Upper Body Ergometer Training
In terms of the type of equipment that is typically used for Aerobic Exercise in a workout facility, most people think of Treadmills, Exercise Bikes, and Elliptical Crosstrainers. All of these focus on the involvement of the Lower Body. However, some Kinesiology Specialists and Athletic Trainers have discovered the benefits of Upper Body Aerobic Exercise Equipment.In an article printed in the National Strength and Conditioning Association web site, Joseph M. Warpeha makes a strong case for including an Upper Body Ergometers in Aerobic Workouts. He notes, "For many people, Exercise involving the Lower Extremities is problematic due to Injury to Knees, Feet, Ankles and/or Hips. The solution for these as well as injury-free individuals who are looking for some variety in Fitness Training is Upper Body Ergometers, (i.e. Hand Bike or Arm-crank) are the most underused Aerobic Exercise Equipment.
Warpeha, who is an Exercise Physiologist, Strength Coach, a Two Time National Bench Press Champion and PhD at the University of Minnesota, makes a persuasive case that many Baby-Boomers, who had Knees and Hips replaced or injuries to Lower Body parts, can strongly Benefit from a UBE. Arm Cycling with an Upper Body Ergometer requires the participant to sit upright and "pedal" with his/her Arms Involving nearly Every Upper Body Muscle with emphasis on the Arms and Shoulders.
Historically, Upper Body Ergometry Machines, or UBE's, are used by Paraplegics since they could remove the seat from the machine and Perform the Exercise from a Wheelchair. However, the UBE is gaining popularity with Ultimate Iron Men and Women - the Triathletes. Triathletes understand the importance of Aerobically Training the Upper Body Muscles for the Swimming Portion of a Triathlon.
How to Use a UBE
Placing the UBE above the Heart is challenging even for the most Conditioned Athletes; Placing the Ergometer above the Heart Quickly Increases Hart Rate, initially it is Difficult to maintain due to Muscle Fatigue; this will improve over time.
For Starts, getting the Maximum Benefits from a UBE involves Proper Body Positioning. The Seat or Wheelchair is ideally set at a height so that Shoulders are at the Same Axis of Rotation as the Crank; the Seat or Wheelchair should be Positioned Horizontally so that when the Arms that is Furthest from the Body is Never quite Fully Extended.
Because Upper Body Muscles are Smaller, Weaker and Less Efficient than the Lower Body Muscles Ergometer Training Intensity and Duration initially will be lower than that of a Treadmill, (50 watts for 10 minutes is a good initial goal); more wattage and time should be added as strength increases.
***See your doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise program.
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