Using an arm bike is not the first workout choice for many people but it can still offer benefits. Find out whether this tool can be a good choice for you.
It is worth briefly mentioning that not all of these benefits are completely unique. If they align with your goals and preferences, arm bike alternatives could be good too.
1. Arm bikes can benefit weight loss
Getting to a healthy weight offers many benefits but doing this can be challenging.
From a high-level view, losing weight requires you to make it so your body needs more energy than you absorb from your diet. When this happens, you start using energy stores like body fat.
Because the number of calories burned with an arm bike is likely higher than what you burn with standard daily activities, this tool helps you lose weight to at least some extent.
Some rough estimations are that people will often burn about 83 to 142+ calories while using an arm bike at a moderate pace for 30 minutes.
After learning that one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is about 3500 calories, it should become clear that arm bikes are not that effective for weight loss either.
At the same time, the results above are better than nothing. Especially if you are in a situation where more intense leg workouts are not really an option.
One thing to keep in mind is that your habits in areas like nutrition will still influence your weight loss results from arm bikes a lot.
2. Arm bikes are relatively budget-friendly
Investing a good amount in certain pieces of exercise equipment or a gym subscription is still a good idea in many situations.
However, it is also fair to say that you can often get nice benefits with smaller fitness budgets too.
When it comes to arm-only equipment options, you can put arm bikes in this budget-friendly category.
There are expensive arm bikes too but you should be able to find quality models at reasonable prices.
This leaves you with a bigger budget for other areas of your health (or other things).
3. Arm bikes keep you active without leg workouts
Most of the sports and exercises out there require at least some form of leg involvement. However, due to reasons like injuries, leg workouts are not always an option.
One of the biggest benefits of arm bikes is that they make it easier to stay active in situations like these. You only need something to put it on (your lap can work too) and your arms.
It is fair to say that arm bikes are not too impressive compared to many leg workouts in terms of health benefits.
Even so, in situations where the alternative is doing nothing, arm cycles can be valuable tools.
4. Arm bikes can maintain or improve cardiovascular health
Your heart, lungs, and blood vessels are constantly at work to extract oxygen from the air and move this oxygen, nutrients, and waste products around your body.
The more intense your movements, the more of these substances your so-called cardiovascular system has to move around.
This can be a benefit since working your cardiovascular system enough (but not too much) can start processes that strengthen it over time.
In simpler words, using arm bikes intensely enough can strengthen your heart, lungs, and blood vessels or at least maintain the health or slow down the degradation of these body parts.
Arm bike workouts will not give you the biggest lung capacity in the world but in the case of for example leg injuries, they can keep you at least somewhat fitter and healthier in this area.
5. Arm bikes are light and compact
It only takes one look to see that arm bikes are relatively compact.
Individual brands can vary but arm bikes are typically under 21″ (53.34 cm) long, 17″ (43.18 cm) wide, and 17″ (43.18 cm) high.
You do want to keep in mind that you still need enough room to actually move your arms too. However, it is fair to say that you don’t need a lot of room to use an arm bike either.
All you need is something to sit on and something like a table can be helpful too.
On top of that, this type of exercise equipment is typically under 22 pounds (10 kg) which means you can say they are lightweight too.
This means arm bikes are easy to move around and that you could even take them with you to different locations.
6. Arm bikes engage a few muscles
Even though arm bikes mainly offer cardiovascular workouts, you also have to use a few skeletal muscles to move the pedals around.
Some of the muscles worked with arm bikes are your triceps, shoulders, biceps, and upper back muscles.
You do need to know that this piece of equipment likely does not offer enough pressure to actually grow these muscles.
That being said, the muscle engagement is still a benefit of arm bikes since it can improve endurance, keep the muscles flexible, and slow down degradation.
7. You can do other things while using an arm bike
Because they don’t take up a lot of room, offer a moderate-intensity workout, and don’t make much noise, it is relatively easy to keep yourself busy with other things while using an arm bike.
More specifically, you can combine this piece of fitness equipment with watching a movie, sitting outside in the sunshine, or listening to an audiobook.
As long as you don’t need to use your arms and don’t need 100% of your attention, you will often be able to use an arm bike.
This is a benefit because this piece of workout equipment could make your typical activities just a bit better in terms of health.
8. Arm bikes allow you to move more at home
Two of the things that sometimes stop people from exercising more are the extra transport requirements and the outside weather conditions.
First of all, having to drive somewhere to be able to exercise adds extra time requirements that could be hard to find.
Secondly, not many people have the willpower to go for a run (or wheelchair ride) in the rain.
That being said, you don’t have to worry about this with arm bikes since you can use them basically anywhere.
This benefit of arm bikes is definitely not unique either but can be a valuable addition if your schedule is really busy and/or exercising outside is not really an option.
9. Arm bikes often have adjustable resistance
Most arm bike brands make it possible to adjust how hard it is to complete your rotations. This is helpful for multiple reasons.
First of all, pushing your body enough but not too much is important for seeing optimal training results. The adjustable resistance makes it easier to get in this zone.
Secondly, switching up the resistance and/or speed in your arm bike workouts can make them more interesting. Besides offering more enjoyment this could make it easier to stay consistent.
10. You can often use arm bikes for your legs too
One of the top benefits of arm bikes is that they enable workouts when using your legs is not possible.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that when you can do leg workouts again, you could also use many of these arm bikes for cycling too.
This can be helpful for engaging your cardiovascular system to a larger extent with your stronger leg muscles.
Another consequence of this is that different people with different situations could use the same arm bike in different ways.
11. Using an arm bike can improve your sleep
This next benefit of arm bikes is very general but worth quickly mentioning since it is so important.
Having high-quality sleep for long enough does a lot for areas like your mood, cognitive function, and just your overall health.
Again, arm bikes really stand out in this benefit for people who are not able to do leg workouts.
One thing to note is that vigorously arm cycling right before going to bed can also mess with your sleep. You preferably want to keep these workouts for earlier than two hours before you go to bed.