The elegant art of fitness

The elegant art of fitness

The days of ugly home trainers are passé! The partner companies “WaterRower” and “NOHrD” manufacture wood and leather fitness devices – they do it by hand, and the devices are sustainable. Reminiscent of modern furniture, they improve both the fitness of those who use them and the image of offices or living areas.


In the beginning, there was the “WaterRower”. John Duke, an American rower, developed it in 1988. His basic idea was this: the rowing device should make training on land appear close to how it appears on water – and it the same time parallel it. And Duke developed his project in London, which is traditionally a city of impeccable designs. And he hit the bulls-eye with it: the devices, which would eventually lead to the creation of a small factory in South-West England, looked so sensationally good that the prototype – the only fitness machine ever at the time – made it into the International Museum for Design (London, Shad Thames).


Geman lovers of fitness and design are familiar with the classic thanks to Dominik Kuprecht, a former competitive rower who has sold the elegant ergometer in this country since 1994. Meanwhile, WaterRower Germany didn’t just attract people from Munich to Nordhorn (a city in the extreme South-West of Lower Saxony); with the NOHrD factory, the company also steadily expanded its product line. The WaterRower is accompanied by many more “designer sports devices”, including, for example, Water- bzw. WeightWorkx: full body workout stations with water as a resistance means, made of fine woods; or the swing towers: dumbbells made of woods such as ash, cherry or walnut, and dumbbells covered in leather; and, last but not least, the SlimBeam, a cable station which – in the tradition of the company – combines functional training with elegance and sustainability.


Those who dare to use this slender column don’t just train individual muscles, but whole muscle groups, and practice complex movements. The cable isn’t the most popular fitness device in the domain of functional training or core training for nothing. This fully aesthetic version requires only half a square foot of space. 215 centimentres high, 40 centimetres wide and only 20 centimetres long, SlimBeam nestles along walls perfectly. It’s made of high quality woods – you have to look twice so as not to confuse it with a sculpture.


The “HedgeHock” is viewed no differently: an ergonomic seat made of wood, whose genesis wonderfully meets the demands of Dominik Kuprecht regarding the responsible use of raw materials. “We use only solid core wood from sustainable forests, which is oiled but not varnished. The genuine leather that is used originates from Germany, and thanks to the vegetable tanning it is especially skin-friendly. Wood and bark are the raw materials and composites. There is no waste”, the 46-year-old says.


At the moment – no rubbish? Manufacturing fallout not necessarily wood residues? Yes, it happens – Kuprecht knew that very well as well. But, in order not to let it become waste, he held an ideas competition among design students. The most winning idea was provided by Sebastian Brand with Hedgehock, a chair in cube form with a movable seat. It consists of small, individually sprung wooden cubes which adapt to the body like a pillow or an ergonomic seat cushion and – tadaa – are made from wood residues. This way, Hedgehock changes dynamic sitting to a more static form and also prevents the need for NOHrD wood residues to “dump”. By the way, no longer usable wood residues are used for energy. This is not just something visually appealing, it’s also something that is cleaner! So say goodbye to your dreary steppers and treadmills and crosstrainers…


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