The rowing machines might be rare in gyms, but they are hidden gems for an effective workout. Most people find rows of steppers, exercise bikes and treadmills as part of the cardio workout machine in any gym. However, if you find a rowing machine in any gym, it should be explored for the unique workouts that one can obtain on such a machine. Rowers are usually termed ergometers and are not found frequently in health clubs. Many do not know the way these machines can be utilized and hence, ignore these machines and lose out on a unique workout. With a rower you can achieve a workout that will help you burn considerable calories, get a unique cardiovascular workout and help you in building toned muscles as well.
The Different Benefits
Those who are experts in fitness point out that rowing machine can compete with cycling and running benefits. If you row, you would be spending about ten or fifteen percent more calories than cycling. With rowing you would be involve more muscles and get a workout for the entire body. The main muscles that are worked out with rowing machines are gluteal, hamstrings and quadriceps. You could also be engaging the arms, the back and shoulders, which get toned in the process. Besides the upper body, the core muscles are also targeted in these workouts. The abdominal muscles are worked out actively in these sessions. If you have problems with running or brisk walking due to the impact on the joints, rowing is a great option for you.
Unpopularity of Rowing
Even though rowing offers several benefits, many people are unsure about the use of these machines. If there are no trainers around, many are hesitant to use the machines and hence, they simply land up walking or running on the treadmill. Again, for those who wish to burn calories without much effort like walking on the treadmill and watching television at the same time, this is not an option with rowers as you would need to concentrate.
How to Row Right
The right position is to sit with knees bent, the arms and shoulders reaching forward and shins kept vertical. The drive phase consists of pushing the feet against the platform of the machine and then straightening the legs to the knees is slightly bent. The handle needs to be pulled back by bending the elbows as you lean back and keep your back straight. The recovery phase is to return to the position you started with. The motion of rowing needs to be continuous and fluid.
Workouts with Rowing
When you are starting off with rowing machines for fitness, it is recommended that you warm up initially for a period of five minutes. This should be followed by a workout of fifteen minutes and then take a five minute session to cool down. If you row steadily for fifteen minutes it is akin to an endurance workout, especially as rowers are fitted with varying resistance levels. This will help you perform high intensity interval training as well. You can vary the intensity and slow down or pick up the pace, thus exerting your muscles considerably within a shorter span of time. This can be done by putting in fifteen strokes at higher intensity and then rowing at fifty percent effort for thirty seconds. This could be followed by twenty strokes of maximum intensity followed by twenty five strokes to cool down and so forth. This routine can be varied and an effective workout will be gained in a small time span with a unique machine.