A common misconception is that putting the fan setting up to 10 is somehow better or harder, but Frandsen completely disagrees. “In my 18 years of rowing, I never trained on the erg at anything over a fan setting of 3 or 4. Anything higher puts a lot of unnecessary load on the body at the beginning of the stroke and can lead to injuries,” says Frandsen. He recommends keeping the fan setting low and working on posture and quickness around the catch to pick up the resistance, instead of depending on the machine to give you that heavy load.

Modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced to the early 10th century when races were held between professional watermen on the River Thames in London, United Kingdom. Often prizes were offered by the London Guilds and Livery Companies. Amateur competition began towards the end of the 18th century with the arrival of "boat clubs" at the British public schools of Eton College, Shrewsbury School, and Westminster School. Similarly, clubs were formed at the University of Oxford, with a race held between Brasenose College and Jesus College in 1815. At the University of Cambridge the first recorded races were in 1827. Public rowing clubs were beginning at the same time; in England Leander Club was founded in 1818, in Germany Der Hamburger und Germania Ruder Club was founded in 1836 and in the United States Narragansett Boat Club was founded in 1838 and Detroit Boat Club was founded in 1839. In 1843, the first American college rowing club was formed at Yale University.
Studios like Orangetheory, CityRow and Equinox all offer classes each week to introduce new users to rowing, as well as help rowing veterans crush their goals. “The rowing machine makes for one of the most efficient workouts, and intervals on the rowing machine are a great workout. If you’ve ever used a rowing machine, you’ll immediately note that you don’t have to do it for hours like you would running or cycling. You can get an incredible workout in 30 minutes,” Bryan Volpenheim, two-time Olympic medalist and previous head coach of the US Men’s National Rowing Team, says. The typical 45-minute workout is non-impact, so unlike running, “it’s low impact so it’s not hard on your joints,” Volpenheim says.
Rowing events use a systematic nomenclature for the naming of events, so that age, gender, ability and size of boat can all be expressed in a few numbers and letters. The first letter to be used is 'L' or 'Lt' for lightweight. If absent then the crew is open weight. This can be followed by either a 'J' or 'B' to signify junior (under 19 years) or under 23 years respectively. If absent the crew is open age (the letter 'O' is sometimes used). Next is either an 'M' or 'W' to signify if the crew are men or women. Then there is a number to show how many athletes are in the boat (1,2,4 or 8). An 'x' following the number indicates a sculling boat. Finally either a + or – is added to indicate whether the boat is coxed or coxswainless.
If you are anything like me, you read the negative reviews to see what some of the complaints could potentially be...I have found none that match with my machine or experience so far. The boxes it came in were a little bunged-up but everything on the inside was perfect. Only took about 15-20 minutes to build (first time building a row machine) and another 5-10 to fill with water. We used it for a little while before we added the danish oil.
Included within the "dynamically balanced" category are indoor rowers in which the footrests and flywheel are fixed to a moveable carriage, and also those in which the footrests alone are fixed to the moveable carriage, the carriage in both cases being free to slide fore and aft on a rail or rails integral to the stationary frame. The described device in which the flywheel is fixed to and moves with the carriage and footrests (the Rekers design) is sometimes referred to as a "floating head" rowing ergometer.
Being able to easily store your rower is a huge plus. Make sure you investigate how well the machine stores, if it folds up or comes apart easily to be able to put it in your closet, or in other storage areas. As an example, the Concept2 Model D rowing machine folds up nicely by a simple pull pin located in the middle of the rower. Wheels on the bottom allow for easy moving.
Sometimes, slides are placed underneath the erg to try to simulate the movement of being on the water. It allows the machine to move back and forth smoothly as if there is water beneath you. The slides can be connected in rows or columns so that rowers are forced to move together on the ergometer, similar to how they would match up their rhythm in a boat.
Blades, otherwise known as oars to amateurs or non rowers, are used to propel the boat. They are long (sculling: 250–300 cm; sweep oar: 340–360 cm) poles with one flat end about 50 cm long and 25 cm wide, called the blade. Classic blades were made out of wood, but modern blades are made from more expensive and durable synthetic material, the most common being carbon fiber.

Comparing the rowing machine to the stationary bike, the rowing machine is superior in terms of calories burned. Yet, it’s important to note that the stationary bike is also easy on the joints and only includes the lower body. So, if you have any upper body problems then the stationary bike will be a much better choice. In 30 minutes of cycling 12-13 miles per hour, an 125lb individual will burn around 225-250 calories.

On a rowing machine, you don’t want to be wearing clothes that are too baggy as the fabric can get caught between the seat and the beam it slides on.  It’s not a disaster if that happens, but it can get annoying if your shorts keep getting caught there while you’re trying to get a serious workout.   It’s better to wear shorter, tighter-fitting shorts (nothing ridiculous), but just enough to ensure it doesn’t the material doesn’t hang down.


Olympic rowers and experienced collegiate crews make the rowing stroke look easy and pretty darn effortless. But make no mistake, the rowing stroke is nuanced, complex, and can take years to master on the water. Luckily for those of you at the gym, the erg is a far simpler machine that can be perfected with some basic knowledge of technique and a little bit of practice. 
Rowing technique on the erg broadly follows the same pattern as that of a normal rowing stroke on water, but with minor modifications: it is not necessary to "tap down" at the finish, since there are no blades to extract from water; but many who also row on water do this anyway. Also, the rigid, single-piece handle enables neither a sweep nor a sculling stroke. The oar handle during a sweep stroke follows a long arc, while the oar handles during a sculling stroke follow two arcs. The standard handle does neither. But regardless of this, to reduce the chance of injury, an exercise machine should enable a bio-mechanically correct movement of the user. The handle is the interface between the human and the machine, and should adapt to the natural movement of the user, not the user to the machine, as is now the case. During competitions an exaggerated finish is often used, whereby the hands are pulled further up the chest than would be possible on the water, resulting in a steep angulation of the wrists - but even with a normal stroke, stop-action images show wrist angulation at the finish, evidence that the standard rigid, single-piece handle does not allow the user to maintain a bio-mechanically correct alignment of hands, wrists, and forearms in the direction of applied force. On the Concept 2 website "Forum", many regular users of the indoor rower have complained of chronic wrist pain. Some have rigged handgrips with flexible straps to enable their hands, wrists, and forearms to maintain proper alignment, and thereby reduce the possibility of repetitive strain injury. Rowing machine manufacturers have ignored this problem.
×