Exercise machines are synonymous with gyms and, if used properly, can help you tone muscles and lose weight. While weight loss is generally associated with cardiovascular exercise, it is important to note that strength training can go a long way to lower your numbers on the scale. Strength training builds muscle tissue, which requires your body to burn more calories. Over time, this can lead to significant weight loss. There are several machines at the gym you can use for your arms and will also help you lose weight.
The elliptical is a gym machine that allows you to simultaneously work your arms and lower body while exercising your cardiovascular system. Using the elliptical regularly and at a challenging pace can lead to toned arms and overall weight loss. Most ellipticals allow you to adjust the resistance and incline at which you exercise. The higher the resistance and the steeper the incline, the more difficult your workout will be. To get the most benefit for your arms and waistline from the elliptical, use a challenging resistance at a moderate incline for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Use the handles as much as possible. For an even greater calorie burn, try interval training in which you work hard for one to two minutes and then give yourself one minute of recovery. Continue to repeat the work-rest cycle until you've completed your desired workout time.
Cable Tower Machine
The cable tower is a gym machine that effectively works your arms. Stand facing the tower and grasp the bar handle of the low cable with an underhand grip with both hands to target your biceps. With your elbows tucked close to your body, lift the bar toward your chest by bending your arms at the elbows. Slowly return to the starting position. Perform a triceps push-down with the cable to work the backs of your upper arms. Stand facing the cable machine and grasp the bar handle of the high cable with an overhand grip. Begin with your elbows bent and the handle placed at chest level. While keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, pull the bar down towards your hips by extending your forearms. Carefully return to the starting position.
Shoulder Press Machine
The shoulder press machine offers a challenging workout for your upper arm area, particularly the shoulders and triceps. This machine, which allows you to mimic the movements of the free-weight shoulder press without the necessity of a spotter, is great for beginners. Sit on the provided seat and adjust the resistance. Reach up and grasp the handles with an overhand grip. Press the handles upward by extending your elbows. Slowly return to the starting position.
Lat Pulldown Machine
While the lat pulldown machine specifically targets the majority of the back muscles, it also works several muscles in the arms. This machine is appropriate for nearly every fitness level and is an effective way to improve your upper body strength. Sit at the machine with your knees positioned under the roller pads and feet flat on the floor. Adjust the resistance and then grasp the handle with a wide overhand grip. Bend your arms to pull the handle to your chest and then slowly return to the starting position.
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.