A. The Johnny G Krankcycle by Matrix weighs 168 pounds.
A. The footprint measures 26.8W" x 56.5L" x 41.5H"
A. Stand behind the Krankcycle, bend knees and lift the Krankcycle by gripping both sides of the base plate at the cut-out sections. Tilt until the wheels in front touch the floor, and roll to desired location. Once there, bend your knees as you lower the baseplate to the floor.
A. Both provide upper-body rotational exercise; however, the Krankcycle differs in several ways:
- The Krankcycle features independent Krankarms for greater variety in arm patterns.
- The frame allows for a greater variety of sitting and standing positions.
- The shorter Krankarm length and narrower Krankaxis allow for a wider variety of cadence (Kranking speed).
- The lighter weight, ease of transport, and variety of movement enable it to be used alone or, more importantly, in a group setting with music.
Q. Can Kranking be considered cardiovascular exercise since it doesn’t involve the largest muscle groups in the body?
A. Yes. What is not widely known is that upper-body rotational exercise can induce significant improvement in the cardiovascular system while using significantly less muscle mass than traditional cardiovascular exercise.
A. Caloric burn during any activity is specific to the individual. According to an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study, it's been estimated that Kranking typically burns 9 - 13 calories per minute (view the summary and related article).
A. To burn more calories during exercise you need to increase the body’s ability to use oxygen (VO2 max). Though leg exercise initially provides a greater caloric burn, this may change with training, since the upper body will be able to absorb more oxygen. In trained athletes who use their upper bodies, the upper body actually uses more O2 than the lower body. Thus, it seems plausible that some combination of Kranking and lower-body exercise may actually provide the most effective way to burn calories.
Q. So why not build a bike that allows you to Krank the arms and spin the legs at the same time to burn maximum calories?
A. The reason Johnny built the Krankcyle to work the upper body alone is that the body can’t pump maximum blood to both the arms and legs at the same time. In other words, there is a compromise or sharing of the blood. If a person trains the upper body and then the lower body separately, maximum benefit, including max calorie burning, can be attained.
As mentioned previously, Kranking typically burns 9 - 13 calories per minute. View the summary and related article that highlight the amount of calories burned during Kranking.
A. Kranking will improve posture. Training on the Krankcycle enables you to perform external shoulder rotations. No other piece of equipment will make external rotation (backward rolling of the shoulders) more fun or better encourage you to perform the action. This motion will balance protracted shoulders.
A. It’s possible that this might happen in the short term. Previous studies on the UBE show that some subjects have a greater increase in blood pressure during Kranking than during other forms of cardio, probably because the blood vessels in the upper body are smaller than the blood vessels in the legs. Through training, however, this difference begins to diminish. Kranking can still function as an important training modality for improving cardiovascular fitness in individuals who experience this at first, and it will be temporary.
Q. How will Kranking affect my HR in comparison to lower-body exercise, such as Indoor Cycling? How do the training zones for each compare?
A. Initially, you may not be able to get your heart rate as high with Kranking as with lower-body exercise because the upper-body muscles are not as well conditioned as your legs. The rate of perceived exertion (RPE) will also be greater during Kranking compared to leg cycling. Kranking will feel harder for a while. The difference mandates different target heart rates, which should be reduced by 10 to 20 percent to start. Be patient while your upper body adapts. Research indicates that, in a surprisingly short time, heart-rate training intensities become roughly equivalent in the lower and the upper body.
A. Arm cranking was initially used to perform fitness tests for people who had heart conditions. The smaller muscle mass actually places less strain on the heart than the leg muscles. No contraindication is documented as long as the training is systematic and progressive and begins with foundation.
A. As mentioned above, Kranking provides such strength benefits as muscle-fiber growth and increased definition, and the independent Krankarms will improve coordination. Muscles may also take on endurance characteristics, although there is no research on Kranking’s effect on this as yet. There are two basic types of muscle fibers: Type I for endurance and Type II for fast, powerful movements. There are two subclasses of Type II fibers -- Type IIa and Type IIb. Type IIa fibers have been shown to take on endurance characteristics with training.
A. Classes are a great venue in which to offer Kranking. By taking advantage of the motivational and instructional qualities of the class format, instructors can introduce participants to the new training and move them through the varied possibilities of training aerobically with the upper body in a motivating group setting. We are training instructors to offer three different group formats utilizing the Krankcycle, all of which are discussed on the Kranking website:
- Combined with an Indoor-Cycling class
- Full-Body Fusion
- Kranking-Only Specialty class
Q. Kranking does not translate into an outdoor activity like cycling, so why would I spend time doing it?
A. Kranking competes with nothing, yet compliments everything. There are many ways that Kranking will benefit any activity that you choose to do. To use cycling as an example:
- Kranking provides retrograde (reverse rotational) training to help correct shoulder protraction (rounded shoulders) common in many cyclists, which frequently leads to neck, shoulder and back discomfort and injury and causes increased fatigue due to greater muscle tension.
- Kranking provides core and upper-body strength training, which will improve your bike handling and mechanical endurance for long rides.
- Kranking will improve your upper-body cardiovascular fitness, enabling you to increase your weekly level of cardiac output and calorie burning by strengthening alternative muscles.
- Kranking will enable you to continue to train as you are recovering from, or tapering for, an event.
- Kranking will enable you to continue to train at a high level if you become injured.
A. Yes. Upper-body rotational exercise provides strength-training benefits in the form of muscle hypertrophy (growth) and increased tonality (definition). You can receive these benefits even by training at low-endurance levels of effort.
A. No. While Kranking provides core and strength training, as well as many functional benefits, weight-bearing exercise is by definition exercise in which your feet and legs bear all of your weight, as they do when you're walking. Strength training, however, has been shown to increase site-specific, rather than total, skeletal density, and upper body strength training increases density in the lumbar spine. To the degree that Kranking is done for strength with high resistance and low cadence, it may serve as sufficient upper-body stress to induce a similar effect.
Q. If you are a cyclist or runner and plan your training weeks to include easy days, can you train hard on the Krankcycle while resting your legs, or do you actually need to rest your heart, as well as your muscles?
A. Yes. A major benefit of Kranking is the ability to increase your weekly cardiac output, thereby providing your heart with continued training – hard, if you wish – while your primary muscles are recovering. The heart does not need as much recovery as the skeletal muscles, and general fatigue will signal that you need complete rest.
A. Kranking will probably not offer specific enough training to improve technique for the experienced swimmer, but it does provide an upper-body training option for swimmers who might lack access to a pool. Certainly, for the amateur athlete and club member, and even for experienced swimmers, it will provide invaluable base cardiovascular conditioning, including mitochondrial development in their primary muscles. In addition, it affords triathletes a new form of “brick” workout, combining the Krankcycle with indoor cycling.
A. The Krankcycle design permits a very fast cadence, affording training opportunities not previously experienced in upper-body rotational exercise. Kranking speed should be determined by training intent (endurance, strength, power, recovery), movement type (independent, synchronous, asynchronous), position on the Krankcycle (seated, standing, retro) and technique (ability to maintain a smooth Krankstroke). Cadence will range anywhere from 40-120 rpm. We have found that fast cadence takes time to develop, as it requires a good deal of finesse and control. This is part of what makes the training interesting: as the member strives for a smoother, faster cadence, he/she gets better at control and at focusing on the nuances of rotational exercise.
A. The repetitive action involved in Kranking actually seems to be therapeutic for shoulder injuries of this nature, possibly because of the increased localized blood flow. We have found this to be true in the hand-cycling community, where crank-arm length and axis are similar to those of the Krankcycle. Rotator cuff injuries are fairly common and may be caused by falling, lifting and/or repetitive arm activities performed overhead (e.g., freestyle swimming). Poor posture, especially protracted (rounded) shoulders can also contribute to rotator cuff injury. This may be one of the greatest, unexpected benefits of Kranking. TBD.
A. The neutral wrist position is the best to maintain for all activities where hand, wrist and arm actions are involved. The Krankhandle enables you to maintain the neutral wrist position throughout a wide variety of tasks while offering a choice of gripping positions. The grip angle of the Krankaxis was selected because it is the most relaxed position of the forearm in a neutral position. It mimics the resulting forearm rotation when the arm is hanging relaxed at your side. There has been no evidence of Kranking aggravating carpal tunnel syndrome, as it is natural to maintain a flat wrist while Kranking.
We have noticed that elbow “flaring” seems to occur more easily, especially at high cadences, and has been reported to exacerbate already existing conditions of tennis elbow. However, this was easily rectified with technique instruction.