Ask the Expert: How to Use the Arc to Shape Your Glutes and Bottom

Woman doing a glute and bottom workout on the Cybex R Series Total Body Arc Trainer in a gym.

We recently received a comment on our blog How is the Arc Trainer Different from an Elliptical in which a reader asked, Which way [of using the Arc Trainer] builds muscle in your glutes? To shape your bottom? 

Build muscle in your glutes and shape your bottom

The simple answer is that you should plan on using both strength training and cardio to build muscles in your glutes and shape your bottom. There is no magical exercise that will 'tone' or 'shape' a muscle, but performing exercises that effectively target the glutes in combination with a reduction in body fat will make these muscles appear more prominent. There is always the potential for issues whenever one is training for aesthetics: your genetics will always play a role. It is possible that certain body ‘shapes’ may not be possible for some people. But, if you focus on training to be fit, happy, and healthy, then looking better will be an added bonus.

Exercises for your glutes

Typical strength exercises that will work the glutes include the Eagle NX Leg Press, Squats, and Lunges (among many others). But the Arc Trainer is unique in that it can be used for both cardio and strength training. Take a look at our 'Whatt is a watt' article to learn how to use the Arc Trainer’s advanced power modes, Constant Power and Adaptive Power, to increase strength and power in the legs -- glutes included.

Use the incline feature

One feature to keep your eye on when using the Arc Trainer is the incline level. Our internal research shows that, at high inclines (10-20), the Arc Trainer is a quadriceps-dominant motion similar to climbing or stepping. At lower inclines (0-10) the focus will shift from the quads to the glutes.

When focusing on your glutes and bottom, start at a low incline and push yourself to keep a high rate of strides per minute.

Combine strategies for best results

Working at higher power levels will help increase the strength of your leg muscles. Combining strength training, cardio, and a balanced diet will help you achieve results the fastest. Good luck on your fitness journey.


Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a pre-existing medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.

Comments (11) -

  • Helen Schwartz

    7/10/2016 11:11:48 AM |

    What else can I do using the Arc Trainer to help shape my butt and other muscle areas? I have been using the Arc for a long time, and love it, but I feel there is more that I could be doing.

    Any ideas on how I can best use the cross trainer?

  • Penelope Isaac

    12/6/2016 1:55:46 PM |

    I've struggled with some workouts in the past - and I'm not really convinced the Arc Trainer is going to help me get the shape. Are you sure it will help?

  • Duncan Lawrence

    12/14/2016 8:34:22 AM |

    Hi Penelope,

    As with all exercise, it comes down to the individual, their goals, and any pertinent medical information. The Arc Trainer was designed to be more gentle on the knees than other cross trainers, allowing for individuals to work out more effectively and burn 16% more calories. The workouts we provide are great ways for you to get started or for you to push yourself.

    But it's also very important to work with a physical trainer to help create a program that is designed especially for you. They can help you by looking at your goals, and how to get there. They can be your best ally - on and off the Arc Trainer.

  • Krystal Wainscott

    2/24/2018 1:50:42 PM |

    I have only used the lower body arc trainer.  I like how with the different grips that I can feel a difference in different parts of the leg,glutes.  I am considering purchasing an arc trainer. But I would consider the total body trainer also.  Would my knees be as protected from discomfort using the arm movement with AT?  And do the legs get the range that the lower body offers?  Any other information would be appreciated.

  • Maniata

    2/28/2018 10:23:54 AM |

    Hi, I want to loose my belly fat and tone my glute muscles. I do glute camp every day. Does this helps to burn bellly fat as well?

  • Elise Crawl

    4/26/2018 1:02:58 PM |

    What should the resistance and incline settings be for targeting the butt and quads?  

    Thank you.

  • Duncan Lawrence

    5/14/2018 4:51:57 PM |

    Although exercise plays an important role in overall health, the best way to lose body fat is to ensure that you have a healthy, well-balanced diet. Unfortunately, no exercise can target fat in a certain location on the body.

  • Duncan Lawrence

    5/14/2018 4:52:12 PM |

    Yes, you can get an equally effective workout on either the Total Body or Lower Body Arcs. There is no difference to the Arc pattern of motion between the two!

  • Duncan Lawrence

    5/14/2018 4:52:25 PM |

    Generally speaking, both the quads and glutes will be working on the Arc Trainer. The emphasis shifts toward the glutes at low inclines & high resistances. The emphasis shifts toward the quads at higher inclines.

  • Duncan Lawrence

    5/14/2018 4:54:45 PM |

    Yes, you can get an equally effective workout on either the Total Body or Lower Body Arcs. There is no difference to the Arc pattern of motion between the two!

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