Unless you have a dedicated home fitness room in a far, dark corner of your house, there's a good chance that your exercise equipment is going to impose its will on your personal space. Treadmills and stationary bikes just aren't all that small or pretty. For folks that want to stay in shape without ruining their interior design, German manufacturer NOHrD offers home exercise equipment that's as pleasing to the eye as handcarved wooden sculptures. The WaterGrinder is one of its latest offerings.
The NOHrD WaterGrinder is the latest example of what can be effectively called "functional fitness furniture." It doesn't serve a second purpose like the Office Gym or Active Desk, but it looks a whole lot more aesthetic. Unlike pretty much every other home exercise contraption, we could see the WaterGrinder fitting comfortably in a meticulously decorated living room – it looks as much like a piece of art or conceptual furniture as a piece of exercise gear.
The WaterGrinder was designed to let you act like a sailboat grinder – the demanding position responsible for operating hand-driven winches to move the sails and boom. Grinders are a position of brawn and strength in sailing, and the WaterGrinder is designed to build upper body muscle and strength by simulating what they do. Essentially a hand cycle, the WaterGrinder works your upper body and cardiovascular system as you work the crank. The hand crank is attached to an axle that spins in the lower water drum, providing resistance.
The WaterGrinder can be used both sitting and standing up. In fact, it offers six different seating positions and eight different crank positions. The electronic monitor lets you set up and monitor your workout. You can select from options such as time training, distance training, speed training, and competitive training, which pits you against a real or virtual opponent. There's even a game mode that creates a virtual spaceship sailing experience, requiring you to navigate around space debris and obstacles. Read-outs include speed, heart rate, time, distance and wattage.
NOHrD launched the WaterGrinder last year, and it can be purchased starting at €1,500 (approx. US$1,925). It comes in solid ash, cherry and walnut. We saw the contraption on display at ISPO Munich, amidst NOHrD's other wooden fitness furniture, including its well known WaterRower, which Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) uses on Netflix's House of Cards.