What Is an Aerobic Rider?

Aerobic riders are worth a look.
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Part rowing machine, part abdominal cruncher, an aerobic rider is an uncomplicated low-impact home exercise machine that almost anyone can use. The original concept was designed by Houston inventor Lloyd Lambert, creator of NASA's Moonwalker treadmill and the DynoCam, forerunner to Nautilus fitness equipment. His invention, first introduced in 1989, was subsequently produced and marketed under various brand names, like Nordic Rider, Power Rider and Gravity Rider. These widely available units offer an affordable, portable exercise option.


ExerHealth, Inc. was the first company to introduce the aerobic rider under the brand name "HealthRider." Annual sales reached $25 million in its third year thanks to both the unique design and an innovative marketing campaign. ExerHealth was one of the first companies to pair a celebrity pitch person with a television commercial, resulting in one of the first infomercials. Author and fitness expert Covert Bailey endorsed the HealthRider as a means for achieving both fitness and permanent fat reduction

Operation and Movement

You operate an aerobic rider using rowing machine movement from a seated position atop a bicycle type frame. With your feet planted on pedals and your hands gripping handlebars, you pull in with your arms while pushing down and out with your feet, until you are almost upright. You then push out and up on the handlebars, as your knees and feet move up and in. You work against the weight of your body with each movement.


Aerobic rider machines engage all of the large muscle groups of the body. Through proper use you can get a low-impact, overall cardio workout while strengthening and developing your legs, arms, and back. The machines are portable and compact, taking up less than 4 square feet of floor space. They are easy to operate and you can vary your exercise routines by changing where you place your hands on the handlebars.

Other Considerations

Aerobic riders are not sophisticated or complicated machines, but may be well-suited for beginners and others who are not seeking the challenge of more rigorous workout equipment like ellipticals or treadmills. They are widely available. New units are sold online, through home shopping outlets, and at retail stores for less than $500. Bargain hunters should scout out used equipment at garage sales and online.

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