Arc Trainer Vs Elliptical: What You Need To Know

Arc Trainer Vs Elliptical: What You Need To Know

Many people struggle to see a difference when looking at an arc trainer vs elliptical.

But there are a few key differences which will determine which machine is best for you. The equipment that's right for you will be the equipment that works for your body and goals.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of each choice.

What's The Difference

Woman Exercising On Elliptical Machine

When you look at an arc trainer, it's similar in design to an elliptical trainer.

Both have moving handlebars to work the upper body, and two pedals for a stride similar to running.

​But when you're using an arc trainer, your feet are moving through an arc.

This is different to the pendulum swing stride seen on most air gliders.

Here are some of the main differences between the two machines:

Ease Of Use

A recent study found that workouts feel easier on the arc trainer compared to the elliptical. This was true even when both workouts were the same intensity.

The actual workout method is similar to both machines. Users select the incline settings and resistance level and then start pedaling.


When it comes to the benefits of the arc trainer vs elliptical, these are similar as well. Both of these machines will give you a weight-bearing workout, and the low-impact motion helps protect bones and joints.

The exercise intensity can be easily modified when using both the elliptical trainer and arc trainer.

And since the moving handlebars allow all of the major muscle groups to be worked at once, you'll burn plenty of calories and increase cardiovascular endurance.

Couple Working Out On Elliptical Machine

But the arc trainer has a slight edge on the elliptical when it comes to results.

When you're using an elliptical, the resistance levels are random. But when you use an arc trainer, the resistance is tied directly to your weight. That means that the resistance levels make you work harder which leads to better results.


Just like ellipticals, arc trainers are available in both home and commercial use models. But ellipticals are generally much cheaper than arc trainers.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 for an arc trainer. High-end ellipticals start at around $1,000, making them the better choice if you're on a budget.


One of the reasons why arc trainers are considered to be a good option is because of the different settings available.

Changing Arc Machine Settings

If you think back to your last workout, you may have begun the workout strong, before getting tired and dropping your pace.

You probably picked it back up in the last few minutes, but this makes it difficult to understand how much power you really exerted.

Most arc trainers have a "constant power" setting. This means no slacking off. If you begin to slow down, it will automatically increase the resistance. That means you can either move slowly with heavy resistance or pick up your activity level and enjoy less resistance.

These types of settings make the arc trainer the best choice if you're serious about increasing your fitness.

Ready to compare machines? Check out some reviews to help you narrow down your choices.

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