The 4 Best Arc Trainers – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
Cardio exercises are probably the most common and simplest type of workout there is. But since it’s so easy, people who do cardio either tend to overdo it, which can lead to muscle fatigue and injuries, or get bored after repeating the same exercises for some time.
If you want to add more challenge and variety in your cardio without overworking your joints and muscles, then you might want to try using an arc trainer. To know more about them, below is a guide on what arc trainers are and how to choose the best arc trainer for you.
The Cybex 770AT Arc Trainer is a high-end cardio equipment. It features numerous bells and whistles that the other arc trainers don’t have, such as its wide touchscreen monitor and iPod and iPhone connectivity. It’s also the biggest and most expensive arc trainer on this list.
This arc trainer is the younger brother of Cybex 770AT. It carries the same (but not all) features with the 770AT. It also has the same stride length but it has a more compact size, which makes it perfect for those who want to experience the 770AT but have limited floor space.
The Cybex 360A Home Arc Trainer is specifically designed for – you guessed it – the home. It offers all the benefits of an arc trainer workout without the usual bulk and at a considerably lower price. It may not have a lot of extra features but it does carry all the basics.
This arc trainer is one of the older Cybex models. It’s now usually sold as a refurbished unit but make no mistake, the Cybex Arc Trainer 600A still burns major calories. Its graphics may be a bit old-school with its dot matrix display but it does show the essentials.
Reviews Of the Best Arc Trainers
The Cybex 770AT Arc Trainer features a patented reverse arc motion that has been scientifically proven to reduce impact and stress on the joints and muscles. It measures 76 x 37 x 62.5 inches and has a 400-pound maximum weight capacity, which makes it perfect for large-framed people who want to try cardio exercises.
This arc trainer showcases a 4.3-inch touchscreen monitor with a split-level display. It also has a magazine rack, dual utility tray, water bottle holder, and a dual speed fan.
If you want a more intense workout, this model has 21 incline levels to choose from. It also has a 24-inch stride length to provide your legs with adequate room to move in.
To help you keep an accurate record of your workout session, the Cybex 770AT also has both contact and wireless heart rate monitors. It’s also compatible with iPods and iPhones so you can conveniently listen to music.
The Cybex 770AT Arc Trainer offers a 10-year warranty for the frame, three years for the parts, and one year for labor.
- high weight capacity
- large and variable stride range
- long-term and inclusive warranty
- numerous extra features
- too heavy
- bulky dimensions
The Cybex 750A Arc Trainer specializes in lower body fitness. The foot pedals’ arcuate motion engages the leg muscles, particularly the quads and the glutes, to burn more calories.
This model features 8 preset exercise settings and 9 customizable programs for those who want a more personalized workout experience. The full split-level display also allows you to easily monitor your workout information such as heart rate and the number of calories burned.
If you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you can choose from the 21 incline levels available. There’s also a built-in cooling fan to help you regulate your body temperature.
The model is also load-dependent. This means that the machine automatically calculates the intensity level of your workout based on your weight. However, you still have the option to choose a different exercise program that suits you.
This arc trainer can carry up to 400 pounds and has a spacious stride range of 24 inches. This equipment might be a bit difficult to move, as it measures 77 x 28.5 x 62.5 inches and weighs 412 pounds.
The Cybex 750A Arc Trainer also provides a 10-year warranty for the frame, three years for the parts, and one year for labor.
- high weight capacity
- several bonus features
- wide stride range
- long warranty
- too heavy to move around
- a bit expensive
Arc trainers can be remarkably large and heavy, with most of its models usually weighing 400 pounds. Because of this, arc trainers are commonly seen as gym staples. But with the Cybex 360 Home Arc Trainer, you, too, can experience the benefits of an arc trainer in your own home.
The Cybex 360A features 13 preset programs and an intuitive full split-level display. It also showcases a wireless heart rate monitor. If you constantly drink water during workout sessions, this arc trainer can even hold your water bottle for you with its 2 built-in water bottle holders.
This arc trainer has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, which is lower than the usual weight capacity but it’s still a considerable number. Its stride range measures 24 inches to provide enough room for your legs. Unlike other models, it only weighs 293 pounds, so you can move it around your house with relative ease.
Lastly, the Cybex 360A Home Arc Trainer has a 10-year warranty for its frame.
- compact size
- works quietly in the background
- might take some time to put together
- still a bit heavy
The Cybex Arc Trainer 600A offers a 300 pound weight capacity and boasts of its longer and smoother gliding movement with its unique arched stride technology. Its stride range can be adjusted and can reach up to 24 inches. This arc trainer also features 10 different incline levels for a more varied range of motions.
It has a clear LED display with a full split-level feature. The upper display uses a simple dot matrix graphic of your exercise program and shows useful details of your workout such as calories, heart rate, oxygen consumption, and strides per minute. At the same time, the lower display indicates the resistance, incline level, and clock.
Similar with the previous models, the Cybex Arc Trainer 600A showcases built-in workout programs which can be adjusted even during mid-workout. This model also includes other features such as wireless and contact heart rate monitors, magazine rack, and front wheels.
The Cybex Arc Trainer 600A measures 70 x 30 x 44 inches and weighs 331 pounds. It’s available as reconditioned.
- high weight capacity
- relatively cheaper
- with wheels
- fewer extra features
- short warranty for reconditioned units
What Is An Arc Trainer?
The arc trainer is a cardio equipment patented by Cybex International, Inc. and was first introduced in 2003. It is a stationary-type cardio machine like a treadmill and an elliptical. However, the foot plates of an arc trainer move in an arc pattern, hence its name.
Reasons Why Arc Trainers Are Better Than Other Cardio Machines
Cardio exercises are meant to increase your heart rate. Moving a large group of muscles requires a lot of oxygen. This makes your heart pump more blood to keep up with the oxygen demand, thus increasing your heart rate.
However, cardio machines such as treadmills and elliptical machines can make your body tire easily before you can get your heart rate up. Arc trainers may not be as popular as treadmills and elliptical but it comes with more health advantages than the two. Here’s why:
Arc Trainers Can Protect You From Overuse Injuries
Injuries are caused by high impact activities, such as weight-bearing exercises. Running on a treadmill creates too much impact on the balls of your feet which makes you tire faster.
On the other hand, elliptical machines make the muscles fatigue easily because of its uneven movement. This creates a joint displacement which puts the body in a relatively unstable center of gravity.
In a study by the Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion of the Florida Atlantic University, they examined arcuate and elliptical movements and compared it with the body’s natural gait.
They found out that the foot plates of an arc trainer can mimic natural walking with only minimal shift of the body’s center of gravity. Since an arcuate movement is more consistent with your body’s natural gait, the impact on your feet is effectively reduced.
Arc Trainers Can Help With Your Posture And Back Problem
When you’re on an arc trainer, you won’t be forced to lean forward, not like when you use an elliptical or a treadmill. This makes your posture more vertical and helps reduce the compression forces in your spine.
Arc Trainers Reduce Stress On Knees And Joints
Another research done by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Department of Physical Therapy also found out that arc trainers reduce stress on knees. The arching movement efficiently distributes the work between your hip and knee (called “balanced loading”), as opposed to elliptical machines which exert too much force on your knees.
Arc Trainers Burn More Calories With Less Effort
A study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning in 2010 concluded that the balanced loading design of arc trainers allow more muscle training with lower perceived effort.
This finding is supported by another independent study which conducted an experiment by making 16 people use three different cardio equipment, one of which was an arc trainer.
The results show that the subjects’ oxygen consumption was significantly higher on the arc trainer. They also found out that a 30-minute exercise on an arc trainer burns 16% more total calories than the same intensity exercise on an elliptical.
Arc trainers are well-engineered, powerful, and noticeably larger than other cardio equipment. Each model on this list has their own strengths and weaknesses, but the Cybex 360 Home Arc Trainer stands out as the best arc trainer.
It may not have the fancy features of the more high-end arc trainers but it does carry all the basics. It’s also a lot smaller, so it can easily fit in home and office gyms with limited floor space. It’s also lighter, which makes it easier to move around. The Cybex 360 Home Arc Trainer provides all these benefits at a substantially lower price.