kinds of training, like focusing on your glutes.

The power settings are also adjustable, and can impact how you use the machine. For example, the Constant Power settings keep up the same level of power, even if you slow down or speed up. The machine does this by adjusting its resistance in relation to your speed.

When you slow down, the machine automatically increases the resistance so you’re still getting a certain level of rigor. On the other end, it lowers the resistance level when you start to go faster.

You can take a look at the Arc Trainer manual and their website for more detailed training suggestions.

Cybex Arc Trainer Vs. Treadmill

The Arc Trainer and a treadmill are both useful exercise machines, but they serve very different purposes in terms of your workout.

Treadmills let you walk or run at your own pace, and you can adjust the incline for a more or less rigorous workout. Compared to the Arc Trainer, it’s a fairly simple design. It’s a cardio workout, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of strength training. The Trainer is designed to offer the kind of resistance that builds up muscle in your lower body, from your glutes to your quads.

Treadmills do let you customize your routine to a certain extent, with adjustable speed and adjustable incline. However, the Trainer will allow you to do strength training in addition to cardio.

Should You Get an Arc Trainer?

Is this machine right for you?

If you want to train your lower body thoroughly, this fitness equipment will deliver. It can help you get the glutes of your dreams, and build up powerful quadriceps. If you want to sculpt your arms at the same time, the arm bars can help you get full-body motion in, so you can tone your arms and core at the same time.

This machine also has plenty of personalization options, including preset programs that guide your calorie burning session or help you with interval training. There are a lot of ways to use your Trainer machine, including the tips in this article.

How will you make the most of your Arc Trainer? Let us know in the comments below!

Why the Cybex Arc Trainer is a Better Choice Than Ordinary Ellipticals


The Cybex Arc Trainer may look a lot like your ordinary elliptical, but that’s where the similarity pretty much ends. When it comes to its effectiveness as a cardio machine that gives the best workouts, the Arc Trainer is simply the better choice. It uses a different motion that makes it easier for the body to exercise but still gives a challenging workout for achieving your fitness goals.

In order to understand this better, it’s best to do a comparison of the Arc Trainer and the ordinary elliptical. Now there’s nothing wrong with using ellipticals – it’s a good cardio machine and has qualities that makes it better than other cardio equipment, like treadmills and stationary bikes. But the Arc Trainer may offer something more, which is why it’s worth getting to know this machine better.

What is an Arc Trainer?

Not everyone is familiar with the Arc Trainer. Compared to ellipticals, this machine is still relatively new. Its main difference from the elliptical is the motion it uses – its foot pedals travel along an arc. These machines from Cybex have been around since 2003, but it has not gotten much attention until years later.

The Arc Trainer comes in two styles – lower body and total body. 

The lower body machine is the original one, which works your legs while your hands are simply resting on the rails. Some find it more comfortable to swing their arms at their sides while their legs are working out. 

The total body machine, on the other hand, provides a full body workout.  

The machine gives a weight-bearing exercise that is non-impact at the same time. You can adjust the resistance, incline, and stride rate.

Why is it Better Than an Elliptical?

When you watch closely how the Arc Trainer works, you will notice that its footplate pushes down and back. It’s the same motion you make when you walk, hike, and pedal a bicycle.

The footplate on the opposite side subsequently travels in an arc, which prepares your other foot to put the power down in a movement that is more natural.

Now if you compare this to the motion of an elliptical, in which you have to contort your body into pedaling an ellipse. You may think that the difference is just slight, but when it comes to exercise, the slight difference can turn into bigger problems in the future, considering the number of rotations that your legs go through in just one 30-minute workout.

So the main point is this: the Arc Trainer reproduces your natural gait better than an elliptical. Nick Clayton, personal training program manager at the National Strength and Conditioning Association, likes the range of motion when using the Arc Trainer.

 “It’s like running uphill or marching through snow without the impact. I also like the fact that it emphasizes hip extension,” he says.

How About the Workout Plan?

The Arc Trainer has a wide variety of pre-programmed workouts or you can use the advanced interface to program your own routine. You can adjust the incline and resistance and come up with a stride rate that is comfortable for you and suits your fitness level.

4 Reasons to Use the Arc Trainer

Here’s a more detailed breakdown on why you should try the Arc Trainer.

1. It Gives a Better Overall Workout

The two machines similar to the Arc Trainer – treadmills and ellipticals – have their own set of drawbacks that you won’t find or experience with the Arc Trainer. A lot of people do not enjoy using treadmills because it’s not the same as running and it can be really hard on the joints.

As for the elliptical, athletes and other people who work on advanced levels gripe that the machine is not enough to get their heart rate up for a serious workout. Compare this to the Arc Trainer, which functions like a stair stepper. You can get serious work done on your hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

Nigel Anderson of Gym Source likes that it’s a full-body exercise. “The more muscles you’re working, the more fat you burn. That math will never change in a million years,” he says.

2. It’s More Functional

The motion of the Arc Trainer is similar to hiking when you drive your knee to the handlebar coming from the bottom of the pedal stroke.

3. It Burns More Calories

Using the same intensity and perceived exertion, those who use the Arc Trainer can burn 16% more calories compared to the elliptical. This is especially important if you’re working out during winter, when it’s harder to burn calories. 

Small differences matter. On average, a male who weighs 150 pounds doing a 30-minute workout can burn 300-475 calories. Of course, this will also depend on factors such as resistance, incline, and stride rate.

Dr. John Porcari, a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, is a co-author on a study showing the Arc Trainer does burn slightly more calories than an elliptical, “at the same amount of perceived exertion.”

Porcari recommends that people should continue using whatever machine feels best, which includes the Arc Trainer, because ultimately “the best machine is one you’re going to use.”

4. It’s Easier on the Joints

The Arc Trainer is designed to be easier on your knees and hips, thanks to its balanced loading design. Its body positioning makes working out better for your back as well. 

According to a study from the NCBI, “individuals with, or at risk for, lower-extremity joint pathology may benefit from exercise with modalities other than the elliptical trainer.”

Take the next step to a better physique!

The Arc Trainer can help you reach your fitness goals without putting unnecessary pressure on your body. Primo Fitness can help you find the machine that you need, brand-new or secondhand. We have more than 20 years of worldwide success for our new and used gym equipment for sale. 

To speak to our experienced technicians about our certified, pre-owned, and custom-built refurbished equipment, call Primo Fitness now or visit our store nearest you.

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