You’ve likely noticed a growing number of people gathered around the rowing machines in your gym over the years. They are usually found along a wall or in the corner, and they can be seen for miles. They used to gather dust but are now seeing a lot of activity. Rowing, both indoor (machine-) and outdoor (boat-) versions, has a reputation for being a great form exercise. It can also be a great way to increase your cardio score. Chris Dumpers, exercise physiologist, was interviewed to discuss the benefits of rowing and how to do it correctly. We also discussed what you should not do to avoid injury.
Rowing has many benefits
Cross Fitters have made it easier to use the rowing machine as a form of exercise, regardless of where you are located. Dampers points out that this has been a huge boost for those who don’t live near water. He says that CrossFit has boosted the rowing machine’s popularity for the Average Joe. All of these reasons have made rowing a favorite choice for Cross Fitters, making it an excellent exercise for everyone, even those not in CrossFit.
Rowing is easy.
Rowing, like running and an elliptical session, is a great way to work your whole body. You will need to sit down on the machine, with your knees bent, and your feet on the foot bar (or straps depending on the model). Next, grab the handle that is attached via a cable to the front of your machine. Next, push your body back using your legs. Then pull the handle towards your chest with your core muscles. Dampers states that you should reach the point when your legs are extended and your arms are contracted towards your chest. Next, glide forward and return your knees to their bent position. Then, extend your arms and the handle towards the flywheel. Dampers says, “It should be a fluid motion from beginning to end.” Then, you can continue the motion for as many times as you like. The damper is a lever located on the side the flywheel that allows you to adjust the airflow. This affects the tension you are able to pull. You will get a harder workout if the airflow is higher.
Workout for the whole body
Although it may seem easy, it is a great workout. Dempers says that rowing has both an aerobic and strength component. You can adjust the tension to make it heavier, but you still drive through your legs. As you move back and forth with your pulls, your back gets a workout. Dampers adds that there is a postural aspect to strengthening your paperback. This is a huge thing, as so many people are constantly staring at their phones or computers. It is important to improve your upper spine posture. You also lose calories with a full-body workout. It’s efficient at burning calories. Dampers states that it is not as good as running, but better than an elliptical. There are a few factors that can affect the amount of calories you burn. These include your speed, intensity, and resistance. It’s still a great workout regardless of what.
Cardiovascular health is high with low impact
Rowing has many benefits. It’s low-impact, which gives your joints a much-needed rest. Dampers says that rowing is a resistance exercise performed in a seated position. This means your back and knees are not as worn. He says that rowing is not an alternative to running, but it does not compromise your cardio exercise. If you are looking at it strictly as an aerobic exercise that replaces running, you can row for up to half an hour on the rowing machine and still get a great cardio workout.
Flexible workout options
Rowing is a great cardio exercise and can be incorporated into any routine. You don’t have to do a lengthy workout like the one above. To keep your heart rate up, you can do short intervals in between other exercises. Dampers believes that rowing is a great sport. You can use it for a longer workout, or you can incorporate it into a bigger routine. You can switch between push-ups and kettlebell swings after a short hit. Then, come back. The physical components of a rowing machine are also key to rowing’s versatility. If you’re looking to purchase your own rowing machine, you will still need plenty of space. Most rowers are approximately 8 feet in length (though they are usually not wider than your body). Although some rowing machines are heavy, they can be moved easily and can even be stowed away. This is a huge advantage over heavier treadmills or ellipticals that stay in one spot.
Maintaining the correct form
To maximize the benefits of rowing and avoid injury, it is important to follow proper form. Dampers explains that it is important to keep your knees straight and neutral. You don’t want your knees to bow out to the side while you move through your motion. This can cause hip problems. Be sure to not lock them in when you pull back.
Proper posture is important as well. It can be more difficult to maintain if you have more tension. He suggests that you think of balancing a book on top of your head, as in old posture training films. Keep your shoulders back and your head straight. Do not slouch down, keep your head straight and shoulders back. Dampers warns that if you don’t maintain a proper posture, it can lead to problems in your lower and upper backs, as well as back spasms. If you pull higher than normal, like towards your chest instead of your chin, shoulder problems could also be a possibility. These tips will allow you to maximize your workout, and you’ll feel great, even if you are a bit tired, when you get off the rowing machine.