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training rethought.

In the second semester, we were asked to come up with an innovative piece of sports equipment. Instead of a technological innovation, I decided to focus on a return to existing effective training methods.
Rowing seemed to be a good choice, as not everyone has the luxury of a body of water on their doorstep, including a kayak, or the space for a common rowing machine in their home.

Photo model 1:1


The idea behind this product is not to replace rowing machines in general. It is supposed to offer a possibility to recreate the sequence of movements of rowing itself, in which many muscle groups that are important for our everyday life, the prevention of signs of ageing, among others, are trained. The focus here is not on strength endurance training, instead the strength of the deep muscles and the stability of the torso is strengthened with this tool. 

The training intensity can also be intensified by different arrangements of the wheel halves.
Due to a smaller contact surface, the strain on the torso muscles increases significantly, as they are needed to compensate for the tilting when rolling backwards and forwards. This effect was tested beforehand with the use of functional prototypes.


As mentioned in the previous text, the modularity of the roller unit is important to achieve different levels of intensity, these are the arrangements of the wheel in the middle shown in the video as well as the wheel halves on the outer sides to ensure maximum stability for beginners.

In order to vary the intensity of the pulling movement, up to three rubber bands can be fitted between the handles and the foot parts. These are standard rubber bands so that they can be purchased in different strengths or can be easily replaced.


The use of the rowing machine at home, where you exercise in peace and familiarity with your surrounding, had to be reflected in the design. The aesthetics of the product should not be overly influenced by its versatile functionality.

The use of cork as an alternative to rubber on the contact surfaces of common gym equipment lends itself to home use. In addition to many of the material's benefits, it offers, in combination with warm white, a strong alternative to the prevailing aesthetics of many types of sports equipment.

André Hieber
Thanh Nguyen 
Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd