Rowing may just be the best all around exercise there is. Even though it looks like most of the work is being done with your arms, the truth is that it is actually your legs and the all important core muscles that are performing the bulk of the work. Engaging the larger muscles of the legs and rear end are the key to effective muscle building and weight loss.
Rowing is so popular these days that in some places it is replacing spin classes in fitness centers as the preferred group fitness activity, and with good reason. It works more muscles more thorougly than other exercises. It combines strength training with aerobics to give the best all around training available today.
One of the best things about rowing as and exercise is that the eqipment is easy to use in the comfort of your own home. Leaving the house to go to a club every day is just not right for everyone. Fortunately, today even the finest rowing equipment is available for home use.
Benefits of Rowing
Rowing is an excellent exercise for weight loss. Because it engages all the muscles in your body it burns calories at a higher rate than many other exercises. A vigorous session on a rowing machine can burn approaching 800 calories an hour. Compare that with jogging or walking which burn calories at a rate of 100 per mile.
Keeping the rowing machine tension at a place that allows for a continuous high level of effort allow for attaining and holding aerobic workouts. Though the advantages of the resistance aspects of rowing are important, they may be less important than the cardiovascular improvement of the heart and lungs.
One of the largest advantages of using a rowing machine is that the rowing action works virtually every muscle n the body. With every rowing stroke all the lower body muscles are in use as well as the muscles of the arms, back and shoulders. Since all the lower muscles and the upper muscles are being exercised, the core muscles are fully engaged to keep everything working together. Tension setting on the rower can be increased to maximize the rate of muscle building as fitness levels increase.
Regular workouts on a rowing machine, or any other exercise for that matter, releases endorphins. Endorphins are a pleasure hormone that acts to relieve stress. Workouts focused on cardiovascular health are especially effective in that regard. For an extra dose of relaxation you can row while watching television.
Choosing the Right Rower
The best rowing machines on the market these days are designed using nothing but the finest materials. They require virtually no maintenance while providing years of use. They come with full featured performance monitors to help maximize fitness results.
Of course when deciding what machine to buy you will have to decide what your goals are. Are you going to be using the rowing machine for years as one of your main sources of physical fitness, or will it just be use occasionally.
Perhaps you don’t need all the feedback that monitoring will give you. If you are not maximizing your workouts in this way there are simple rowers on the mrket that will do the job. there are rowing machines available at virtually every price level depending on your needs.
Rowing machines are one of those areas where price is really indicative of quality. If you want the best of the best choose the machines from Concept2. They are without a doubt the best machines on the market.
Another popular option are the rowers from WaterRower. Their unique design has inspired a loyal following. They get top marks for construction durability and smooth challenging operation.
As you work down through the price levels you will find serviceable machines for varying levels of commitment. Though if you plan on using your rower for more than a clothes hanger, and are serious about sticking it out, stay away from the lowest of the budget models.
No matter what you decide, a rowing machine is a great choice as an all around exercise machine. Used regularly as part of a fitness regimen it will give you the mix of strength and endurance benefits that are what most people want from their workout routines
Rowing Machine Workouts
Rowing is perhaps the best of the low stress workouts. It provides great toning and cardiovascular benefits while delivering a minumum mount stress to your hips and knees.
Before getting started it’s important to set the machine up correctly.
Check the damper settings. Use a low resistance when just getting started and until you have a good feel for what level of effort is right for you.
Set the toe straps. Follow the instructions to set your feet correctly so that you take advantage of the full range of motion with each stroke.
Get to know the monitor. If you understand how your machine’s readout works before you start you will be able to get the maximum effect out of your workout. When you work out concentrate on stroke rate and watts to start with.
Before you start the workout proper make sure to get some gentle strokes in to warm up.
Three Workouts To Get You Started
This is a quick workout designed to get your heart going if you only have a short time to fit a workout in. Mix 30 second bursts at a stroke rate of one every 2 seconds combined with 30 second “rests”. Every 5 minutes take a rest with some light exercise off the machine.
This is a type of interval training. Step from one minute of rowing with one minute of rest to two minutes of each. Step up to four minutes of each then back down to one minute. All done at three quarter speed. Thirty-two minutes plus warm-up and cool down.
This workout is designed to be anaerobic. It is not aerobic like most and is designed to increase the power in your legs.
In this workout you row quickly for a minute, rest for a minute, row quickly for a minute. Every ten minutes rest for two minutes. Repeat three times.