Rowing Machines

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines (AKA ergometers) have come a long way since the early models that appeared in the mid 1800’s. 


If you’re serious about exercising and training they’re actually a great investment because of the huge variety of muscle and range of movement their use involves.  When you row effectively you generate power through your legs, transfer it through the torso and on to the arms. 

 

Rowing machines are low impact, meaning there is minimal stress on your joints.  That said they are not for the novice or uninitiated as the complexity of movement is such that poor use resulting from bad technique can actually put strain on your knees and back. 


But if rowing machine’s for you read on to find out how to choose one...


All the usual things apply in terms of size and storage.  Ergometers can be pretty light and transportable and many will store in an under stairs cupboard. These days all will come with a decent console, most don’t have pre-set programs though. An adjustable machine is also crucial to ensure you can set up your rower to suit your own body dimensions.


Resistance will probably be the biggest deciding factor.  Here’s what you’ve got to chose from..

 

• Air resistance is created by a finned flywheel which sucks in air as you row. As you increase your speed you increase the resistance.


• A magnetic resistance is the most authentic and gives a smooth rowing across water feel.


• With hydraulic resistance you compromise on rowing replication a little but save on cost. Resistance is typically adjusted using a lever.


• A bar and cable resistance (AKA sculling) is a good option if you’re new, but if you want kit for the long term it may leave you wanting more.

 

At the top end is the water rower which uses a paddle inside a tank filled with water to provide resistance. Intensity is increased simply by rowing faster or by adjusting the water level.


 

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