Probably best known for the Boat Race and as a mainstay event in the Olympics, rowing is often overlooked. The rowing machine is a valuable tool for increasing your overall fitness. Once you know the proper technique, it can dramatically increase your fitness and be something you use daily or to mix up your training. Learn about why you should definitely consider it with our Top 5 Health Benefits of Rowing!
1. Full body workout
Incorporating an incredible 84% of your muscles, rowing will work all your major muscle groups simultaneously! The myth that the rowing machine is an upper body machine is completely false, in fact about 60% of the force is generated from your legs, 30% from your trunk and core and 10% from your arms. Think of it as if you are picking up a heavy object off the floor, you lift with your legs.
2. Cardiovascular fitness
Predominantly an aerobic sport, it will significantly build up your cardiovascular endurance. As it uses more of your total musculature, it requires a lot of oxygen. Similarly, when done at high intensities, can really challenge your anaerobic system as well which makes it perfect for high intensity interval training (HIIT).
The rowing stroke itself requires a reasonable degree of flexibility to start with (which will increase over time with practice) to help complete each stroke effectively. Good hamstring, calf and lower back flexibility are helpful to allow full-length stokes to be achieved. Make sure to include some basic stretching (for your hamstrings) before your workouts to maximise your efforts.
4. Joint health
Rowing itself is a low impact sport and activity so it won’t stress your joints. It’s therefore far more helpful for people who are unable to use treadmills or other equipment due to hip, knee, ankle or other joint pain, rehabilitative or other chronic or acute issues. Hop onto a rowing machine to maintain or increase fitness, (as per your own needs) lose weight, and enhance your wellbeing without stress on your joints or discomfort during and post workout.
5. Calorie burner
Rowing will help you burn off those calories fast. On average people are able to burn 600 calories an hour on the rowing machine. To get the same effect on a stationary bike you would need to cycle for an extra 18 minutes to burn the same amount of calories in an hour, plus you wouldn’t be working your large back and spinal muscles, core or shoulders. So don’t miss out, save your time so you can enjoy your life more!
Now you know how much of an asset the rowing machine can be for you. Watch the video above to learn proper technique and begin your journey to new-found fitness. Do you use your rowing machine, how has it helped, or is it languishing in a corner? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (Check out our fitness section for more to help you Keep YOUR Fit ON!)