BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Knee Replacement & Hip Replacement
Patient Advocacy & Online Community


Question about exercise equipment

Discussion in 'Social Room' started by saku, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. saku

    saku Junior Member

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Age:
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Alabama, United States
    I have a question about exercise equipment. I am hoping some folks who know more about exercise/physical training can help me out.

    Since my right hip replacement last spring I have tried to make regular exercise part of my life after years of not being able to do so. Because I have dysplasia in my left hip too, I know I will more than likely need a THR on the left side in the future. Meanwhile I am trying to gain muscle strength and lose weight before that surgery. I have problems because of bursitis that flares up in my left hip if I do too much- more than 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill 3 or 4 times/week. I do not go extremely fast and have it set with zero incline. My husband has recently joined the gym at work and has been using a total body exercise machine called the Cybex Arc Trainer. It is similar to an elliptical trainer but it is suppose to be better for your joints. He has anklosing spondilitis and has to be careful not to exercise in ways that hurt his back or aggravate his Achilles tendons because of bone spurs on his heels. He has been using the arc trainer and feels like it is easier on his back and joints, while still giving him a good overall workout. It incorporates upper body exercise too. He is also able to get his heart rate high enough to be a cardio workout. He was a US Marine for 20 years so he knows how to work out, but his body also took a lot of punishment during those years. He is considering buying an arc trainer for us to use at home but they are VERY expensive. He doesn’t want to buy one unless we can both use it. I am wondering if anyone is familiar with the “arc” style of exercise equipment and has an opinion about how it would be for someone one with joint issues to use. I can not join the gym at his work and live in a small town with no gym. Let me add that a doctor I saw for some problems I have been having with my feet thinks I have rheumatoid arthritis. So even after my second THR I may be still dealing with joint issues, but I am afraid that if I don’t get back to exercising regularly I won’t ever do it, and then I will develop other health issues. I am 48 years old and quite a bit overweight, and with diabetes in my family (Dad, Mom, brother & grandfathers) I want to do what I can to stay as healthy as I can. I would appreciate any insights from some of you that know a whole lot more than I do. Thanks!!

    I don’t want to “advertise” any particular brand, but this is the one I know name of:
    http://www.cybexintl.com/products/cardio/360A/intro.aspx
  2. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    10,264
    Gender:
    Male
    Country:
    United States United States
    Location:
    Northern Part of the Buckeye State
    I do know that Cybex is an excellent company that produces equally impressive equipment; you will find the Cybex name in many PT facilities, too. It is indeed expensive at $3500; wow!

    As for your questions about your capability to use it---I am not sure, as I am a "kneedy" type person from the knee side of the forum. I will get this to Josephine, Jaycey, and Jamie to see what they have to say---hopefully, others from the THR side of the forum will chime in and help you with advice, too.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    36,224
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Location:
    Kansas
    I am familiar with the arc trainer. Our gym has several of them and my trainer indicated they were excellent for exercise. But......I don't know how they would be on a dodgy hip. I'm almost thinking you'd have to give it a try to see how it feels. I'll tag Alexthecat to see if she can help. @alexthecat:

    You might also see if that machine is available at any gyms in your area. Sometimes they will let you have a one-day membership free to check out the facility. Or....check with some stores that might carry an arc trainer. It wouldn't have to be a Cybex if there are other brands the operate in a similar manner. A store would be happy to let you test drive one.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Age:
    72
    Messages:
    52,403
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    I had something similar called the Gazelle Sprintmaster - I loved it! It was set up in my sitting room in front of the tv so I could watch as I worked out. Sadly it developed a fault in the onboard computer and after a running battle with the company (QVC) in a fit of peek I sent it back and had a refund.

    Mind you, the sitting room did seem an awful lot bigger after it had gone! :th_heehee:

    [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 1
  5. alexthecat

    alexthecat Forum Advisor

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Age:
    47
    Messages:
    2,892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    Cybex is a good company but, for the prices they charge, I'm not sure that I would make the investment unless I was sure it was something I would use a lot.

    I do like the Arc Trainer a lot, but I haven't used one in a while. Not since about five years before my THR. There wasn't any particular reason for that, except that I switched from a gym with Arc Trainers to one without. I do have access to one currently, so how about I give it a try tomorrow or the next day and report back? My guess is that my hip will be fine with it, but there is only one way to find out!
    • Like Like x 3
  6. saku

    saku Junior Member

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Age:
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Alabama, United States
    That would be outstanding and much appreciated! To my knowledge I do not know where I could try it out for myself and I would value someone's opinion that is more knowledgeable than my own! Thank you!
  7. C Mac

    C Mac Post-Grad

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Age:
    51
    Messages:
    1,372
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Hi Saku,

    I exercise at a gym with arc trainers like the cybex shown in the link that you posted. I have used those machines for years both before and after surgery and I really like them -- especially the ones that have the handles that move (some have fixed handles).

    The part that is best for me is that there is no impact on these types of machines, my feet stay on the platforms and that is helpful to me as I have some LLD (leg length discrepancy) issues from my dysplasia. That said -- I was just thinking that you really should try out the type of machine you are considering buying as these machines do have differing stride lengths. I don't know if you are long legged or not, especially in comparison to your husband -- but you can have different experiences on a machine like this. Perhaps a well place platter or cookies/brownies, bottle of scotch would get you into your husband's gym to try out his machine. Otherwise, maybe a trip to a gym in another town to experiment...

    As mentioned above, by Jo, sometimes the issues with this type of machine is the electronic component and that can be costly and frustrating so check into the warranty on that if you really want to purchase this type of equipment.

    Good luck and I hope it helps you meet your exercise goals!
    Take care,
    Cardie
    • Like Like x 1
  8. doug

    doug Forum Advisor

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Fla.
    The arc trainer was my most used machine after the knee replacement. I work out 6-7 days per week. I have found that it is best for my lower body to mix my leg workout between the arc trainer, and the elliptical. The arc does seem to place a little more stress on the hip if you adjust for a longer stride. You can play with the settings to get what feels comfortable with you.
    You can do a hill profile which will change the angle automatically, depending on the amount of time you programmed in. Keep your resistance low to begin with though.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. alexthecat

    alexthecat Forum Advisor

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Age:
    47
    Messages:
    2,892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    I’m ready to report back on my test drive of the Arc Trainer!

    The machine forces you into a rather wide stance. If you are small-framed and have a history of IT band problems or trochanteric bursitis, this may not be the best choice for you. I would say the same about Cybex elliptical trainers, BTW.

    The overall motion of the machine seems a little more hip-friendly than the elliptical trainer. However, at higher inclines, it puts you through a lot of hip flexion. If you have good lumbar strength and flexibility and no hint of psoas irritation and absolutely no gluteal limp (aka “hip lurch” or “penguin waddle”), this shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, I think this machine could cause some strain in the lower back as your body tries to compensate for weakness and/or stiffness in the glutes or psoas. That is mainly at high inclines though.

    I was on the machine for 45 minutes, which gave me some time to think. I decided that, if I could only have access to one cardio machine, the Arc Trainer would not be it. I’d probably go with a stationary bike (recumbent if you have back problems, upright otherwise) or a treadmill. I am sure that I will use the Arc Trainer again for cross training. I don’t think I will use it on a regular basis though.
    • Like Like x 5
  10. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    36,224
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Location:
    Kansas
    Thank you SO MUCH, Alex. Your post is very valuable!!!
  11. saku

    saku Junior Member

    Offline
    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Age:
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Alabama, United States
    Thank you all! Alex, I sure appreciate your report. I will share with my husband everyone's thoughts. He said he was going to see about "sneaking" me to the gym on a weekend, because it is not used much then. This past weekend my daughter-in-law graduated from college and so we were out of town to spend time with her and my son and to celebrate!:yahoo:

Share This Page

Open
Close X