Upper Body Ergometers

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Upper body ergometers are an excellent option if you’re looking for an alternative cardio machine to use at home. They provide a solid cardiovascular workout that engages your arm, back and core muscles effectively. Upper body ergometers bring a range of different health benefits and allow you to track many aspects of your workout. This gives them unique advantages over many other exercise machines.

What is an upper-body ergometer?

A rowing machine is a device designed to emulate the physical act of rowing a boat for the purpose of cardiovascular exercise. Rowing machines use various methods to create resistance that emulates the feeling of an oar pushing through water. The level of resistance is adjustable depending on the parameters of the workout the user prefers. They are a mainstay in commercial businesses like gyms, but are also an effective exercise device for the home.

How to use a rowing machine

Upper body ergometers (or arm ergometers) are unique cardio machines that emphasise the top half of the body for cardiovascular exercise. They use arm pedals to exercise the arm, back and core muscles. Arm ergometers create resistance using a variety of means, including water tanks, magnets and flywheels. Broadly, ergometers (including upper body ergometers) refer to a category of exercise machines that track metrics during a workout. Other types of cardio machines considered ergometers include exercise bikes and rowing machines.

How to use an arm ergometer

To use an arm ergometer, you must grab the handles with your hands and pedal them like you would a bicycle. They have mechanisms in place to create resistance using air, magnetism, water or friction. The level of resistance on the machine can be adjusted depending on your workout goals. Upper body ergometers can be used whilst standing or sitting down, depending on your mobility limitations or workout focus.

Arm ergometer workouts

The parameters of your arm ergometer workout will depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you’re aiming to build better endurance, you may use a lower level of resistance for a longer period of time. Conversely, you can use upper body ergometers for high-intensity interval training by working out in short, intense bursts with moderate resistance. You can even use arm ergometers for muscle building by using high-resistance settings. They provide you with a lot of flexibility and variety for exercise.

Benefits of using an upper-body ergometer

Upper body ergometers provide a useful form of exercise with a broad range of benefits. Using an upper-body ergometer is a great way to boost cardiovascular health, burn calories, work upper-body muscles and release endorphins. Incorporating an arm ergometer into your fitness routine could be incredibly helpful for your exercise goals.

Cardiovascular health

Arm ergometers involve a lot of movement from your body against an adjustable level of resistance. This causes your muscles to work hard, requiring your heart to pump blood into them. By working your heart like this regularly, it becomes stronger and better at staving off disease and negative ailments.

Calorie burn

Regular sustained cardiovascular exercise with an upper-body ergometer can burn a lot of calories. This is important for losing weight, as weight loss occurs when someone is in a calorie deficit. Pairing regular arm ergometer workouts with a healthy meal plan can be incredibly valuable if you’re looking to slim down.

Muscle building

When using an arm ergometer, you get to place a greater focus on the upper body muscles. The pedalling motion that you do with an arm ergometer engages arm muscles, such as your biceps and triceps, as well as muscle groups in your shoulders and back. This is quite a unique and useful quality among cardio machines. Typically, equipment in this category, such as treadmills and cross trainers, place a greater emphasis on the lower body.


An intense cardio workout, such as one with an upper-body ergometer, releases endorphins throughout the body. These are chemicals that flood the body during exercise and have a lot of beneficial effects. They reduce stress and help to regulate hormones, being a big positive for your mental health.


One useful feature that arm ergometers have is their ability to track different aspects of your workout. This includes things like calories burned, resistance level, time and distance travelled. By giving you these insights, it allows you to more accurately fine-tune your overall workout plan and monitor your progress.


Upper body ergometers are a great option if you’re in the process of recovering from lower body injuries. Since they engage the back and arms, they can easily be done whilst sitting down. This makes them similarly suitable for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

Arm ergometer maintenance

Adequate maintenance is the best way to keep your arm ergometer working well for longer. While the details will depend on the exact model you’re using, there are some basic guidelines that apply across the board. These are mainly divided into cleaning and identifying faults.


Keeping your upper body ergometer clean helps you to avoid issues caused by sweat and dust. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you wipe down your equipment after use. This prevents them from getting stuck in the crevices and potentially promoting rust in certain components. Once in a while, it helps to get your ergometer professionally cleaned.

Checking for faults

Checking for faults involves keeping an eye out for any components not functioning properly. You may notice a strange noise or the arm ergometer not functioning as it’s supposed to. This may mean it needs repairs. While it’s tempting to try and fix your own machine, it’s important to leave service and repair to the professionals. This ensures it continues to work effectively for a long time.

Orbit Fitness has a wide range of upper-body ergometers

Orbit Fitness has a wide selection of ergometers for home and commercial use. We do online delivery and cater to a range of payment options, including Afterpay. You’re able to order our equipment online or visit one of our locations in WA to see our selection in person. If you would like some more information, feel free to give us a call.