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Rowbike: Best Arm Workout Outside of the Gym

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Alice Oglethorpe reviews the new Rowbike, good for an arm workout and cardio boost at the same time.

I love the idea of a total-body workout, but in real life, my exercise routine hasn't changed much in the past five years. In the morning I double-knot my sneakers and hit the door running, literally. I am a girl who likes having a routine and sticking with it! I love the feeling I get from a nice long jog and I think I'm generally in shape. But I recently moved to a fifth-floor walk-up, and lugging heavy boxes up those stairs made me realize that while I was fine cardio-wise, my upper-body strength was severely lacking. Sure I did a bad job packing (why did I put all the books in one huge box?!), but my lack of strength training was painfully obvious. That said, I know me. I'm never going to be the kind of girl to routinely pump iron. So imagine my excitement when I found out about the Rowbike.

Sitting still, it may look pretty normal, but wait until you see this thing in action. It's basically a rowing machine plopped onto two wheels. Every time you pull the bar toward your chest, you shoot forward. I met up with a few rowbikers in Central Park, and although it took awhile to get the hang of it, newbies were totally hooked and having a blast. It's an intense upper-body workout, but you're also getting great cardio in and you're working your core and lower body too. Rowing is great exercise (ever see an overweight person on crew?). And there's no worry that you're going to get bored staring at the gym wall. One caveat: You are going to get stared at. It's just so crazy looking. But I say have fun with it.

Buy it now: Rowbike, $775


NEXT: No need to abandon your Rowbike during the Winter months!


Originally published on, August 2007.


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