Upper Body Ergometers are an excellent choice for a smooth, non-jarring workout to strengthen your upper body and develop better cardio vascular conditioning without the impact and stress on the joints commonly associated with weight bearing cardio exercise. Upper body ergometers come in many styles to meet different needs and budgets. The most common and economical version is known as a table top bike. This form of erg is compact, lightweight, and portable, designed like the name says to sit on top of a table or desk and be used similar to a bike by grabbing ahold of the pedals with the hands and rotating in a cycling motion. These ergometers are small enough to easily put on the ground and use for the legs as well while sitting in a chair. Upper body ergometers are also very common in rehabilitation and sports medicine environments. Free-standing machines are designed to be wheelchair accessible and offer variable resistance and program modules similar to lower body cardio machines.
How does an upper body ergometer work? Upper body bikes have much of the same functionality as lower body bikes. Pedals or handles are affixed to a crank which can then be tightened for more resistance or loosened for less resistance, either with a tension control knob on tabletop versions or electronically with medical-grade units. Unique to upper body bikes is the ability to have a bi-directional workout, meaning the pedaling motion can be performed in either a forward or reverse motion to engage the muscles in arms, shoulders, chest, and back in opposing fashion. In this sense an upper body ergometer truly offers a full range of motion to improve circulation and upper body muscle strength.
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