Krankcycles: Spinning the body's other half

Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:50am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A new exercise machine is cranking up the cardio room.

Stationed amid legions of ellipticals, treadmills and stair steppers, the krankcycle is a hand-powered exercise cycle that lets your fingers, not your feet, do the pedaling.

Industry experts are welcoming the krankcycle as a versatile and inclusive device, and "kranking" as a calorie-burning cardio challenge as well as strength training for the often neglected upper body.

"We have 12 krankcycle machines at our largest club. They're awesome, amazing and our members love them," said Erica Ingham, program director of Club One, a California-based fitness chain.

"You feel so much more vital when you're able to work upper and lower body," said Ingham, who was in charge of launching the equipment at Club One's 18 fitness centers.

"We made it mandatory for spinning instructors to learn how to incorporate the krankcycle into class," she said, "so maybe after an eight-minute hill climb the instructor will cue a switch to the krankcycle. And in small group classes it's used as a (circuit training) station."

The krankcycle is another brainchild of fitness guru Jonathan Goldberg, also known as Johnny G., whose stationary bicycles brought the mega-trend of spinning classes to gyms everywhere.

This time he modified a physical therapy tool called the Upper Body Erometer (UBE), which is used primarily for injured individuals who need to engage the upper body, to allow exercisers to stand as well as sit while cranking their arms.   Continued...

<p>A woman uses a Krankcycle in an undated image. REUTERS/Courtesy of the American Council on Exercise</p>