Getting Fit With Rowing Machines
Rowing machines are popular in gyms and for a good reason. They give you a great full body workout, something few if any other machines claim. Everything from your calves to your shoulders and arms gets a workout, and it’s a great aerobics workout as well.
Although they’re popular, they aren’t nearly as popular as other machines like treadmills, stationary bicycles, and stair climbers. Consequently there are typically fewer of them in the gym. Mine has only two rowing machines but a dozen bikes and over 20 treadmills. This may be because rowing isn’t as natural as walking, biking, or climbing stairs. Occasionally I may need to wait to use a machine, but this is pretty rare.
Some people instantly get bored with rowing. You can’t read, it’s hard to talk to others, and I get dizzy if I try to watch TV, but I can listen to music just fine and I normally do. I can get a more intense workout rowing than from any of the other machines at the gym, and that alone keeps me from boredom. In particular my back and especially legs get an intense workout, and it’s easy to reach and maintain my target heart rate.
Although rowing looks easy, especially when you see a regular doing it, it does require a bit of coordination. Remember your legs are doing most of the work, don’t hunch your back, and when fully extended your knees should still be a little bit bent and your back at approximately a 45 degree angle to the ground.
If you haven’t tried a rowing machine, you should, as you may love it. I can get an intense workout faster with one than any other way in the gym. One warning though: many people find them nearly addictive!