rowing machines

An Indoor Rowing Machine's Basic Elements

An indoor rowing machine is a machine used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing for the purpose of exercise or training for rowing. Indoor rowing machines have become established as a popular method of exercise both at home and in gyms.


An indoor rowing machine can also be referred to as an ergometer or ergo, which is a device that measures the amount of energy or work performed when rowing. The indoor rowing machine is calibrated to measure the amount of energy the rower is generating.


A Fitness Rowing Machine's Benefits

There are many benefits to using a fitness rowing machine. Rowing is a great aerobic exercise for getting you in shape. The more muscles you use while you're exercising, the less time it takes you to get a total body workout. Fitness rowing machines use many muscles of the arms, legs, abdomen, and torso. Your heart and lungs can get as great a benefit from rowing as from running, in a workout that also builds muscular strength and endurance.

Rowing places little strain on the back, if the fitness rowing machine is used properly. Joint and muscle problems are not common among people who row regularly. Doctors often prescribe this exercise for people with lower back and disk problems. If you have back or circulatory problems, get medical clearance before you start a rowing program and get proper training on how to use your fitness rowing machine.

Proper rowing form is critical. It is the same if you are in a boat or shell or using a fitness rowing machine. Lean back from your hips while pushing back with your legs and torso. Bend your arms as you pull on the oars until your elbows pass behind your chest and the handles are an inch from your stomach. Keep your back straight the entire time, to prevent lower back problems.

It is a good idea to try using a fitness rowing machine in a gym for a couple of months before you purchase a rowing machine for your home. Be sure that this form of exercising meets your needs and gives you pleasure, and get a trainer to make sure you are rowing with proper form.

Fitness rowing machines range from a few hundred dollars to about $2,000. A good machine has handles with adjustable resistance levels. The seat should be comfortable. Straps on the rotating footrests hold your feet firmly in position. Some machines have an ergometer that shows your speed, distance traveled, and calories burned. Lightweight machines fold up and store in a closet.

Indoor rowing machines consist of a flywheel connected to a chain and handle. The rower pushes his body backwards with the legs, then pivots his back, and pulls on the handle, causing the flywheel to spin. The flywheel has a damping mechanism applied (using either air or water) that is intended to simulate the feel of an oar moving through water. Depending on the machine the rower either moves back and forth as part of the rowing action, or the rower remains stationary and the flywheel mechanism moves.

The standard measurement of speed on an ergometer is generally known as the "split," or the amount of time in minutes and seconds required to travel 500 meters at the current pace. For example, a 2:00 split would correspond to a 2:00 time for a 500 meter race, or an 8:00 time for a 2 kilometer race. The split does not necessarily correspond to how many strokes the rower takes (the "rating") since strokes can vary in power. These measures are used by those training on an indoor rowing machine to measure their gains in strength and stamina.

Indoor rowing machines were first designed for water rowers to be able to practice during bad weather and in the off season, but the exercise has a number health benefits so indoor rowing machines are now found in most comprehensive gyms.