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Rowbike gives riders a total body workout

August 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Cycling and rowing are two great exercises to keep in shape. Combine the two, and you've really got a workout.Exercise enthusiasts are always looking for new and innovative ways to get a leg up on fitness. In response to the boredom, the Rowbike was born.

"One of the reasons, as a fitness expert, why I started rowing in the first place was because it works every muscle in your body efficiently," said fitness pro Jill Brown.

Ask anyone who rows, they'll tell you that rowing on or off the water is one of the most strenuous cardiovascular workouts available.

If you're able to row for more than an hour it's not uncommon to burn up to 600 calories or more depending on the power and the pull. But being indoors and using a row machine for 60 minutes isn't all that fun.

"It was created by Scott Olsen, who invented roller blades, and it is just the same machine you see inside the gym but you take it outdoors," said Molly Ivory. "It's not so monotonous, it's outdoors, it's the breeze, the air, all of that."

"You combine bike riding and rowing, well you're getting two of the best, and everybody's favorite, cardiovascular exercises in one machine," said Brown.

Brown says it works the major muscles in your legs, back, glutes, and arms, including your biceps and triceps. The Rowbike is also taxing on the middle of your body or core because of the balanced involved.

"Each bike comes with seven gears on it so you can switch the gears, switch up the intensity," said Ivory.

Truthfully, intensity is best saved for those experienced. There is a fear factor. The initial voyage is scary with the new combination of pushing and pulling rather than just peddling.

"There's probably about a 20 minute learning curve. It's a little bit like riding a bike, where, you know, you don't just get on it and start riding it. It's getting used to the steering and just feeling comfortable on it," said Ivory. "I would suggest a helmet and a big giant parking lot for your first time."

Getting used to the movement is easier than getting comfortable with the $1,100 price tag. Although you can rent the Rowbikes at Perry's Cafe on Santa Monica's beach walk for a mere $11 an hour.

Rowbike enthusiasts also say that this bike is similar to owning a racing bike or surf board is price, and the Rowbike doesn't need replacing.

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