Looking for some upper-body cardio? Krank it up |

Looking for some upper-body cardio? Krank it up

Go into any health club,” Jonathan Goldberg says. “You’re not going to see anyone cruising around in a wheelchair and having a good time.”

But Goldberg has plans to change that with his Krankcycle. It’s a machine that lets you turn a flywheel with your hands instead of your feet, making cardio conceivable for people with lower-body injuries.

It’s a simple idea. Similar hand cranks, usually called upper body ergometers (or UBEs), have been fixtures in the rehab world for years. But Goldberg gussied up the standard equipment so that it’s more adjustable and the arms move independently, allowing for a variety of movement patterns. “And it looks like it’s something from outer space,” he adds.

Most importantly, however, he’s introducing it to gyms around the world as the next innovation in fitness. That has some real weight, given that Goldberg is better known as Johnny G, the guy who invented Spinning. When he launched cycling in a group exercise format more than 20 years ago, it was a revolutionary notion — in many ways.

With Kranking, which had its formal debut last year, Goldberg says he’s making an even greater contribution to the industry and society. “It realistically expands the scope of possibilities for individuals who couldn’t participate before,” he says.

Even for individuals who could, there are clear benefits from the equipment. Goldberg points out that the other pieces it joins in the cardio section of a club — treadmills, steppers, recumbent bikes — are all lower-body intensive. “Very little work by the average person is done by the upper body,” he says.

But if you’re cross-training by adding a Krankcycle to your routine, you’re giving extra attention to your biceps, triceps, chest and upper back, which helped the Krankcycle earn high marks in an American Council on Exercise study released a few months ago. (Participants also burned an impressive average of nine calories a minute during a half-hour Kranking class.)

Because most people aren’t as accustomed to using those muscles, and certainly not in that rotation motion, Goldberg admits there’s an initial awkwardness. “But then when you get the flow, you can go on a journey,” says Goldberg, who adds you’ll soon have the same sensation riders get on his bikes.

Just like the Spinner bikes, Krankcycles feature a resistance knob you turn to up the intensity. So, in class settings, each person can feel comfortable to work at his or her own level of ability, which Goldberg says is key to making “inclusive fitness” not just a buzzword, but reality.

That hits home for Goldberg, who hasn’t been able to exercise as strenuously since being diagnosed with a heart ailment in 2004. But a disability won’t prevent him from exercising, and if he has his way, it won’t stop anyone else, either.

Details: .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.