Are you looking to work on your cardio but you need to give your legs and knees a rest? A couple of years back I had an accident which rendered my left leg pretty much unusable for about 2 full months. Obviously, I won’t be able to do my regular workout routine like jogging and using a stationary bike. The good news here is that I found out about arm bikes during this period.
Arm bikes are, as the name suggests, bikes for your arms. This exercise machine is designed to get your heart pumping while allowing your lower body to rest. This machine was mostly found in rehabilitation centers but is now available for commercial consumption. Ever since the injury to my left leg, it hasn’t really been able to return back to 100% which is why I’m quite thankful I have an arm bike as an alternative for my cardio exercise. Many articles about exercise can be found on Fitboot.
MagneTrainer Exercise Bike
designed specifically for arms and offers some nifty features and an up to date technology.
Additional features include a ‘Quiet’ functionality that can allow you to go full throttle without generating any noise.
Drive Deluxe Exercise Peddler
This arm bike is foldable which allows it to be bought anywhere and takes up very little space in storage
Sleek and compact but filled with features you could shake a stick at
It is basically designed specifically for that type of individual.
Isokinetics Inc. Pedal Exerciser
Another affordable arm bike that offers solid quality and performance. The Isokinetics Pedal Exerciser is one of the most surprisingly durable mini bikes I’ve used.
It is also great for those who prefer equipment that is ready to use out of the box.
The Isokinetic does not require any assembly which is nice for those who are not that confident when it comes to building relatively complex machines
Now, let me give you a couple of examples as to why the arm bike is something you might want to check out. Especially if you are currently nursing a leg injury, the arm bike is one way to keep the blood flowing even when you are resting comfortably in a chair. Here are some of the benefits arm bikes are known to provide…
It Can Help Burn Calories
Similar to stationary bikes, arm bikes are a great way to burn calories using a cardio workout. While not on par with the calorie burning found in a high-intensity bike exercise, arm bikes managed to record about 86% of the maximum calories burned in a 30-minute session. While not a full replacement for biking, it manages to do a decent job when it comes to being a cardio workout.
A Good Alternative if You Have an Injury
For people who are injured or are disabled permanently, an arm bike can provide the cardio training you require to stay fit and improve your overall stamina. As I have stated earlier in this article, I was nursing a leg injury for about 2 months and using an arm bike helped me maintain my body weight while allowing my leg to properly recover.
Can Be Used for Cross-Training
An athletes’ body is put through rigorous training to achieve peak physical performance. This isn’t to say that they have a lower risk of injury when exercising. In fact, athletes must take extra care when training. They can’t overwork their body to the point where it breaks down.
Using an arm bike can help an athlete maintain their daily cardio exercise while allowing their legs to take some much-needed rest.
Improves Upper Body Strength
The arm bike primarily focuses on your upper body muscles like your arms, chest, back, and shoulders. It does this without requiring any weights. It can improve your upper body strength without requiring a separate exercise dedicated to your cardio. Basically, hitting two birds with one stone. This is why arm bikes are also recommended for individuals whose daily activity mostly focuses on exercising their legs rather than their upper body and core strength. For example, jobs that require you to walk or stand most of the day will have an imbalance when it comes to upper and lower body strength.
Offers a Change of Pace
For those who follow a strict daily training regimen, adding an arm bike exercise every now and again can help break the monotony. I still incorporate arm bike exercise from time to time to break the daily routine that I have in regards to working out. Also, since my left leg never truly healed back to 100%, letting my legs rest during workout sessions is greatly appreciated.
In order to choose the right arm bike you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Does it offer a comfortable grip?
Similar to how you choose an exercise bike, it is important to have a pedal that is easy and comfortable to grab. You will be using this for at least half an hour a day, so make sure spinning the pedals with your hands will not cause undue strain or even injuries.
Does it have an adjustable resistance?
The resistance of an exercise bike is important as it can help improve your strength and stamina. If you find the current resistance level to be quite easy, you can switch it up by increasing resistance. This will make spinning the pedals harder but that will result in higher calories burned and improved muscle development.
Is it noisy?
A noisy exercise bike is a no-no, especially in today’s day and age. While it is rare to find a mini exercise bike that squeaks or slides around the surface, it is best to check it out first before purchasing. You should also look for arm bikes that have rubberized legs which will prevent it from sliding across the table when you are using it.
Does it feature a tracking display?
While not essential, it will make tracking your progress during workout more convenient and easier. Most exercise bikes have this feature installed and are still relatively affordable. I suggest you go for ones that do have displays as can make exercising extremely convenient.
Is it well-made?
I have encountered a couple of exercise bikes, both for legs and arms that needed to be re-adjusted more often that I would want. Avoid low-quality exercise bikes that offer inaccurate resistance or arm bikes that wobble. You might get them for cheap but they are not worth the trouble and will not be able to deliver optimum results during your exercise routine.
Does it utilize straps?
Straps should help keep your hands and feet in place. They usually use Velcro to secure your hands or feet to the pedal. Again, while not an essential aspect, it will make using the mini stationary bike easier and more convenient.
Does it come with a warranty?
Whenever I’m about to spend a good amount of cash on anything I always look for a warranty. Warranties help ensure that the product you are buying is a quality one. It also shows the confidence of the manufacturer in their product. You can easily find one-year warranties on mini bikes from reputable brand names. If this is your first time buying then I highly suggest you choose an arm bike that has a warranty.
The MagneTrainer ER is designed specifically for arms and offers some nifty features and an up to date technology. It utilizes magnetic technology to provide the resistance and can reach up to 200% resistance which is a rare feat for mini exercise bikes to accomplish. As you would expect, this one is designed for both rehabilitation and for serious workouts.
Additional features include a ‘Quiet’ functionality that can allow you to go full throttle without generating any noise. The magnetic resistance also allows you to adjust to the perfect tension better compared to arm bikes that utilize dials with a preset resistance level. It is also ergonomically designed and the pedals are designed with a handlebar appearance.
Sleek and compact but filled with features you could shake a stick at. The Drive Medical Deluxe offers a lot to the table while maintaining a fairly reasonable price. This arm bike is foldable which allows it to be bought anywhere and takes up very little space in storage.
It also comes with a display that tracks your progress during a workout. You can check for the calories burned, time, revs per minute, and pace with a press of a button. If you plan on moving around a lot you might want to check this arm bike out. It is basically designed specifically for that type of individual.
Exerciser is one of the most surprisingly durable mini bikes I’ve used. It is also great for those who prefer equipment that is ready to use out of the box. The Isokinetic does not require any assembly which is nice for those who are not that confident when it comes to building relatively complex machines.
This is a simple and easy to use arm bike that is well-made and offers what you need. While it does not come with the additional features that the previous two offers, it does a good enough job in giving you a good cardio workout as long as you follow the workout plan.
Arm bikes are not only great alternatives to exercise bikes, but they can also offer you a way to keep your upper body to stay fit. As I have noted at the beginning, for those who are currently nursing a leg injury, the arm bike will give you the exercise your body needs to maintain its cardio. This is a helpful exercise machine that will allow you to do high-intensity cardio exercise while allowing your lower body some time to rest up.