The moment you step inside the gym, what is the first thing you notice? I’m sure it’s the treadmill! Perhaps 99% of fitness centers have rows of treadmills at the entrance or in a special area with television sets fixed on the walls. Perhaps some ellipticals would be next to it and a stationary bike or a stair climber. But what about the rowing machine? Does your gym even have one? If it does, does anyone ever use it? While the treadmill continues to collect miles ran and the ellipticals have an assortment of calories burnt, the rowing ergometer seem to be left behind, don’t you agree? It’s probably because not a lot of gym goers realize its true potential.
Did you know that a study conducted by the well-respected English Institute of Sport found that using the rowing machine engages 86% of the muscles in your body – which means it activates not just your legs, your arms, but also your core and more. Its low impact force works great in just about anyone who belongs in any fitness level: whether amateur or advanced. You can always pace yourself according to your “strength-o-meter”, similar on how you adjust the speed or weight in the treadmills and ellipticals.
Research has proven that rowing for just thirty minutes a day is as effective as ninety minutes of cycling in terms of keeping hearts healthy. This is why rowing is the recommended exercise by astronauts in space.
You can incorporate rowing in your regular workout routine in a lot of different ways such as making it part of your warm-up, using it as your primary workout or even as your active recovery phase exercise. The mere five minutes of rowing will immediately put your heart rate up and it’s always good to try something different that doesn’t involve the usual treadmill at the start of your sweat sesh. Meanwhile, you can also get a killer high intensity interval training on the rowing machine by alternating slow strokes with fast, rigorous rowing based on a fixed value of strokes per minute in a given time period. On your rest days, you can still stay active by rowing in less rigorous, casual strokes. This way, you still get to move your body even if in a slow, relaxed pace.
So next time you get yourself to the gym, look for the rowing machine and give it a try – and yes, you can thank us later!