While there are plenty of testimonials out there confirming the merits of Bob Kaehler’s training apparatus, “The Kaehler Core,” all you really have to do is take a quick glance at his resume to know you’re on the right track.
That body of work as a rower includes three Olympics as well as four World Championship gold medals. He’s one of the most decorated rowing athletes in United States history.
The Holland resident has come up with a worthy successor to his original “Body Bandit,” a device which helped athletes from rowers to runners perform more efficiently and enhance their performance.
Since the end of the COVID pandemic, the 59-year-old Kaehler has partnered with Ivy Rehab to not only assist healthy athletes but those in need of physical therapy.
Column-core training has been around for quite some time but Kaehler, who competed in the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympic Summer Games, continues to explore ways to perfect it.
Kaehler and Ivy Rehab’s Mike George are collaborating on bringing more athletes into the Kaehler Core sphere. Much of the activity is based at Ivy Rehab’s facility in Warminster as well as other locations throughout the area.
“We have machines in multiple clinics now,” Kaehler said in a telephone conversation. “It’s exciting, it’s moving into a different realm, not just the rowing world.”
That means runners and cyclists can benefit from this program as well.
If you aren’t impressed by Kaehler’s own background in world class athletics and what his research has offered that community, how about a few words from former Olympic cyclist Bobby Rea.
He competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Games. Like every world-class competitor, Rea had his share of general aches and pains. Once he got onto Kaehler’s machine, a lot of those problems were alleviated.
Rea said: “I’ve been doing so well, I’ve never been better. I’m astounded at how much more solid and stable my body feels, so much better than any times when I’ve been doing big core strength work in the gym. I feel stable and balanced like I’ve never felt before. And that’s before we even talk about riding.
“On the bike my trunk feels incredible. More power on the upstroke is very noticeable, as is an insane increase in power output. I wish I had this device when I was still riding for a living.”
Respect for Kaehler as an athlete, coach and innovator is unquestioned.
He’s a consultant for a number of colleges, high schools and rowing clubs. His machines are used by, among others, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the University of Washington, M.I.T., the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Cornell, Brown, Rhode Island, Drexel and St. Joseph’s. Closer to home: Villa Joseph Marie Prep in Holland and the South Jersey Rowing Club.
Kaehler is also an elite runner and you can find him speeding along Tyler State Park’s wooded trails on any given weekend.
Years ago, he was mostly working with athletes with few “issues” from a health standpoint. But now he’s expanding to those who might need physical therapy.
“Before Ivy Rehab, I hadn’t been using ‘Kaehler Core’ in the PT setting really,” Kaehler said. “Now I’ve expanded my use of the machine dramatically. Also have had improved outcomes. We’re getting huge improved outcomes with using the machine vs. just traditional movements. It speeds the process of healing up. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’ve been training on it for 12 years. As I said, I was using it with athletes but I really wasn’t using it in the PT setting. It kind of helped improve the power and what you can do with it. It’s about how quickly you can make changes in movement dysfunction that are causing the patient a problem.”
Kaehler wants every athlete to succeed and excel at what he/she does.
“We can teach him or her this new movement pattern,” he said. “They can experience the feeling of it and quickly learn this new skill. Then they can go back to running or rowing or whatever it is they’re going back to do.”
Kaehler has had a young pole vaulter improve from 12 to 14 feet in just five months. Much of that had to do with getting rid of some of the other physical issues which can hinder performance.
Another athlete who swears by Kaehler Core is Rutgers University pole vaulter Chloe Timberg, who came up through the Central Bucks West High School program.
“I believe she will attain 15 feet and be in the Olympics,” Kaehler predicted.
“We’ve gotten athletes on the Kaehler Core and not only has their pain gone away but there’s been a huge jump in performance.”
Athletes in need of PT assistance can reach Kaehler at: Robert.Kaehler@ivyrehab.com. Others looking to improve performance can make contact at: coachkaehler.com
BCRR Winter Series Polar Bear 8-Miler, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown/Richboro. Contact www.bcrrclub.com