The Rowing Machine - Are You Overlooking Its Fitness Potential?

What is a rowing machine?

The rowing machine is an exercise equipment that mimics the action of rowing a boat. As far as the structure is concerned, it has a long frame fitted with a braked fly wheel at the front. It is the flywheel which offers resistance in the form of air, water or magnets. There is a handle affixed to the flywheel by means of a strap, chain or rope. The sliding seat creates the right sitting angle. The foot pads hold the feet in place and reduce the strain on knees and ankles. The control panel on the front measures the calories burned, distance, speed and power.

What are the benefits of a rowing machine?

1. Calorie Buster

If you are looking to trim your figure by shedding a few pounds, the rowing exercise is what you need to pay attention to. A woman weighing 130 pounds can burn 500 calories in an hour on an average. It is more than what you can burn on an elliptical bike.

2. Muscle toning

The machine engages major muscle groups in the upper and lower body allowing for a full body workout. It works the arms, shoulders, the back, the core (six pack abs anyone?) and the legs (quads, calves and glutes). The exercise strengthens the muscle groups. By increasing resistance further, you can work towards building and toning muscle.

3. Increase stamina

As you push your body to achieve more by increasing resistance, you build endurance. This is because the body makes physiologic adaptations making it easier to perform the same exercises at a higher level in future. This way your exercise produces better results.

4. Strengthen cardiovascular function

It provides you with a serious cardio workout. An exercise session on a rowing machine elevates your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping, increasing the oxygen uptake. Thus, you work on building cardiovascular fitness. To add, it burns carbohydrates to fuel the activity. You can adjust the resistance level enabling you to reach the target heart rate at the same time keeping you within a safe limit. Some also feature a chest strap to monitor your heart rate.

5. Low impact

Adding a rowing machine to your exercise routine is particularly beneficial for older individuals as it is a low-impact activity. It does not put too much strain on the frail joints and back.

To make sure you get the best benefits from the rowing machine, use the correct sitting and exercising posture. A wrong posture in any exercise increases the risk of injury. If you plan to buy one for your home, consider foldable designs are they are space-saving and hence more practical.