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Whether you use ellipticals with or without the arm levers is a matter of personal choice. You may burn a few more calories per minute with the arms, but if it tires you sooner so you go slower or work out for less time, it doesn't really help for that. I don't think it improves cardio capability better. Personally, I prefer using the machine without the arms, but some feel they get a better workout with them. Adjust the resistance so that you feel you're getting a good workout, but it's not so hard it limits your time on the machine.