Upper Body Ergometers

Most Exercise Equipment typically used for Aerobic Conditioning at Health Clubs Treadmills, Exercise Bikes and Elliptical Trainers come to mind; all of these primarily focus on Lower Body involvement. However, many Kinesiology Specialists and Athletic Trainers realize the benefits of incorporating Upper Body Ergometers in Aerobic Conditioning Programs.

In an article printed in the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Joseph M. Warpeha makes a strong case for including Upper Body Ergometers in Aerobic Workouts. He notes, "For many people, exercise involving the Lower Extremities is Problematic due to Injury to Knees, Feet, Ankles or Hips. The Solution for these as well as injury-free individuals who are looking for some variety in their training is the most underused Aerobic Exercise Equipment is an Upper Body Ergometer or Hand Bike." Warpeha, who is an Exercise Physiologist, Strength Coach and Two-time National Bench Press Champion from the University of Minnesota makes a persuasive case that Many Baby-Boomers who have one or more of these Lower Body Parts Replaced can Strongly Benefit. Arm Cycling Requires the participant to Sitting Upright and "Pedaling" with his/her Arms; involves nearly Every Upper Body Muscle with emphasis on the arms and Shoulders.

The American Council on Exercise sponsored a study with a Group Exercise Class that features Pedaling Upper Body Ergometers to Music. Researchers concluded that in the group Fitness Class UBE’s provide an effective High-Calorie Burning Cardio Conditioning Workout. Participants Burned an Average of Nine Calories per Minute and Maintained an 86 Percent of Maximum Heart Rate during a 30-minute Workout.

Sports Training with a UBE

Traditionally known for Shoulder Rehabilitation and Therapy Equipment, Upper Body Ergometer Training is now widely used by Elite Athletes and Sport Team Trainers.

Watch a UBE Kick a Trained Athlete's Butt in under 6 Minutes!

How to Use a UBE

Upper Body Ergometers, (UBE's), are extensively used by Paraplegics to allow Exercising from a Wheelchair or Seated Position. Getting the Maximum Benefit from a UBE involves Proper Body Positioning to the Machine. Set the Seat or Wheelchair at a Height so Shoulders are in the Same Axis of Rotation as the Crank. Set the Seat or Wheelchair Horizontally so that the Arms are not quite Fully Extended when Furthest from the Body in the Cranking Cycle.

Intensity and Duration of Upper Body Ergometer Aerobic Exercising is Lower than that of Treadmills, Upright Exercise Bikes and Elliptical Trainers; Experts suggest 50 watts for 10 minutes is a good Initial Goal. This is because Upper Body Muscles are Smaller, Weaker and Less Efficient. Add more Wattage and Time as Strength Increases.

Placing the UBE Above the Heart will Quickly Increase Heart Rate, initially it is Difficult to maintain due Muscle Fatigue; this will improve over time. Gradually Build Endurance by Cranking for a 30-minute Stretch. Maintaining a Steady Pace Burns well over 300 Calories per hour.

Upper Body Ergometers Offer Great Workout Variety and are Especially Effective for Interval Training:


About the Author:
Michael Francis is President of FitnessScape Inc. He is a Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from THE Ohio State University.