The rowing machine, also known as the rower, ergometer or erg, often sits neglected in the corner at the gym. What many people don’t realize is it’s a great way to work your entire body and get your heart rate up fast.
“We sometimes call the rowing machine the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of the fitness floor — it doesn’t get any respect!” says Sarah Fuhrmann, owner of UCanRow2 and author of “101 Best Rowing Workouts.”
Why? Many people simply don’t know how to use a rowing machine correctly or how versatile it can be, says Fuhrmann. If you get bored quickly or don’t notice benefits like a boost in fitness and physique, you might falsely assume it’s not worth your time.
But with a shift in mindset and a few tweaks to perfect your form, you could discover the ergometer is one of many machines that deserves a spot in your workout routine after all. Here’s everything you need to know to know about the ever-underrated erg and how to use it, according to rowing pros.
Rowing offers an intense yet low-impact workout. “Depending on how you utilize it, the rower can increase your aerobic fitness while also building strength and explosive power,” says George Young, a certified fitness trainer.
Here are the main benefits of hopping on and strapping in:
GET A FULL-BODY WORKOUT of Rowing
Stroke for stroke, “rowing recruits over 85% of your body’s muscles,” says Caley Crawford, a certified personal trainer and director of education for Row House, a boutique rowing-focused fitness studio with more than 250 locations across the United States. If you struggle to squeeze in quality workouts. It’s a time-effective solution to improve flexibility and hit multiple. Muscle groups including your upper back, pecs, arms, abs, obliques and legs.
GIVE YOUR JOINTS A BREAK
Since rowing is impact-free, it’s a perfect option for anyone. Who needs a cross-training exercise that goes easy on the joints, says Fuhrmann. For example, if you’re a runner and your knees are telling you to get off. The road or treadmill a workout can help support active recovery.
KICKSTART YOUR CARDIO
If you’re bored or have hit a plateau with your usual cardio. Rowing could help boost your VO2 max (an important marker of fitness that tells. You how well your body uses oxygen during exercise). “Work into your routine, and you’ll likely improve your running or swimming times, too,” says Young.