Getting sick and tired of the same-old cardio machines at the gym? Does the treadmill get you down? Have no interest in the elliptical? Or is stair climber driving you insane? Well, it’s probably time you head over the rower for some much needed variety and a change of pace – pardon the pun!
An indoor rowing machine is an awesome piece of gym equipment. It was quite popular back in the days when health clubs were still in their infancy, but gym goers started to lose interest when machines such as the stair climber and the treadmill were invented. With more people looking for that complete body workout, they are turning to the rower to get what they need. There are many reasons why a rower is becoming popular again, and here are some of them for your information for finding the best rowing machine for exercising.
It’s For Everyone!
Whether you are young, old, have good knees or bad knees, using a rower is a low-impact exercise that will have minimal effect on your joints. Regardless of your size or limitations, you can always get something out of using it. In fact, it’s the machine of choice for those who are coming back from an injury.
Cardio and Strength in one
The reason why you can burn calories so easy is because rowing requires you to be using both cardio and strength at once. The pulling motion of your upper body along with the pushing motion of your lower body needs the strength of your torso and legs, while the entire movement requires an increased cardio output of your heart and lungs.
Burning Big Calories
Further to the previous point, you will be able to burn calories as soon as you start moving on the rower. A 160-pound person will be able to burn about 250 calories in 30 minutes of rowing, which is as much, if not more than, what you would burn on the elliptical or stair climber.
Rowing Uses Your Full Body
When it comes to a rowing machine, it’s not a matter of what muscles are being used, but what muscles aren’t being used. From your shoulders to your chest to your triceps and biceps, you are using your entire body. With regards to the lower body, you are using everything from your hamstrings to your glutes, quads and calves when you are rowing. Also, let’s not forget the core! Your torso, including your abs and back, are used to power through the rowing motion.
A Good Range of Motion
Rowing is the only exercise that has a unique push-and-pull motion of both your upper and lower body that you won’t see in a many of the stationary cardio machines. That aside, the movement of rowing enables your muscles to work in a full range of motion. The sliding seat and adjustable pedals on a rower gives people of varying heights and sizes to move fully and completely.
An Alternative to Cross-Training
For all runners and endurance athletes, rowing is a great alternative for cross-training. Many people don’t cross train because they either grow tired of it or they simply don’t enjoy them. The beauty of rowing allows you to throw cross-training into the mix. Unlike most cross-training activities that only work the lower body; a rowing machine can also work the upper body and core, whilst strengthening the lower back as well.
Tracking Your Progress
Similar to tracking your speed when you are running or when you are keeping note of how many kilometres you have walked, you can track your speed, distances, calories burned and time on the rower as well. As you progressively get fitter, start setting some goals based on how fast you can row five kilometres or how far you can row in a certain amount of time. As an example, see how long it takes you to burn 200 calories or how long you can maintain a certain pace. Most rowing machines have a way how you can increase or decrease the resistance to make for an easier or harder workout session. Play with the settings, set your goals and give yourself a pat on the back when you reach them!