The current obsession the nation has developed for HIIT workouts and spin classes have left the humble rower in the dark corners of the gym, but if you thought this machine was past it’s sell by date, think again. The rower may be old school but it certainly packs a punch and here’s why.
Almost every part of your body is used with a distribution of around 60/40 legs to upper body, unlike spin classes which have a very uneven ratio between legs and upper body, creating a tight physique. This also makes it a great addition to any runner’s workout as it improves posture and forces you to use muscles you don’t usually rely on as much when running making them stronger and you a more efficient runner.
Being a classic cardiovascular exercise it burns a hell of a lot of calories if this is what you are aiming for and keeps your heart rate up. It is also a very low impact exercise meaning it’s great for both preventing injuries and for minimising damage to existing injuries because of the lack of pressure it puts on the joints.
The resistance is in both directions when you push and pull making your body work harder but is totally related to how much effort you put in, you have all the control, therefore you can improve at your own pace whilst still achieving a super effective workout.
Working out using a rowing machine is multifunctional in that it is great for weight loss and for toning the muscles, working your bum, legs and hips as well as the shoulders, arms and back all whilst engaging your core, the combination of which helps build stronger muscles faster.
Like a spin class, rowing can easily be transformed into a group exercise and there are now an increasing number of group rowing classes popping up in gyms and health clubs. Unlike HIIT workouts and strength training you don’t have to be an expert to get the most out of the workout so it is also really easy to go it alone. Do make sure to keep the correct form throughout the movement though so as to avoid any damage to the lower back or shoulders.
So think again when you pass the dusty rower on your way to the bike or the treadmill, as it can do a lot more for your body than you may think.