Get a Full Body Workout with a Rowing Machine
Before we get into choosing an indoor rower, or ergometer, let's look at a few important details about working out on this type of machine. This will help you confirm if it's the right fitness machine for you.
Rowing Machines Offer a Low Impact Workout and Awesome Cardiovascular Exercise
One really great thing about these fitness machines is that the way allow you to exercise with intensity but without causing damaging impact to your joints. You can't say that about running!
Many older and younger people can use rowing machines to improve strength, cardio and avoid injury to tender joints.
There is One Possible Con!
While the upside to your workout will be low impact on your joints, some people may notice a degree of strain to their back. This is often due to weak back muscles and/or poor form when starting out.
This can be overcome by warming up and taking it easy when starting out. Using the correct form and maintaining it throughout use of the machine is very important.
Once your core becomes stronger, you can increase your momentum and intensity without sacrificing form and hurting your back
The Awesome Calorie Burn
Using a rowing machine will help you to burn an extensive amount of calories. In fact, as much as 800 calories an hour. That's going to build up quite a sweat.
Rowing machines provide a superb toning of your arms, legs, back muscles, shoulders, and abdominal core. So you are getting a nice workout that will tone your entire body with one machine since you are performing a compound exercise.
One good tip to remember when using rowing machines is to keep your elbows tight to your body and to keep your core tight.
Do's & Dont's When Using Rowing Machines to Workout
When you start to use a row machine in your workout you should be aware of some exercise do's and dont's.
Whenever you start a new work out, you should start at a moderate pace. Avoid using the tension setting at first.
It's more important to get used to the machine, the way it feels and works, before going at your workout really hard.
Just get a good feel for it first and make sure you are using proper form.
Once you are regularly exercising, vary your workout routine between heavy and light settings and fast and slow rowing.
Also, be sure to have a rest day in between workouts so that your muscles have time to repair and recover. Otherwise you may injure yourself.
It is very important to do at least a 5 minute warm-up before you exercise. This will help the blood flow into all areas of your body to prevent injury.
End your rowing workout with a 10 minute cool down. You can row slowly for the final 10 minutes or get up and walk slowly and do some stretching.
If you do a workout properly on a rowing machine, you will tone all of your body's major muscle groups plus you will get one of the most complete cardiovascular exercises around.
When looking at decent quality rowing machines, there are two main categories they fall into:
- Water Rowers
- Air Rowers
There are other rowers that use different methods for resistance - but if you are looking for a decent quality machine then I would eliminate any that do not fall into one of these two categories to more accurately simulate actual rowing the way you would with an actual watercraft.
Indoor Water Resistance Rower
Contrary to what the name may suggest, a water rower does not mean you will end up getting wet!
These machines are designed to use enclosed water and paddles for resistance instead of air.
As a result, these rowers tend to be quieter than air rowers and are beautifully designed exercise machines.
Indoor Air Resistance Rower
Next is the air rower. There are many brands available but the company with the best design + price + reputation combination is Concept 2.
They are engineering masterpieces and are made to a very high standard.
This is the reason why the world indoor rowing championships choose to use the Concept 2.
What Type of Rowing Machine is Best to Buy for Home Use?
As mentioned above - the best rowers use either water or air for resistance.
Which actual brand or model one you should end up choosing will mainly depend upon your preference and budget.
But keep reading for a few tips to help narrow things down.
Also note that many rowing machines come with electronic features to help with your workout.
Look for things like:
- pre-set programs
- elapsed time displays
- stroke count
- strokes per minute
- estimated calories burned
Be sure to read any reviews online about the specific model to get an idea of which machines users are happiest with. Amazon is an excellent place to find many real user reviews.