How to Use the Original HealthRider
Fitness expert Tony Little lent his name to The Original HealthRider manufactured by fitness giant ICON. Although this model is no longer available except through online sellers, this fitness machine became the template from which all subsequent models of the HealthRider have been derived. It provides a low-impact workout for the major muscle groups of the upper and lower body by using a leverage system that mimics the motions and effects of the leg press and rowing machine. The HealthRider looks like an exercise bike but functions as a resistance exercise machine by allowing the user to work against her own body weight. In effect, it allows the benefit of time-saving by providing several resistance exercises at once.
Sit on the HealthRider's seat with your hands on the upper handlebar and your feet on the footrest. You should be able to touch both and hold on comfortably to the handles. Adjust the seat to allow for a comfortable grip. The seat is adjusted by loosening the dial under the seat pad, sliding the seat up or down, then re-tightening the dial.
Add weights to the weight bar in the rear of the HealthRider if you desire a more challenging workout with more resistance. Weights can be added by removing the stops at the end of the bars, placing the weights on the bar and replacing the stops outside the bars.
Press the power button on the LCD display located below the handlebar. This display tracks total exercise time, total number of repetitions and repetitions per minute. Start exercising by pushing the feet forward against the foot rests while pulling the handlebar toward your upper body. The makers of HealthRider recommend exercising for 20 minutes at a time, at least three days per week.
Bend at the hips and avoid rounding the back when pulling the handlebar toward your upper body. Alternate grips to evenly work the smaller muscle groups. Do so by placing the hands on the handlebar palms down, palms up, close together and set wide and far apart. If desired, increase workout difficulty by slowing the speed of the exercise motion. Alternate between placing the bar at the middle of the foot underneath the arches and at the balls of the feet. Pushing off of the balls of the feet and pretending to stand on your toes will recruit the calf muscles in the same way that calf raises will. Pushing off of the heels or middle of the feet with the toes pointed toward the body will recruit the leg muscles above the knees.
The HealthRider does not have a calorie counting or heart rate monitoring feature, but you can use a heart rate monitor while using this equipment. This will allow you to monitor your level of exertion, calories burned and any increases in your fitness level.
While it is recommended that you use the HealthRider for 20 minutes at a time, three days per week, you should adjust your workout time and resistance amount to your own fitness level. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
Katrina Josey is an exercise physiologist and health education specialist in Ohio. She is experienced in the full life cycle of developing health and wellness programs. Katrina was the managing editor of a major website's fitness channel and has over 10 years of professional experience including clinical exercise testing. Her volunteer experience includes AmeriCorps service and wellness ministry work.