Of all the cardio machines gaining attention lately, the rowing machine sits atop the list. The low-to-the-ground machine, also known as the ergometer, torches calories while engaging your arms, core, legs, and back. Not to mention, working out on a rowing machine is easier on your knees and joints than most other options, so it’s a low-impact option for everyone. Thus, it comes as no surprise that it’s a staple in every gym—and should be in every workout routine.
Don't let chronic lower back pain deter you from giving the rowing machine a try. Done properly, this is a great exercise for strengthening your back, and as a bonus, it rarely leads to the type of chronic knee, ankle, and foot injuries that can plague runners. If you have a temperamental back, be sure to keep your core braced, and that you're not laying too far back at the conclusion of each stroke. (Here, closer to 11 o'clock than 9 o'clock.)

Ever since the earliest recorded references to rowing, the sporting element has been present. An Egyptian funerary inscription of 1430 BC records that the warrior Amenhotep (Amenophis) II was also renowned for his feats of oarsmanship. In the Aeneid, Virgil mentions rowing forming part of the funeral games arranged by Aeneas in honour of his father.[10] In the 13th century, Venetian festivals called regata included boat races among others.[11]
In the rowing machine category, there are a lot of models to chose from. They range in price from under $100 to well over $1500.  As you can imagine, you’re getting a different type of row machine at those ends of the spectrum, but within that variety there’s something for everyone.  To help guide you, we’ve listed our favorite row machine models and brands by price below:
If you’re interested in using a rowing machine for focused training — whether for outdoor rowing, an indoor competition, or as part of a larger fitness program — you’ll want air resistance. If you’re drawn to rowers for the enjoyability (alongside the full-body, cardio-plus-strength training efficacy) of a rowing workout, consider a machine with water resistance.
When feet are in position and you are seated, ensure you are sitting in a tall yet relaxed position. Try to feel as if you are sitting on your ‘sit’ or ischia bones and rock slightly forwards and backwards on these bones. Your body weight will move from the front to the back of the seat. Ensure you are sitting with a locked core, shoulders relaxed and head looking forwards.
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After bending forward, refrain from pulling back the handle using your back; instead, push your legs against the pedals to avoid back strain (and get a killer leg workout). As for arms, keep both of your elbows tucked at your sides, pulling until they pass your torso and the rower handle is around an inch away from the bottom of your ribs (or sports bra). Got all of that? Now, perform smoothly in the order of legs, hips, arms, arms, hips, legs. Repeat!
Heavyweight rowers of both sexes tend to be very tall, broad-shouldered, have long arms and legs as well as tremendous cardiovascular capacity and low body fat ratios. Olympic or International level heavyweight male oarsmen are typically anywhere between 190 cm and 206 cm (6'3" to 6'9") tall with most being around 198 cm (6'6") and weighing approximately 102 kg (225 lb) with about 6 to 7% body fat.
We’ll be the first to admit that when the weather is nice we’d rather be outdoors than inside working out. Concept2 employees are active outside year-round in all kinds of weather skiing, running, mountain biking, paddling, road cycling, hiking… and rowing! We encourage you to spend some time outdoors, too. But there are good reasons to keep in touch with your favorite indoor workouts in spring and summer. Continue Reading ›
The WaterRower Oxbridge is hand crafted in solid Cherrywood. Like all woods, Cherrywood may vary in color from a red-brown to deep red. The wood will darken in color with exposure to light. For this reason all WaterRower Cherrywood components are kept in light free rooms to protect from shadowing. A new WaterRower Oxbridge will therefore appear quite light in color. The wood will however darken over time reaching a rich reddish hue. Each machine has been hand finished with three coats of Danish Oil giving a deep lustre an warmth to the wood. Wood has been chosen due to its marvellous engineering properties, primary amongst these is its ability to absorb sound and vibration enhancing the WaterRower's quietness and smoothness of use. Cherrywood, like all woods used in WaterRower construction, is a premium hardwood with incredible longevity and dimensional stability. For reasons of ecology, all our woods are harvested from replenishable forests.
Chris Kinsey works as an editor for a medical publisher and has experience dealing with many topics, ranging from athlete's foot to cancer and brain injury. Kinsey has a great deal of freelance experience writing for sports and parenting magazines as well. Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California University of Pennsylvania.
The stake format was often used in early American races. Competitors line up at the start, race to a stake, moored boat, or buoy some distance away, and return. The 180° turn requires mastery of steering. These races are popular with spectators because one may watch both the start and finish. Usually only two boats would race at once to avoid collision. The Green Mountain Head Regatta continues to use the stake format but it is run as a head race with an interval start.[42] A similar type of racing is found in UK and Irish coastal rowing, where a number of boats race out to a given point from the coast and then return fighting rough water all the way. In Irish coastal rowing the boats are in individual lanes with the races consisting of up to 3 turns to make the race distance 2.3 km.
At its founding, it had nine clubs; today, there are 12: Fairmount Rowing Association, Crescent Boat Club, Bachelors Barge Club, University Barge Club, Malta Boat Club, Vesper Boat Club, College Boat Club, Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association (Penn AC), Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club (PGRC), Gillin Boat Club and St. Joseph's University and St. Joseph's Prep. At least 23 other clubs have belonged to the Navy at various times.[23] Many of the clubs have a rich history, and have produced a large number of Olympians and world-class competitors.[26]
We just wanted to convey how much we appreciated all of Angela Hart's knowledge and expertise! We walked away with better, more efficient technique, ideas for skill work, different ways to incorporate rowing into workouts with our clients, and a better eye and cueing to help our athletes at our gym. The day flew by and was packed with great information! The instruction was professional and clear—just an overall awesome experience! So glad we attended!

The weight adjustment calculator can be a helpful tool because it provides a way to compare indoor rowing performances between people of different weights. It shifts focus away from absolute power toward power to body weight ratio. If you have a large friend who always beats you indoor rowing, challenge them to a weight-adjusted race! Continue Reading ›


Just like with other cardio machines, it’s highly recommended that you start off slow, especially if you’ve never used a rowing machine before. While walking and cycling are natural movements, rowing definitely isn’t, so don’t look around at seasoned pros and think you need to keep up (cue breathless panting). The potential for injury and pain isn’t worth it. Start off at a low resistance, remaining at that level until you’ve perfected your form and rowing motion. Once you’ve got those down and are feeling comfortable, feel free to increase the resistance and vary your workout. This takes time, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t catch on after the first few strokes.
While you may be tempted to hunch your back and shoulders forward, refrain from doing so. This incorrect posture will put intense strain on the wrong parts of your body, resulting in more soreness and less results (no, thank you!). Instead, sit up straight. Your back will naturally arch just slightly—that’s okay! Don’t attempt to overcorrect it. Now, bend forward using your hips. Once the handle passes over your knees, bend your legs.
For the workouts, it’s not only critical to make sure that you maintain proper technique, but also that “you are properly warmed up for these workouts, especially the power sessions,” says Frandsen. He recommends starting slowly by adding one or two of these sessions, most of which are between 30 and 40 minutes in duration, per week before your strength training workout and then build from there. 
At the current state of the art, indoor rowers which utilize flywheel resistance can be categorized into two motion types. In both types, the rowing movement of the user causes the footrests and the seat to move further and closer apart in co-ordination with the user's stroke. The difference between the two types is in the movement, or absence of movement, of the footrests relative to ground.
At its founding, it had nine clubs; today, there are 12: Fairmount Rowing Association, Crescent Boat Club, Bachelors Barge Club, University Barge Club, Malta Boat Club, Vesper Boat Club, College Boat Club, Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association (Penn AC), Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club (PGRC), Gillin Boat Club and St. Joseph's University and St. Joseph's Prep. At least 23 other clubs have belonged to the Navy at various times.[23] Many of the clubs have a rich history, and have produced a large number of Olympians and world-class competitors.[26]
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