56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthrider is a great fitness tool - especially for warmups.
The Healthrider uses your own weight, with a smooth forward and back motion similar to rowing, but with more flexibility about hand and foot placement. Unlike rowing, there is resistance throughout the stroke. I purchased my original Healthrider in 1995 too. I've used it extensively over the years and can vouch that it's well built - tough as nails - and very...
Published on April 10, 2007 by Joshua G. Feldman
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Back Pain Issue
This machine did not work for me as I got severe back pain lasting for a week upon using it. I followed the product manual by not bending too forward in initial weeks, adjusting seat position, and keeping back straight and verticle. However, I still got back pain.
I returned the machine.
Definitely check for back pain if considering this machine.
Published on May 12, 2007 by New Seasons
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthrider is a great fitness tool - especially for warmups.,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)The Healthrider uses your own weight, with a smooth forward and back motion similar to rowing, but with more flexibility about hand and foot placement. Unlike rowing, there is resistance throughout the stroke. I purchased my original Healthrider in 1995 too. I've used it extensively over the years and can vouch that it's well built - tough as nails - and very effective. Like the ROM (Range of Motion) machine it simultaneously works most of your body, and can provide a stretch at the same time you work. The handle bars allow a biceps curl, a shoulder shrug, and a chest pull. You can also work the legs exclusively by moving the handle and the arms exclusively by using alternate foot pedals, but it's best just using all your body at once.
The main strengths are: 1) rapid warm up. You get cardio, stretch, resistance training in just a few minutes. 2) Full body involvment - arms, chest, and leg involvment all at the same time. You'll activate most major muscle groups. 3) Good benefit in short time duration. 5 minutes gets a workout you'll feel and will give you some real benefit.
The main drawbacks are: 1) not good for real cardio workout. The resistance training aspect means it's tough to do for more than 10 minutes. Your heart will benefit from a longer cardio workout. 2) Resistance is light weight with many reps - good for cutting - but not good for building muscle mass or power. 3) tough to get an intensive workout.
The Healthrider has emerged, over my years of experience with it, as a great niche player. It's a fantastic warmup before weights - perhaps the best machine out there for this purpose. It's also a great machine to get close to a total body workout when you only have a few minutes for a workout. 5 minutes before the morning shower will definitely be worth your time. It's not a replacement for real cardio or real weight training however. Those who try to use it as such may be disappointed.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique machine - great workout,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)My wife and I had one of these years ago, but it didn't come with us when we relocated across the country. We recently got another Healthrider and I'm glad we did. This machine just kicks my @ss, in a good way. I'm on the heavy side, just turned 40 and want to reinvigorate my health and energy - bring back some of my youthful energy.
The average person probably can't do 20 minutes on a Healthrider. It's simply too physically difficult. The motion of the machine is very smooth (the quality of these machines is top-notch compared to other home exercise equipment) but you're pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms to lift your bodyweight. It gets tiring very quickly. I'm able to do about 10 minutes, and when I'm done I can feel it in the lenght of my arms & legs, and that "good burn" lasts into the next day. Supplement this with some more focused cardio, and you've got a great workout program.
There's nothing else remotely like the Healthrider that I've ever found, and for my wife and I it's just awesome.
UPDATE: So my wife and I are still using the Healthrider to good effect. I'm up to 20+ minute workouts, every other day, plus I walk a couple times a day on breaks at work. I try to get between 1000-1200 reps in 20 minutes, and at 5, 10, 15 & 20 minutes I do 15 slow underhanded reps with my feet on the high pegs, so it's mostly arms. Still loving the Healthrider and still improving.
I can see if someone was pretty fit to begin with and with a low bodyweight this might not be for you, however that description fits my wife pretty well and she is able to get a good workout. If you put some energy into it, you'll get your heartrate up. Also, what I've found over the years is the key to doing this for a full workout is putting more emphasis on your legs, otherwise your arms will get tired too quickly - or at least that's my experience. If you start slow and work your way up to longer workouts you can build up your arms and legs to the point that it's not as much of an issue. Also, I have occasional knee issues - nothing major - but the Healthrider doesn't aggravate that at all, which is one of the reasons I really like it.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works basically all muscle groups,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)We bought the Health Rider around 1995 - at that time it was about $500.00. It was recommended by Covert Bailey as being a great way to exercise just about all muscle groups, arms, legs, abs all at once. Covert Bailey is, I believe, a biologist, and knows the workings of the body - he has books and videos out and he's very funny and author of Fit or Fat. Because he recommended it we bought it. It's a GREAT way to exercise and really gives you a total body workout. I just wish they had a video to go along with it that was an exercise routine. An introduction video was included with ours however. I would recommend it for anyone who wants a GREAT workout but doesn't have much time. Because it works the entire body you don't need to workout for long. A physical therapist told me 10 minutes twice a day would be the goal. Anyone can do that once you're strengthened by starting out with less time. My husband and I started at 3 minutes a day and increased as we felt comfortable until we reached 10 minutes a day. Great cardio workout too!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great workout for those who are really out of shape,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)I've had my Health Rider (the original model as pictured) for 10 years, but this year is the first time I have really gotten serious about getting fit. I am 56 years old and began at a weight of 380. I began working out back in November of 2008 starting at 5 minutes/day and 45 strokes/min. four times per week. Each week I upped my workout by one minute until I reached 15 minutes...I was in really bad shape and knew I needed to be cautious in building up my workout. I noticed through the process that as my body adjusted to the workout, my pace naturally increased.
In February I augmented my workout by going on a weight loss program which counts points (I won't mention the name here, but it is two words and they both begin with the same letter). Over the next four months, I continued my workouts and diet with a couple of slacking off periods due to bad colds and (of course) some laziness in returning to my workouts.
In June of this year, after a prolonged slack period, I finally decided that I really needed to get serious about my health and began a much more aggressive workout schedule. I began at 15 minutes and 55 strokes/min. My ultimate goal was to reach 30 minutes. I incrementally increased my workouts each week by 100 strokes total ( the first week each workout was 800 strokes, the next week each workout was 900 strokes, etc.
It is now October 7th, and I am doing a good cardio workout at 1800 strokes per workout which takes me right at 30 minutes + or - depending on how I feel and how warm it is. With the workouts and the diet, I have lost 40 pounds and 2 pants sizes. Most importantly, I feel terrific!
I used to be a runner and because of that my knees are not in the greatest shape, so having a zero impact workout like the HealthRider is a real plus. I don't believe that it will give someone in really good condition a sufficient cardio workout and I anticipate returning to the road walking and jogging once I have dropped another 40-50 pounds, but for anyone who has been "bone idle" like I have for the past 10 years, this machine is a great solution for getting into shape.
I have been so successful that my doctor actually said, "Good." when I told him about what I was doing and how much I had lost...he even smiled...believe me when I say that with his demeanor, that word and smile was an enthusiastic endorsement. He didn't lecture me at all for the first time since I first began seeing him 20 years ago.
Woohoo!!! Just remember you've got to stick with it and the results will make you smile too.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Ride Again,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)We bought this many years ago - probably when it first came out sometime in the 90's. I used it quite often, but when we semi-retired and moved to a smaller home, we gave it to my daughter because we thought we had no room for it.
Four years later, my daughter asked if we wanted it back. She likes using it, but had converted her "gym" room to a family room and needed the space. We took it, thinking that we might offer it to our community gym here.
But when we saw it, we were reminded of how little space it really takes up and decided we'd try it in our home office. It's small enough not to interfere, and I love getting up from the computer to jump on for a quick two or three minutes regularly. That's just the kind of break I need from being desk bound.
The nice part is that this can be easy or hard. You can relax and go slow and easy or pull hard. You can vary whether your legs or arms are doing the most work. You can add more weight or take it all off.
The calorie/speed indicator stopped working years ago, but I really don't care about that.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Health rider excellent tool,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)I have used the health rider for many years and like it because it gives good exercise without empact on my legs. This one was ordered for my sister who liked ours so in looking for it on the net was a challenge but good old Amazon found one.
My sister is very happy with it and I would recommend it especily for older people.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)I bought my first Healthrider in the mid-nineties. I wore it out and bought another one (used) that I also wore out. I then purchased the Healthrider2, figuring it would be even better. It wasn't and isn't. I used it for about 2 years and trashed it. It just doesn't measure up to the original machine. I recently bought my third HealthRider from this buyer and I didn't realize how much I missed this original model. It is just absolutely the best exercise machine around! I use it 3 to 4 times a week with 45 minute workouts. I get the cardio and resistance throughout my workout. Weights can be added to the back of the Healthrider so that you can raise the resistance as you become more fit. I'm 66 years old and cannot say enough for the increase in energy and flexibility that I get. I put my favorite music on, and do low reps for the warm-up and resistance, then pick up the reps for the middle portion of my workout for cardio, then I do low reps for the last 5 minutes or so as the cool down. I love to workout on this Healthrider!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Exercise Machine - Calory Readout is Useless,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)I have owned this machine for about 3 years. In my opinion, it provides a great mix of cardio and strength exercise.
It uses your own weight for resistance, and helps you to exercise all parts of your body, with some optional selectivity.
It also allows you to add low cost weight plates to increase the resistance, as you lose weight. These weight plates install on the far back end of the CardioRider. The canteliver effect really increases the perceived/effective resistance of these added weights.
Some of the reviewers suggest that the strength part of the design makes the CardioRider difficult to use for cardio exercises, and slows them down. I disagree - I am 70 years old and can manage an average of 75-85 repitions/minute during a 40 minute session (with 5lb of weight plates). I use a heart rate monitor and remain in optimum Cardio range for most of this time.
The electronic monitor on the CardioRider has a reading for 'Calories Burned'. The value provided seems intuitively low. I believe it is unusable for any reasonable health/weight management purpose.
MY PERSONAL TEST
HealthRider monitor 'Calories Burned' readiing for a typical 42 minute, very vigorous sessoion, translated to cal/lb/hr of -- 1.06
I did a search and review of ACSM, gov, and other respected sites for calorie burn ratings for exercise equipment similar/equivalent to the CardioRider, as well as simple activities such as 'walking slowly".
If one were to believe the CardioRider 'Calories Burned' reading, then walking around it slowly would be more effective than actually using the machine - might as well just put a CardioRider picture on the floor to walk slowly around, rather than buying the machine.
This is ridiculous of course!
Obviously the CardioRider electronics designers used some averaging algorithm that bears no relation to reality.
Ignore the CardioRider calorie readout, and use published data from respected sources for similar/equivalent equipment. This will help you to establish a realistic calorie burn rate to fit your physical needs.
MY ADJUSTED CALORIE BURN RATE for HealthRider CadioRider:
I used my DietPower Prorogam data for "Exercycle with arm exercise, (fast)" as the basis for my estimate:
*Calories per Pound per Hour: 3.90. I like to be comservative:
- I use 3.5 cal/lb/hr for calorie tracking and logging
Compare this to an ACSM (Sports Medicine) research report for 'closely related equipmnet'
Stationary Cycling (vigourous)
*Calories per Pound per Hour: 4.77
I have done between 600,000 and 700,00 repetitions on my CardiRider over the 3 or so years that I that I have owned it. I expect to reach the million mark by the end of 2011. So far the machine is holding up very well. Needs to be oiled and greased occasionaly (evey 4-6 months).
If you want a simple machine for home based exercise, this is the one!
It provides a great workout - excellent cardio with some basic strength elements.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Machine - Great Workout,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)I purchased my machine over 10 years ago. It was recommended by my rheumatologist who already owned one. We both have arthritis of the spine and need no impact exercise. He had been a marathon runner and found it gave him a great workout. He makes his more difficult by raising the front end of the machine.
At the time I had 3 severely pinched nerves and could barely stand. A few minutes on the machine allowed me to stand pain-free for 10 minutes. That may not sound like much but any relief from excruciating pain was wonderful.
In the beginning he would only allow me to ride it for 5 minutes but over time I worked up to 45 minutes in the more difficult position. My brother, a real exercise junkie, couldn't believe what I had accomplished so he tried it and started laughing. He said there was no way he could ride in that more difficult position for that long. He became a believer but stuck with his own routine.
If anyone is considering a Health Rider you can't go wrong. Just start slow and add a minute every few days. Then, when it gets too easy, just switch to the more difficult position. I can't say it's the best for cardio but it's great for overall strengthening for all the muscle groups. I was about 50 when I got mine so I can say it's good for any age and particularly great for seniors, since most of us don't get enough exercise and many of us have ailments that prevent us from doing a great deal of walking.
Park it near your TV or mount a book on it and the time flies! Enjoy!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starting Over at 48,
This review is from: Health (Sports) Rider (Misc.)My New Year's resolution was to change my diet and start working out again after about a 15 yr lapse. I was feeling run down and of course, skinny people can have heart attacks also. I am 6' 8" tall. I do have a bit of a paunch which is not becoming on a thin person. I started on Bill Phillips "Eating for Life" diet. I must say that the recipes in this book are excellent and taste really good.
Anyhow I purchased my Healthrider in the early a 1990s and it was the only part of my home gym that came with me when I moved to Texas.
I am tall and thin with no back issues so maybe this is why I do not have any back pain from using it.
Also, possibly related to my height/weight ratio, I was able to do the Healthrider for 10 min. on day 1. Maybe I am not in as bad of shape as I thought but I would guess my relatively low weight is the real reason.
I am going to get a heart rate monitor and use that to keep my heart rate "in the zone" during my Healthrider workout.
Down the road a few months, I am going to get a Bowflex for strength training but I will always keep my healthrider as part of my routine, as a warm-up device if nothing else.
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Health (Sports) Rider by HealthRider
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