Die-hard cardio bunnies are ditching cardio class to hit the water rowing machines. In the past, kickboxing, cardio, HITT and Pilates classes were what was hot in the fitness world. So the rise in popularity of water rowing machines comes as kind of a surprise. So why is this type of exercise machine considered the next big trend? Probably for the same reasons that Pilates was all anyone could talk about in the late 90s. It all comes down to word of mouth. And what you may have heard about a rowing machine is true. On a rowing machine, you can burn about three to five hundred calories every thirty minutes, so the average one-hour session can allow you to burn around six hundred to a thousand calories. At full resistance, some users have reported burning as many as fifteen hundred calories. When the average five-foot-six-inch woman burns a thousand calories, they’re able to add an additional thousand calories to their daily calorie intake. According to nutritionists, a woman this size should be consuming a total of two thousand calories daily, which can be somewhat limiting and doesn’t leave much room should you cheat a little on your diet. A workout that can burn off a thousand calories means that you can add that thousand calories to your daily intake for a total of three thousand a day. If your calories are cut even lower than two thousand, then this type of calorie burn means you’ll have a little room to enjoy some of the foods you love without gaining weight. As you can see, the type of results you get from working out on a rower can significantly change the way you look, feel and eat.
What Rowing can do for Your Body
Rowing should be considered one of the most efficient types of exercises ever. With each stroke, you’re using almost every major muscle group in your body. Do you hate targeted ab workouts? If so, then you’ll love the rowing machine. Because you’ll tighten your core as you row, you no longer have to worry about doing your crunches. While most people think rowing only works the arms, the biggest part of rowing is actually building core strength and leg muscles. Riding a stationary exercise bike requires ninety-percent legs and five percent of upper body strength. With rowing, the ratio is a little different and requires about forty percent of upper body strength and sixty percent legs.
Rowing is a great choice because you’ll get a full body exercise while keeping the heart rate elevated to burn fat. This type of exercise can actually burn about three times the amount of calories that riding a bike can. Bikes feature resistance in a single direction, but rowing includes resistance both forward and backward, so you’ll be working a large number of muscle groups in the arms and legs.
A water resistance row machine is outfitted with a large water tank that adds resistance to every stroke, the intensity of which is determined by how full the tank is. Fill the tank all the way for an incredibly challenging workout or remove water for an easier workout for beginners. The sound of rowing in water can be a little relaxing and soothing and only adds to this realistic rowing experience. Water rowers mimic the natural dynamics of a boat moving in a large body of water
In addition to the intense calorie burn, this type of workout also helps to improve your posture. Most people have horrible posture from hunching over their desk all day at work and this, in turn, can cause lower back pain and muscle stiffness.
How a Water Rower Measures up to the Standard Rowing Machine
As far as home gym equipment goes, a water rower is actually kind of beautiful. Many models feature a sleek design and wood finish and are stored standing upright for easy storage.
Compared to standard rowing machines, a water rower feels much smoother as you row, but it can also give you a tougher workout because each stroke is pushing through water resistance. Additionally, water resistance models allow you to increase resistance by flipping a switch to add more water to the tank, or decrease resistance by flipping another switch that guides the water into an inner tank. Unfortunately, with a standard rowing machine, you’re not able to increase resistance at all.
Most people think that when you row harder, you’re getting a better workout for your arms and shoulders. But you’re actually making the workout harder on your legs. Most users report feeling muscle soreness after a workout in their abs and legs. Fitness experts recommend keeping the core tightened while rowing for even better results.
Working out on a rower may get your legs and abs burning, but it also works for other major muscle groups. According to studies. Rowing actually uses as much as eighty-five percent of your muscles and is second only to swimming when it comes to the best total body workout.
For best results, fitness experts recommend using interval training while you row. Interval training will require you to row at the top resistance, as fast as you can for three minutes and rowing slow for one minute, continuing to switch it up in this manner for the entire workout. Interval training will boost your metabolism and kick start fat burning for better results.
Create Your Personal Rowing Workout Routine
Many people report that the repetitive motions of rowing combined with the sound of water allows you to meditate as you work out. Other users felt that this type of workout seemed somewhat tedious and boring. Boring or not it allows you to burn a ton of calories in just an hour. Use your iPod and listen to your favorite music as you push through this type of intense workout. The frequency in which you exercise should be based on your fitness goals and current fitness level. Don’t use the rower every day, otherwise, your body will become used to this type of workout and you’ll burn fewer calories. Instead, use it every other day and throw in a HIIT workout, weight training, or go for a run or bike ride. On certain rainy days when you just want peace and quiet as you work out, you can always turn to your water row machine and burn some serious calories while enjoying the silence.
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