Row machines aren’t as common in gyms as a treadmill or weight bench, but they should be. You may find one or two models, but they’re usually air resistant or piston operated models, which don’t offer the best workout. The lack in high-end rowing machines is caused by the common misconception that rowing is a mediocre workout that provides sub-par results. Realistically, rowing can actually increase endurance, build muscle, strengthen the core and burn fat, making it one of the best total body workouts around, second only to swimming. This type of workout can put even cycling and running to shame because it burns about fifteen to twenty percent more calories than both workouts at the same level of exertion. Rowing is considered an excellent core workout because the abs are engaged during each stroke. While it can definitely offer an impressive fat burning workout, it’s also an ideal machine to use for people who are rehabbing muscles, the elderly or people with disabilities. With all of the benefits, you may be wondering why this type of workout is so unpopular. The main reason is that most people don’t know how to properly use a row machine and improper use can lead to poor results.
How To Use A Water Rower Safely
In the starting position, the knees should be bent, with the shoulders and arms extended forward and the shins held vertically. Begin rowing by pushing both feet against the row machine’s platform and straighten the legs until they’re slightly bent. Pull the paddle towards you, using bended elbows as you slightly lean back while focusing on keeping your back straight. This type of motion should be both continuous and fluid.
If you’re new to rowing, start off slow and begin with a five to ten minute warm-up, followed by a twenty-minute workout and five to ten additional minutes for the cool down. During your workout, if you continue to consistently row at the same speed, over a period of a few sessions you should begin to notice an increase in your endurance. For a more intense workout, you can try interval training with your rower. Start off each workout by rowing for five to ten minutes at the highest resistance level, as fast as you can. Next, for two to three minutes row slowly, at the lowest resistance setting. Do this for a period of thirty to sixty minutes. Interval training has been incorporated in many different types of exercise from cardio to strength training and it’s designed to give your metabolism a jolt and make your body improve its fat burning abilities
Top Rated Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide
Rowing machines offer a new type of workout experience for individuals of all fitness levels. If you’re tired of the standard equipment at the gym and simply looking for a machine that allows you to work out from the comfort of your home, then a row machine may be right up your alley. Commonly this machine is overlooked at the gym because people don’t know that rowing can work several major muscle groups, burning more calories than a stationary bike or treadmill. The innovative designs of new water resistance rowers have taken on an elegant, yet classic look that can add subtle beauty to any room. Usually outfitted in a walnut or ash frame with all-metal black rails and an easy fold-up design, row machines not only look great, they’re actually pretty fun to use.
A rowing workout can produce sustainable results without negatively impacting muscles and joints. With a reported average of five hundred to a thousand calories burned per workout, rowing machines are the hottest new fitness trend in the industry. Because of this, manufacturers are working overtime to produce a wide variety of styles and types of row machines, all of which can offer an effective low-impact total body workout. With so many choices of models, it can be confusing for beginners to choose the right type. Most consumers automatically choose the cheapest rower, however, cheaper models often feature piston resistance, which is considered the worst type of technology because the workouts are uncomfortable and the machine itself is often poorly designed.
Rowing Machine Resistance Types Guide: Know Your Row
If you’re determined to purchase a row machine, learn more about the different types of resistance and find out which type offers the best user experience. There are actually four main resistance types: water, piston, air and magnetic. Water resistance machines are by far the most expensive while piston models are considered the cheapest.
- Machines that utilize air resistance are usually equipped with fan blades, which provide a smoother rowing motion and cool you off as you row. The resistance levels on an air rower automatically adjust to the user’s stroke intensity and speed.
- Magnetic rowers are more affordable than water and air resistance machines and operate through a braking system that includes automatic or manual resistance. Virtually maintenance free and solidly built, overall they can’t really compete with a water rower.
- As we have mentioned, piston models are considered the cheapest row machines. Compared to other types of rowers, the piston models aren’t nearly as durable and the workouts are less intense. The workout itself is often described as slow and jerky, and doesn’t give you much control over resistance.
- According to fitness experts, water resistance is by far the most efficient technology used in a rowing machine and the result is a realistic rowing experience that provides a better workout with smoother and more fluid rowing. These machines use a paddle that’s suspended in a tank of water, providing a realistic sensation of rowing outdoors. Extremely quiet running, as you row the only sound you’ll hear is the gentle splashing of water moving with each stroke, which serves to enhance the realistic experience of this style of rower.
Because row machines that work using water resistance have a reputation for being the best, we have focused on reviewing models that use this technology. The differences in these machines can be found in the design and quality of the frame, control consoles, and gliding systems.
#1. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review 5/5 Stars
The Club rowing machine by WaterRower utilizes water resistance for an intense total body workout. This is a commercial grade model that’s designed for gym use, but the affordable price also allows homeowners to purchase a rower for personal use.This high-end model is equipped with an S4 monitor that’s packed with features that allow you to track progress such as stroke rate, heart rate, duration, and distance covered. The monitor has separated this information in individual windows, allowing you to clearly track certain features with ease.
The monitor is equipped with nine buttons. Six are dedicated to specific monitoring features while the remaining three are designed for menu navigation. For added convenience, you can link the row machine monitor to your PC or laptop using a USB cable to use with row machine software programs for training or racing purposes.
The frame of the machine is made from ash and coated with a layer of urethane to protect the finish. Two long black metal rails run along the sides of the rower and are designed to prevent scuffing during a workout or when transported. This model is designed for quiet rowing, with a sleek frame that works to minimize sound by absorbing vibration.
The seat’s ergonomic design is perfect for users who are rehabbing muscles, the elderly or individuals with disabilities. Described as comfortable, the seat is heavily padded and impressively stable. Gliding along the rails is smooth and silent, with the only sound coming from the water tank as you slice through the water.
The oblong shaped handle of the paddle has been covered in a soft material that can help to improve your grip and prevent slipping. The heel rests located on the floorboards can be adjusted to accommodate users of all foot sizes. The included nylon straps can hug the feet securely and prevent slipping during an intense workout.
The Club is our top rated rower and it received a perfect consumer rating for its innovative design and feature options.
#2. ProRower H2O RX 750 Rowing Machine Review 4.5/5 Stars
The ProRower by H20 Fitness is a rowing machine that can improve your endurance and give you that six-pack you’ve always wanted.
It provides a pretty impressive cardiovascular workout that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and empowered at the same time. This is a water resistance model that allows you to smoothly cut through water using all the major muscle groups, without putting unnecessary strain on the lower back and joints. This is the perfect workout for users who cannot participate in high impact workouts.
This model is pretty basic and doesn’t come with a ton of features, but the solid build of the frame and overall smooth rowing experience can provide you with the type of challenging workout you need in order to burn fat.A
The resistance level can be easily increased or decreased by flipping a switch. To increase resistance, flip the switch and an interior water tank will send water into the outer water tank for a more challenging workout.
To reduce the intensity level, flip the switch again and the water will be guided back to the interior tank for a low-intensity workout. This feature makes the rower perfect for interval training, which requires five to ten minutes of high-intensity training and a period of two to three minutes of low intensity.
It’s also a great feature to have if there is more than one family member in the household that uses the rower. Rowing for just an hour can burn eight hundred to a thousand calories, depending on the resistance level and how fast you row.
This type of calorie burn is better than what you would get form cycling or running and it’s much gentler on the body. You can also position your hands differently in order to work new muscle groups in your lower and upper arms. Many people will be surprised to learn that rowing actually works the legs more than any other muscle group, but by switching up your rowing position you can also focus on your abs, arms and shoulders for a total upper body workout that can provide impressive results just by working out a few times a week.
#3. First Degree Fitness Newport Rower Review
The First Degree Newport rower utilizes water resistance for a more effective workout that’s low impact so it’s gentle on the body. You’ll focus on building up all the major muscle groups as you use a machine that offers a very realistic rowing experience.To increase resistance flip the valve control to add more water to the paddle water tank. To decrease resistance, remove water from the tank and enjoy a less challenging stroke for the cool down or warm up portion of your workout. The tank on the Newport can hold a minimum of nine liters of water and a maximum of seventeen liters.
The large display console allows you to keep track of the calories burned, distance covered, strokes per minute and duration of workout. The Newport also includes an improved seat roller design for a smoother glide. The ergonomic padded seat will keep you comfortable and encourage longer workouts while the rust-resistant rail system is made to prevent scuffing as you push yourself during an intense session.
The oar has been designed to ensure stroke consistency and utilizes a triple blade impeller system. Perfect for smaller houses or apartments, this model includes the easy tilt feature for fast fold-up and storing. Assembly is a one man job that will take twenty to thirty minutes to complete. A step by step illustrated instruction manual has been included, in addition to all of the tools needed for this process.
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