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arc trainers vs. ellipticals?

does anyone know the difference between arc trainers and elliptical machines? (benefit of using one vs. the other, calories burned etc?) i've used ellipticals for years but only recently seen the arc trainers at my gym . .just curious.

Sun. Apr 2, 12:41am

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Arc Trainers RULE!

My old gym used to have them. I'm an avid spinner and cyclist and the arc trainer is the only cardio machine that I could get a good workout on. IT was just way too tough to get my HR up on the elliptical. Arc trainers are much more challenging and you will really notice the work in your thighs and butt. Plus, the calorie burn is much higher for the same duration. Go for it!

Sunday, April 02, 2006, 6:31 PM

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The idea behind the ArcTrainer is that the motion of your feet is in a slightly different path than on an elliptical, and this different movement is supposed to reduce torque stress on the knee and hip because the foot plate angle is different. The Cybex website has what is diescribed as an "independent research study" on this.
Whatever you think of it from the point of view of knee stress, it does seem to shift more load onto various muscles around the hip joint. I don't see that this is particularly good or bad - just different.
I'm not personally fond of it, but I don't claim to have any biomedical reason for my attitude. It just seems awkward to me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006, 12:45 AM

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which one is the newer technology?

Monday, October 16, 2006, 10:23 AM

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ArcTrainer is newer.

Ellipticals hurt my knees, but I can go to town on ArcTrainers and feel great.

Monday, October 16, 2006, 11:38 AM

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they had arc trainers at my gym in college (sadly i now don't have access to that anymore) and i definitely agree that they get your HR up faster and keep it up there during your workout. however, i sometimes felt like i was leaning forward with the machine and would end up with a lower back ache, especially if i used the machine for more than 20 or 30 minutes. does anyone else find this?

Monday, October 16, 2006, 1:16 PM

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Yes, I seem to find the positioning on the Arctrainer awkward as you described. If not for that, I'd probably use it more (my gym has 2 flavors of Arctrainer and 3 of ellipticals so it can be random what I end up on if the place is busy, but usually there are choices).

Monday, October 16, 2006, 4:04 PM

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ARC TRAINER ONLY

You burn twice the calories with the Arc Trainer. It isn't akward after you get used to it. It tightens your legs comfortably. It's reshaped my body better than anything. That's the machine at my gym that everyone fears. Only me and my mother use it. I can go up to an hour or longer if I really want to. I suggest no other machine than the arc trainer. Every other machine is completely lousy and useless compared to the arc trainer. It positions your legs perfectly...your feet don't end up flying off the machine when you run and it is especially good running on the machine without holding the handles. It can be akward for awhile...i've been using it for 3 years or so. No more pain or any problems. It gives you great legs and ass..lol.. I suggest it to anyone who doesn't know what to use....forget the elliptical...forget the treadmill...forget the stairstepper... at least until you get used to it...then it's good to use different machines. It's better for your body anyhow. I burn around 300 in 30 minutes if I run fast enough...sometimes 400. Depending on how you set it up. I go up and down and put the resistance from 35 down to 15 or even lower to move faster. And also the incline...I tend to get great results when I move it around. Just remember...don't keep the resistance really high the whole time...that gives you thicker thighs. Unless that's what you want.

Sunday, November 19, 2006, 12:37 AM

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ARC TRAINER ONLY

You burn twice the calories with the Arc Trainer. It isn't akward after you get used to it. It tightens your legs comfortably. It's reshaped my body better than anything. That's the machine at my gym that everyone fears. Only me and my mother use it. I can go up to an hour or longer if I really want to. I suggest no other machine than the arc trainer. Every other machine is completely lousy and useless compared to the arc trainer. It positions your legs perfectly...your feet don't end up flying off the machine when you run and it is especially good running on the machine without holding the handles. It can be akward for awhile...i've been using it for 3 years or so. No more pain or any problems. It gives you great legs and ass..lol.. I suggest it to anyone who doesn't know what to use....forget the elliptical...forget the treadmill...forget the stairstepper... at least until you get used to it...then it's good to use different machines. It's better for your body anyhow. I burn around 300 in 30 minutes if I run fast enough...sometimes 400. Depending on how you set it up. I go up and down and put the resistance from 35 down to 15 or even lower to move faster. And also the incline...I tend to get great results when I move it around. Just remember...don't keep the resistance really high the whole time...that gives you thicker thighs. Unless that's what you want.

Sunday, November 19, 2006, 12:37 AM

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arc trainer /hips and thighs

I've recently switched from a Precor elliptical to the arc trainer at the gym. I feel like I have to work harder to keep my balance (improving core strength?) and I also find that the extra challenge keeps the workout more interesting. It also seems (from 5 days a week, 30 mins a day for the last three weeks) that the arc trainer is developing muscle all over my leg, instead of primarily my quads.

Additionally, I had started getting joint pain and stiffness in my right hip while using the elliptical--this was especially noticeable later in the day and the day after a workout. It went away when I did more work on the sleigh / lower body press machine _and_ used the arc instead of the elliptical. After reading some stuff online that suggested that the elliptical might be putting greater torque on my hips, I wonder if that's the problem.

I love the arc trainer, which is a word I _never_ thought I would use to describe an aerobic exercise machine!

Monday, February 12, 2007, 10:45 PM

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You do not run on an elliptical, you do not run on an arc trainer. The movement is NOT the same. Even running on a treadmill is slightly different than running on a stationary surface- but that is at least running.

Monday, February 12, 2007, 11:10 PM

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I've recently started working out and have been trying out the various equipment around my gym.

I used the Arc Trainer yesterday and felt like I was going to fall off! I stayed on about 10 minutes, burned about 70 calories...yay! It felt good...got my heart rate up to where I wanted it.

As much as I would love to, I cannot do the treadmill. I get so dizzy (like motion sickness). My husband thinks I'm crazy for that, but it's true...happens to my mom too. Ellipticals do the same thing to me.

However, I am crossing my fingers, that the Arc Trainer is my answer. I really need to lose about 30 pounds.

Only sad part is I'm going to be away for about a week. I really hope the hotel gym has an Arc Trainer....seems unlikely, but hoping!

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 7:59 AM

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Does this info help you, other arc trainer thread OP?

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 1:18 PM

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I also had some back trouble when I first started using the arc trainers. This promptly stopped when I stopped using the hand-grips. This makes it a little harder to keep your balance, but once you get into it, it also just makes the workout more fun and challenging, and probably helps with balance and coordination in general. I can pump my arms now, giving me a more well-rounded workout - or if I feel lazy I can hold a book in front of my nose!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 3:25 AM

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ARC TRAINER IS FANTASTIC

Trust me when you read this please! But I started using the ARCTRAINER at my local gym last month and the results are quality. You really really really need to NOT hold on to benefit from the ARC! It'll also do you stomach muslces good when working out. Keep your mind on your balance and after about 3 sessions it'll really become 2nd nature. You don't need to go fast on this to benefit. A higher resistance that is comfortable using hill intervall option is the winner! Good Luck and keep the faith with this baby!
PS - I've lost 1 and half stone over the last 2 months using ARC and standard running machine x 3 times a week with controlled diet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 2:34 PM

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Arc Trainer

I have a bad back and a bad knee and I love this machine! It works me really hard the entire time I am on it. I see other people try it for like 2 minutes and then get off because they think it's too hard. It is strange at first but once you get used to it, it is your best friend. Nothing makes me sweat like the Arc Trainer. I lost 7 lbs in 2 weeks with 4, 45 minute sessions on the Arc Trainer per week. Hope it works just as well for you!

Monday, June 18, 2007, 2:16 PM

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Never heard of one till this thread - checked out the website and it looks funky, it looks like your legs are flat like a X crounty ski machine - is that right?

Monday, June 18, 2007, 2:53 PM

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It's not completely obvious from looking at it when it's not moving, but the path traveled by the foot pedals is a curve, an arc of a circle. So it's backward and forward but with high points at the back and front part of the swing, and low point halfway in between. It doesn't feel quite like an xc machine or elliptical, but to me feels more like the elliptical than the xc.
Apparently there are at least two models of Arctrainer. There is one with a version of arm poles (sort of like an elliptical but not exactly), and one without. Listening to some other people's descriptions, I think maybe there are more than two models.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 1:44 AM

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arc trainer

my workout used to only consist of using the treadmill for cardio, and I enjoyed it. Then I joined a new gym and saw a personal trainer and he suggested using the arc trainer, so I did, the first time it was weird, trying to get a feel for how it moved. Since I started using it, I haven't gone back to a treadmill since. I feel like it gives me a better whole body workout and doesn't cause the tightness in my calves I would sometimes get from the treadmill. When I don't use the handle bars, I can feel my core muscles really working. I also like the extra workout you can get from increasing the resistance or incline, both very good for working the butt.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 6:40 PM

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Best to vary your workout

At my gym we have plenty of treadmills, ellipticals and arc trainers. Let me first make a disclaimer - I hate the arc trainers. I don't care how many calories you can burn (faster is not necessarily better when it come to your health) and there's plenty of other exercises you can do to get the same kind of toning (in fact, I think low impact toning/resistance training with integrated upper body, lower body, core and balance training would be a muscle toning workout than the arc trainer) . The arc trainer is definitely awkward for someone like me (female, short with short arms and legs) and puts a nasty strain on an old ankle ligament injury I have.

What's the biggest turn-off for me, even more than the awkward, ligament-straining motion, is it's not a very good weightbearing workout. You are better off with treadmills and ellipticals for that. Arcs are more like stationary bikes in this way - they give you a wider range of leg motion, which is great for your leg and lower core muscles, but does little to maintain or increase bone density. There's higher levels of resistance, sure, but the bones of your lower body need a lot more than what the arc can offer. What strikes me as unfortunate is that that seems to be part of the arc's appeal - because it's less weightbearing, people perceive it as an easier workout. And certainly compared to a fully weightbearing, hands-free treadmill workout, it is. But that doesn't mean you're getting the workout your body really needs.

I'm a woman in my mid 30's who has two parents who have osteoporosis, so weightbearing exercise to very important for me. This is the main reason why I stick to ellipticals and treadmills for my cardio (as well as weekend hiking trips). I even make sure my toning/resistance workouts have plenty of weightbearing exercises in them. My best advice, especially to people over 30, is if you like the arc, be sure to vary your workout throughout the week to integrate better types of weightbearing exercise as well. Things like how many calories you can burn, how short workout you can get, or how good your gluts can look really shouldn't be your main criteria for your workout. What should be is your health. It's important to keep in mind that exercise isn't just about weight loss and looking good now, but being healthy and staying healthy down the line. Bone loss in one's later years is a serious health problem, and even the best current therapies and meds don't do as much as you might think. So prevention is the best weapon. And if you're already exercising regularly, why not vary your workout a bit to make sure you're giving your bones the workout they need as well?

Friday, August 01, 2008, 1:17 AM

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I have a small workout room at home so I don't go to the gym but was interested in this thread because I hadn't yet heard of this. I went to Expert Village site to see the demonstration of what this is and how it works. Looks very similar to a Gazelle that I have, how is it different?

Friday, August 01, 2008, 1:58 PM

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Arc Trainers Pro/Con

I've used ellipticals, climbers, treadmills and the arc trainer. Arc trainers are the best aerobic trainer and also the easiest way to burn calories because they employ more large muscle groups. I have mild proof and a consensus among some of my friends (including one world champion).

----------------------------------

At the risk of giving away anything personal I'll be a bit vague but I've got half dozen state records from endurance related things and a bronze from the nationals in a multi-event endurance competition.

Not that performance matters, but it does indicate how seriously dedicated to such things a person might be and I am very dedicated.

Breath rate is an excellent judge of how fast you are processing oxygen. At competitive levels, I could sustain low 70s cycling and low 80s running. On the arc trainer I can sustain low 90s. Oxygen processing equates to caloric burn and breath rates correlate to oxygen processing.

Cycling requires some time "on the bike" but I compete better cycling if 90% of my time is on the arc trainer and I can run within about 40 seconds per mile as when I exclusively trained as a runner, strictly off the arc trainer (btw elliptical trainers are about the best "running only" substitute).

As far as weight-bearing goes, all these machines have side rails and some users abuse that feature by using them for weight support rather than stability including the treadmill. The jar and bone stresses from the impact of running builds bone density for sure, but many of us are on these machines specifically because we can't handle the impact of running.

On the con side, for all these machines, you can't dodge traffic, slip on the ice, get frostbite or peel off a personal record 200 meters running from a dog, but there's a downside to everything. In all seriousness, it IS a mental adjustment to going to trainers. For me it was huge. Now that I've made it, I wouldn't go back for the world... except on the beach at Sanibel....

Happy training to all.



Monday, March 09, 2009, 11:29 AM

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Arc trainers in Schaumburg, IL

I 'am keen on trying out the arc trainer at a local fitness center as I don't have one at my current gym. Anyone know of any clubs in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that have the cybex arc trainers ?

Thanks

Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 12:37 AM

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Running Injury

I have bilateral tibial stress fractures. The Arc Trainer gives me the cardio I need to stay in shape as I heal.

Monday, July 27, 2009, 8:53 PM

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Amazing Arc Trainer

m 22 and just had a baby. I gained 80 pounds. I have a large chest too. The Arc trainer has literally saved my life.
Not only is it easy to use... but no matter how HARD i push myself... how deep the resistance and incline my weight doesnt seem to hurt my joints.
I love cardio but running is bad on my knees carrying extra weight and i don't love the small range of motion on an elliptical. The Arc trainer (which has now become so popular... its a fight to get one at my gym) makes me feel light and in shape.
Im popping out 700 cals burned in 45 mins. Its incredible. Could not ask for anyting better.
Sexy body by summer 2010 here i come!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010, 1:37 PM

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Arc trainer and arthritis

I have arthritis in my knees and other exercise machines were almost impossible to use because of joint pain. The arc trainer does stress the knees hence no additional discomfort and pain.

Link

Friday, July 23, 2010, 3:26 PM

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love the arc trainer!

I tried the arc trainer yesterday and I found my new favorite machine. I always found it hard to stay on track with runs(boring after a while and i get shin splintas - another excuse not to train) and I found the elliptical boring, but the arc trainer not only gives you a great cardio workout and gets your HR to your peak, but it sculpts your legs and glutes nicely! I was wearing my HR monitor and my HR and calories burned skyrocketed when I got on the arc trainer(I had been running for 25 mins).. Since you can play with the resistance and incline (I like incline: 6, resistance: 45) it keeps things interesting and you can give yourself breaks if needed, unlike on the stairmaster.

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