rowing machines

Introduction to Rowing Machines

Exercise equipment rowing machines are great machines for strength training and building muscle. In strength training, rowing (or a row, usually preceded by a qualifying adjective — for instance a seated row) is a form of muscular resistance training exercise that shares many characteristics of rowing a boat without involving water or a boat, which is where an exercise equipment rowing machine comes in.


When done as a weight-lifting exercise, its purpose is to exercise the muscles that draw the rower's arms toward the body (latissimus dorsi) and those that support the spine (erector spinae). When done on a exercise equipment rowing machine, sometimes called an erg, rowing also exercises muscles that extend and support the legs (quadriceps and hamstrings). In all cases, the abdominal and lower back muscles must be used in order to support the body and prevent back injury. This makes an exercise equipment rowing machine a great, nearly full body workout piece.

Rowing is often done on an exercise equipment rowing machine indoors, called an erg or ergo, which is short for “ergometer,” a Greek phrase for “a device that measures work.” Nevertheless, many other weight-assisted gym exercises mimic the movement of rowing, such as the deadlift, high pull and the bent-over row. Rowing can also be done outdoors on land with a rowbike. Some rowbike manufacturers sell stationary bike stands that permit indoor use, but an exercise equipment rowing machine is often a better and more sustained workout.

In addition to competitive rowers, exercise equipment rowing machines are also the preference of many other fitness enthusiasts. The exercise equipment rowing machine is a low impact movement, with little pressure on the knees. However, one must be taught proper form or back injuries, especially lower back injuries, can result from the rowing motion, so care and caution should be taken when using an exercise equipment rowing machine for the first time.


The Correct Use of an Indoor Rowing Machine

Indoor rowing is one of the most challenging forms of exercise as it works most major muscular areas of the body, as well as being an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Therefore, indoor rowing machines have become extremely popular options in home and gym exercise equipment.

Ergometer rowing entails both high levels of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, so the benefits can be great, but this comes with some risk of injury. This risk is greatly reduced if you are properly using an indoor rowing machine and following the manufacturers’ instructions. The indoor rowing machine is a great piece of equipment that can be used by people at most fitness levels, but it care must be taken to learn the best way to exercise with an indoor rowing machine.

Unlike high impact exercises, which can damage knees and the connective tissues of the lower body, rowing's most common injury site is likely the lower back. Therefore, people with knee problems can use indoor rowing machines, while those with back problems are better served to use another type of equipment.

Proper technique when using an indoor rowing machine is a necessity for staying injury free, with a focus on both mechanics and breathing, as correct rhythm, exhaling on the drive and inhaling on the recovery, is a stabilizing force for the upper body. Non-rowers commonly overemphasize the muscles of the upper body, while correct technique uses the large muscle of the thighs to drive much of the stroke. Also, good technique requires that the angle of the upper body is never too far forward, nor too far back, both of which jeopardize the lower back.

In addition to the high levels of fitness attained, using an indoor rowing machine is an intense calorie-burning exercise method. Although rowers with less ability and training will burn fewer calories, the ergometer is an excellent tool for use in a weight-loss program.