Making Upper-Body Exercise Accessible For All Levels, Abilities

Armen Hareyan's picture

From the inventor of Spinning comes the latest innovation in fitness training -- Kranking. Performed on a Krankcycle, an upper-body, stationary hand cycle that utilizes an adjustable, variable-resistance mechanism connected to a floating flywheel, Kranking is a new training system that focuses on upper-body cardiovascular training. Debuting only at Club One Fitness locations throughout the Bay Area this month, Kranckcycles provide a form of speed cycling from the waist up, a fast power workout for the upper body and core, and a great way to retain cardiovascular fitness when the legs need a rest.

The Krankcycle was initially inspired at the Challenged Athletes Foundation annual fundraiser, the Tour de Cove in La Jolla, and is the result of five years of planning, development, and hands-on engineering by Johnny Goldberg (known throughout the fitness world simply as "Johnny G.") In competing along side challenged athletes during the five-hour spin-a-thon, Johnny G. found creative inspiration by sampling the arm-crank tricycles used to keep in turn with able-bodied competitors. Feeling the fatigue after just 10 minutes, he was amazed at the endurance necessary from these athletes to turn resistance for hours with their upper bodies -- matching the pace and effort of the rest of the cyclists working their legs. Now, five years later, Johnny G. is ready to introduce Kranking to the world. And it's debuting at Club One Fitness who has been a supporter of the Krankcycle development -- from inception to its public introduction this month -- embracing Johnny G.'s vision for the future of fitness.

"Training is an action word -- and must always move forward, evolving into greater artistry and personal expression," said Johnny G. "I know the Krankcycle will forever change how we exercise now that we've finally begun to focus on the cardiovascular conditioning of the top half of our bodies. I am thrilled to be partnering with Club One to be the first club in the world to debut the Krankcycle."

Since his initial inspiration, Johnny G. has worked tirelessly to perfect the Krankcycle filling a void in the fitness industry that has predominantly focused on lower-body cardiovascular training. Upper-body rotational exercise (upper-body cycling) has been a relatively unpracticed and unappreciated form of exercise in health clubs. Lacking an exciting piece of equipment to engage people's interest, there has never been the opportunity to develop popular appeal. However, research shows, upper bodies can be developed -- not only to build strength and endurance -- but also enhancing performance ability by increasing metabolism and overall vitality.

"Kranking is freestyle, authentic movement that, when you have learned the basics, will instinctively flow from one movement into the next," said Johnny G. "It was inspired by an athlete who had overcome physical obstacles to discover a level of freedom beyond my own and showed me a new way to ride a bicycle."

Traditionally in the fitness world, all the attention has been on the reliance of legs to perform the physical work necessary for exercise. From cycling and ellipticals to stair climbers and treadmills, these machines predominantly exercise the lower extremities. In most clubs, over 90% of the cardio equipment is lower-body priority while the other 10% is likely total-body exercise. With total-body exercise, like an elliptical trainer, your legs are still driving the exercise with your arms just going along for support and balance. Kranking is the first fitness program to add style to, and revolutionize training with, the upper body - using the arms, shoulder and shoulder girdle muscles as the primary movers for cardio training. For maximum health and fitness results, or just to maintain quality of life and increased mobility, Kranking is the perfect complement to any workout.


Johnny G. also has seen first hand the impact this equipment and style of exercise can provide to the millions of people who have difficulty using their legs for physical activity. The obese, the elderly, the lower-limb challenged, the lower-limbed injured and pregnant are just a few groups who can benefit from a fitness alternative that does not require the use of their legs for a great cardio and strength training activity.

Why is Upper-Body Cycling so Important?

-- Great exercise for the heart. Your heart has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood through your arms as through your legs because the smaller blood vessels create greater resistance.

-- Incredible cardiovascular cross training. Typical cross training simply uses the same lower-body muscles in a different way. Upper-body cardiovascular training allows for complete recovery and rejuvenation of the primary leg muscles used for most activities.

-- Shoulder strength and injury prevention. Most shoulders are weak due to under-trained rotator cuff muscles. Rotational exercise is a great way to increase circulation in the shoulder to rehabilitate and strengthen the rotator cuff tendons and associated muscles which act as stabilizers during the movement.

-- Alternative strength training. Though Kranking will primarily be used for cardiovascular conditioning, the Krankcycle can provide an alternative means of strength training for a deconditioned person, as well as for an athlete. This type of training will involves slow movement with high resistance for short periods of time -- ideal as a safe, non-intimidating option for those new to strength workouts.

-- Core strength. One of the best core-training exercises is upper-body rotational cycles in the standing position.