Upper body ergometers (or arm ergometers as they are more commonly known) are an excellent way of building strength and fitness. Ergometers can be used as a warm up to your resistance training workout or can be used as a cardio workout. How you use an ergometer is up to you but one thing’s for sure – you’ll get a fantastic workout.
Benefits of Using an Ergometer
There are a number benefits from using an ergometer and the most obvious one is fitness. Ergometers allow you to train in a number of ways and are the perfect piece of equipment if you are looking for an alternative workout. One of the many benefits of ergometers is their availability to people with disabilities. For anyone in a wheelchair (or anyone with limited mobility) using a treadmill, bike or rowing machine is often impractical. Because ergometers focus on your arms and upper arms, they can be used by everyone and provide a great cardio option to anyone with a disability or limited mobility.
Other benefits of using an ergometer include:
- Better sleep patterns
- Increased energy
- Better muscle definition
- Increased flexibility
- Increased coordination
Types of Ergometer Workouts
If you are using an ergometer to increase your fitness, there are a number of training programs you can follow. Like other cardio equipment, ergometers allow you to train in a steady state, use heart rate training and high intensity interval training.
For a steady state workout, simply select an intensity level and speed that you can maintain for an extended period of 30-60 minutes.
For interval training, start at a low speed and intensity for 5 minutes to warm up your body then increase the speed and intensity for 10-30 seconds before dropping it back for 2-5 minutes. Repeat for as long as you wish to workout.
Another training option available with ergometers is time trials. Set yourself a distance (1000, 2000, 5000 or 10 000 metres) along with a speed and intensity level. Complete your workout and record the time it has taken you. Repeat this each week or month and check your progress. As your fitness, strength and endurance increase you will be able to complete your time trial in a shorter amount of time and at a higher intensity and or speed.
Adding an Ergometer to Your Workouts
Ergometers are a great addition to any workout and are perfect for all fitness levels. You can start by using an ergometer as your warm up or cool down, then add it to your cardio workout. Start with 5-10 minutes and as you become fitter, gradually increase the time and speed.
If you are looking to tone and define your abs, back, shoulders and arms, then the ergometer is a simple answer, especially if you find resistance training difficult. Using an ergometer can help cut your workout times, which is particular good for those who are short on time in the gym
Like many pieces of fitness equipment, the ergometer is very beneficial not only to your fitness but for building strength as well. Whether you use it in the gym or at home, for a warm up or as a staple of your cardio training, you’ll enjoy the benefits an ergometer can offer.
[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Emma Jayne Lions holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement) degree and has over 10 years experience in the health and fitness industry. During this time, Emma has worked as a personal trainer, sports trainer (TAC Cup U18 AFL), and a health promotion officer.[/stextbox]