Help me buy an arm cycle
February 8, 2017 2:41 PM   Subscribe

I am looking to get an arm cycle for use at home. Help me find a good one.

I have been unable to walk distances for some time, and am badly de-conditioned. I'd like to get an arm cycle to use at home to start re-building some aerobic fitness as well as improving my arm strength and stamina for times I use a wheelchair. The ones I'm finding online vary from extremely cheap to a few hundred dollars. I want to find one that is a good balance of price, durability, and effectiveness.

I'm looking for the kind that can be set on a table to use (or on the floor for use with legs, though I don't plan to do that). I'm assuming anything under $50 is crap, but are any of the, say, $100 models worthwhile? Do you have one you use that you'd recommend?

posted by Orlop to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have no experience with arm cycles (also called arm ergometers), but since no one else has answered, I'll chime in. My basic presupposition with fitness equipment is that quality stuff is generally in the mid-three figures and up. With relatively specialized equipment like an arm ergometer, it might be higher. There is a huge difference, for example, between the $150 rowing machine that my family had when I was in high school and the Concept2 rower that I saved up to buy.

My advice would be to ask a physical therapist, if you can get a referral from your doctor. They're likely to know what works, and also whether any gyms in your area have one you could try out.

Is swimming an option? With a leg float, you can make it entirely upper body if that's necessary, and it engages the big muscles in your back more than I think an arm ergometer would. And if you have some ability to kick, the crawl is still primarily an upper body stroke.

Hopefully someone with direct experience will pop by.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:21 AM on February 9, 2017

I'm using this one right now under my desk as I type this. It's fine, the resistance doesn't go very high, so it can be a little herky jerky at times and the gear casing gets hot after I've been using it a while, but I don't normally touch that, so it's fine. Certainly decent for the price if you are more interested in movement than high resistance.
posted by platinum at 9:55 PM on February 16, 2017

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