Here’s a lost piece of training equipment that you sure don’t see every day the German Wheel. Also known as a Gym Wheel or a “Rhönrad”, Otto Feik, a metal worker from Germany devised this unique device in 1925 as a means of building full-body strength and stamina (while also having a good time doing so!)
It consists of a giant metal frame, about seven feet in diameter, with straps for the feet and overhead “rungs” which are gripped with the hands during use. A user then controls the movement of the wheel with body power – they say it’s a great “core” workout.
In 1936, at the Berlin Olympics, there was an exhibition of “Wheel Gymnastics” which spread the popularity of the Gym Wheel to other countries. Today the German Wheel” is virtually unknown in the U.S. but there have been contests and even world Championships going on in Europe and Japan for decades.