The Arc Trainer is part of the fitness equipment line offered by Cybex International. Cybex describes the trainer as neither an elliptical nor a stepper. The technology uses a distinctive low-impact motion that engages large muscle groups, such as the thighs, to increase strength and burn calories. You should talk to your doctor before you try any new exercise program.
The motion of an Arc Trainer looks similar to an elliptical machine. The company, however, asserts that the technology is unique. The difference is the same side arm and leg movement. With treadmills or an elliptical, when one leg moves up, the opposite arm moves forward. With an Arc Trainer, as the left leg move downward the left arm moves with it. According to the company website, this improves posture and puts less strain on the back. Another key difference in an Arc Trainer is the slope. With an elliptical, there is no opportunity to change the resistance by increasing the incline. The Arc Trainer can work at varying inclines to enhance different thigh muscles.
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One key feature of the all the Arc Trainer models is the load dependent operation. The computerized system will determine the resistance based on the weight of the user. When you step onto the machine, you enter your weight. This allows the computer to calculate the most effective resistance setting for your body. The Arc Trainer takes the guesswork out of selecting a resistance level. Once you choose an incline, you can manually tweak the resistance to a comfortable level.
The Arc Trainer comes in two models: total body and lower body. Both provide movement that keeps the toe in front of the knee at all times. Cybex claims that this biomechanically correct pathway will reduce stress on the knees. Both machines also provide a full range of motion that enhances the knee and hip muscles. The lower body trainer focuses on the legs and buttocks, while Total Body trainer has handles that also work the arms and chest, as well. Increasing the incline on either machine will train the quadriceps muscles in the thighs. Lower inclines work the glutes and hamstrings.
Either the Total Body Arc Trainer or the Lower Body model will work the thigh muscles. The machine simulates climbing, so the key muscles will be the lower back, hip flexors, glutes and thighs. You can change the incline to add extra resistance for various muscle groups in the thighs. The documentation for each model should highlight the most effective way to use the machine to help slim the thighs.