The following: by Chiropractic Physician, Dr. Chris Rizzo, of Leland, North Carolina, explains the logic behind the RowCycle's benefits from a clinician’s viewpoint:
When I first took a look at the RowCycle Cycle, I was intrigued by the unique design, but didn’t realize the potential health benefits until I took a ride on one.
The RowCycle is truly “revolutionary.” There are so many health benefits associated with the bike. Let me highlight two major points.
The first is quite obvious. Using both your upper AND lower body to power this bicycle, you will have a more intense cardiovascular full body workout than compared to a traditional bike. Why? With a traditional bike, it takes the use of 2 limbs to make the bike move. However, the RowCycle requires the of all 4 limbs of the human body. That’s double! So can you imagine how that increases the effectiveness of your total body workout! More muscle mass involvement per unit of time also equals more calories burned.
The second point I wanted to address is something called “Upper Crossed Syndrome.” You may not think you know what this is, but I guarantee you are familiar with it. In fact, you probably have it! I’m sure you have seen that little old lady who’s standing up, but appears to be falling over; with her shoulders rounded and her head shifted forward. This is an extreme example, but the majority of the population has a similar problem to varying degrees. In fact, in my practice as a chiropractor, I would estimate that over 90% of the patients that walk through my door have this same postural issue to some extent.
In upper crossed syndrome, certain muscles in the upper body become tight and other muscles become weak and overstretched. The body develops this imbalance based off one’s postural tendencies. The most prevalent imbalance presents as tight upper trapezius muscles (the muscle between the edge of your shoulder and your neck commonly referred to as “traps”) and pectoral muscles (chest muscles), countering with a weak set of rhomboids (muscles between your shoulder blades). This causes that rounded shoulder appearance and can be associated with burning pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades. These postural imbalances accompany a host of potential skeletal health issues, especially as you get older.
Traditionally a bike actually worsens this condition. Look at the position you hold when riding a regular bike: body is bent forward, with your shoulders rounded and clenching the handle bars. This position will tighten the chest muscles and traps – the exact OPPOSITE action you want! Furthermore, with your arms reaching forward to grip the handlebars, you will be stretching an already weak muscle group, the rhomboids, in the back.
The RowCycle REVERSES this process in a fun and easy manner. As you ride you are seated in an upright position as you pull the handlebars to you in a row-like action. This row is the PERFECT exercise to strengthen the rhomboids, while at the same time stretching out the chronically tight chest.
As a health care professional, I am extremely excited about this new invention. All too often, patients don’t follow rehabilitative exercise routines because they are tough and time consuming which impedes the healing process. But by using the Revolutionary Bicycle, you are performing a functional rehabilitative routine without even knowing it! It’s fun, but more importantly (to me at least) it’s improving your health. (Appendix B has further information regarding Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS).) (Personal communication, Dr. Chris Rizzo.)
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