You may have seen the rowing machines lying innocuously to the side of the cardio machines at your gym. You may have dismissed them as not being relevant to your workout routine and have gone over to the bicycles or treadmills. The fact of the matter is that rowing machines are indeed extremely relevant to your workout routine – and you don’t have to be a professional rower to see this benefit.
A great cardiovascular workout
Working out on a rowing machine provides a superb cardiovascular workout. As you can adjust the intensity of your workout (at the side of the belt-driven flywheel, there is a lever that you can use to adjust the resistance at which you’re working) you can decide how hard you want to work.
When you get started on integrating the rowing machine into your fitness workout, rather start on a lower setting as opposed to a higher one. This is so that you don’t end up compromising your form because you’re struggling to pull the handle.
While we’re on the subject, proper form when you’re working out on a rowing machine is having a straight back while you pull the handle and rope in. If you lean back as you pull the handle and rope out your resistance is too hard. Lighten it otherwise you’ll end up hurting your back.
A super whole-body workout
Working out on a rowing machine is a great resistance training workout for your upper and lower body.
Muscles worked are the:
- Erector Spinae,
- Gastrocnemius and Soleus,
- Rectus Abdominus,
- Pectoralis Major,
- Wrist Extensors and Flexors,
- Rectus Abdominus,
- Internal and External Obliques,
Rowing is a great way to lose weight
If one of your fitness goals is to lose weight, adding the rowing machine into your routine is a must! A rowing workout burns about 600 calories an hour. In addition, it helps you tone and builds lean muscle mass. This type of muscle mass burns calories even while you’re at rest. This means that you’ll be losing weight even when you sleep!
Rowing increases endurance
In this day and age, we hardly sit still for two seconds. We’re constantly on the go and expected to deliver 120% for everything. In order to cope with this hectic lifestyle, we need endurance which comes from increased physical activity.
However, because we’re always busy doing other things we don’t make enough time for exercise. Thus, our endurance levels decrease and we end up snacking on highly processed snacks (such as sugary pastries and fast food) to keep us awake and help us to keep going.
Rowing helps to increase our endurance because it builds our cardiovascular strength. As it’s a very short workout – and had loads of benefits – it’s a great way of fitting exercise into your daily routine without it swallowing up hours of your day!
Using a rowing machine is easy
The great thing about a rowing machine is that it’s easy to use. Unlike the other machines that you’ll find at the gym, there are no fancy parts that you need to click in or pop out so that you can use them.
However, like with everything that is exercise related if you have any queries or concerns about your form when using a rowing machine the best thing to do is to ask a personal trainer for advice. The beauty of this is that he or she will be able to watch you when you’re working out and see if there’s anything else that you need to correct. Remember that you’ll not be able to critically examine your form as you’ll be busy doing the exercise. This makes the advice of a personal trainer invaluable.
So, the next time that you’re at the gym don’t pretend that the rowing machines don’t exist. Try it out and see what difference you feel!