Reaping the benefits of upper limb training
Wellness and physical fitness is also achieved by working the upper limbs, as well as the deep and surface muscles of the core (also known as the trunk). These muscles have been somewhat neglected by conventional cardio equipment, where the emphasis has tended to have been placed on the lower limbs.
The benefits of using an ergometer designed specifically for the upper limbs are extensive.
First and foremost, it contributes to a comprehensive cardiovascular workout, which activates and engages all the muscle groups, in strict rotation. Performing a cyclic workout by alternating lower limb exercises with upper limb exercises makes it possible to achieve this goal. Let’s take a brief look at some of the other main benefits.
Burns extra fat while reducing boredom. Besides being less tedious and more efficient, alternating lower and upper limb exercises in a single workout prevents the muscles in each region from reaching the point of exhaustion. This ensures that users can train for longer, and therefore burn more calories.
A cardiovascular exercise for all. For many individuals affected by temporary or permanent conditions – such as obesity, old age, arthritis in the lower limbs or disability – cyclic exercise involving the upper limbs is often the only viable alternative in terms of exercising the heart.
A correct warm-up for the upper limbs. Warming muscles up properly before carrying out any type of strength exercises, for instance at the gym, during sports training or in competition, has been proven to have a positive effect on both training results and performance; not warming up can lead to serious injury. It is therefore recommended to warm up all the joints and muscles gradually, repetitively and using circular movements in multiple directions whenever possible.
Improved posture and bearing. Maintaining the correct posture keeps us looking young, healthy and agile. In order to improve posture, it is essential to perform balanced exercises which tone all the paravertebral muscles, the core and the shoulders. Cyclic exercise of the upper limbs, performed with a straight back and which activates the core stabiliser muscles, will result in significant improvements in this area, thereby helping to prevent all the immobility and pain associated with back problems.
Saves on workout time. Cyclic exercise of the upper limbs, performed continuously and in both rotation directions, makes it possible to complete an all-over workout in less time, by simultaneously training the heart, burning calories and also toning the muscles. This type of exercise can be combined with a balanced selection of exercises typically performed in a workout session.
Effective rehabilitation for the shoulder and elbow. For the shoulder and elbow, post-trauma or post-operative rehabilitation can be a long and complex process. Concentric cyclic exercise, even when performed at high speeds, can lead to drastically reduced recovery times and an optimal return to functionality. Workouts can involve either strength or resistance training, while the various exercise variables can be monitored and limited according to the individual.