Some rowing enthusiasts claim that the disproportionate number of tall rowers is simply due to the unfair advantage that tall rowers have on the ergometer. This is due to the ergometer's inability to properly simulate the larger rowers drag on a boat due to weight. Since the ergometer is used to assess potential rowers, results on the ergometer machine play a large role in a rower's career success. Thus, many erg scores are weight-adjusted, as heavyweights typically find it easier to get better erg scores. Also, since crew selection has favored tall rowers long before the advent of the ergometer,[46][47] and bigger, taller crews are almost universally faster than smaller, shorter crews on the water, being tall is a definite advantage ultimately having little to do with the ergometer.

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.


Rowing is unusual in the demands it places on competitors. The standard world championship race distance of 2,000 metres is long enough to have a large endurance element, but short enough (typically 5.5 to 7.5 minutes) to feel like a sprint. This means that rowers have some of the highest power outputs of athletes in any sport.[35] At the same time the motion involved in the sport compresses the rowers' lungs, limiting the amount of oxygen available to them. This requires rowers to tailor their breathing to the stroke, typically inhaling and exhaling twice per stroke, unlike most other sports such as cycling where competitors can breathe freely.
According to Men’s Total Fitness, rowing machines are not only great for aerobic workouts, but they also work all of your body's major muscle groups. What’s more, you don’t have to go to the gym to work out on a rowing machine, as many manufacturers make high-quality rowing machines -- and even rowing machines that fold up for easy storage -- that are suitable for home use. Two popular types of rowing machines are the water rower and the air rower.
The most recent models of the erg, produced by Concept 2 (pictured above), have a screen with different options for what measurements or figures you want to see during your workout. Using the screen, you can monitor calories expended and watts produced, but “the vast majority of rowers will set the screen to track their 500-meter split or just simply ‘split,’” according to Teti. The stroke rate, which appears on the screen as “SPM,” refers to the number of strokes you are taking per minute. Typically the split and stroke rating have an inverse relationship, meaning that when you increase your stroke rating, the split should go down.
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Rowing is a repetitive, rhythmic motion, meaning you have to match up your breathing to that rhythm. Have you ever linked your breathing to your running or swimming? This is just like that. Similar to strength workouts, you want to breathe out when exerting power and breathe in when recovering. In this case, that means breathing out when you push with your legs and pull back, and breathing in when you’re resetting (rebending your legs).

Rowing is a repetitive, rhythmic motion, meaning you have to match up your breathing to that rhythm. Have you ever linked your breathing to your running or swimming? This is just like that. Similar to strength workouts, you want to breathe out when exerting power and breathe in when recovering. In this case, that means breathing out when you push with your legs and pull back, and breathing in when you’re resetting (rebending your legs).
Meticulous care is taken in the creation of each rowing machine, ensures the WaterRower ethos of elegant design and American craftsmanship is evident whether in use or in storage. The soothing sound of our patented water resistance is both blissful and motivational. Creature-comforts can be found throughout, from the ergonomic handle, remarkably comfortable seat cushion and user-friendly performance monitor, you will find yourself searching out reasons to "sneak in" an added WaterRower workout into your day. When finished, the WaterRower stores with ease, while blending seamlessly into any environment, ensuring your design and décor values are never compromised by your fitness lifestyle.
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.

The second type is characterized by the Rekers device (referenced above). With this type, both the seat and the footrests are free to slide fore and aft on a rail or rails integral to a stationary frame. Therefore, during use, the seat and the footrests move relative to each other, and both also move relative to ground. This type is often referred to as a "dynamic" rowing ergometer, although "dynamically balanced" would be a more accurate description. A static indoor rower of the Dreissigacker/Williams type, if mounted on wheels or slides to enable forward and rearward movement of the unit, is by definition "dynamically balanced". The accessory slide tracks correspond to the referenced stationary frame of the Rekers device. Casper Rekers is nevertheless credited as the first to utilize this motion type in a rowing ergometer. The effect, for the user, is a more realistic "on the water" sensation than that provided by a "stationary" rowing ergometer because the "dynamically balanced" type more closely replicates actual rowing wherein the seat and the boat move relative to each other, and both move relative to the water.

The water flywheel is comprised of two paddles encased in an enclosed tank of water. As you pull the cable, the paddles move through the water creating resistance. The beauty of this machine is it uses the mass/density of water. The paddles create the drag, so the harder you pull, the more resistance increases. Think about moving your hands through water. The faster you go, the more dense water feels. The slower you go, the less you feel the resistance. And this type of resistance is excellent for your joints. Click here to read the full review.
Indoor rowers which utilize a pivoting handle or handles to simulate a sweep or sculling stroke (thus referred to as "rowing simulators"), can be of the above described "stationary" or "dynamically balanced" type of rowing ergometer. The Coffey rowing machine, designed by Olympic silver medalist rower, Calvin Coffey, can be configured to enable a sweep or a sculling stroke, in either a "stationary" or "dynamically balanced" mode. The flywheel is positioned horizontally at the rear of the device, under the seat rails (US patents: US4743011A 1988; US7862484B1; Inventor: Calvin Coffey).

We picked the brains of rowing coaches, fitness experts, and physical therapists to learn what features make for an exceptional rower. Based on their input, we searched the market for air and water resistance rowing machines, then tested the best for ride feel and design. We found one model of each type — air resistance and water resistance — that felt truly superior to the others.
The standard measurement of speed on an ergometer is generally known as the "split", or the amount of time in minutes and seconds required to travel 500 metres (1,600 ft) at the current pace — a split of 2:00 represents a speed of two minutes per 500 metres, or about 4.17 m/s (15.0 km/h). The split does not necessarily correspond to how many strokes the rower takes (the "rating") since strokes can vary in power.
Machines with a digital display calculate the user's power by measuring the speed of the flywheel during the stroke and then recording the rate at which it decelerates during the recovery. Using this and the known moment of inertia of the flywheel, the computer is able to calculate speed, power, distance and energy usage. Some ergometers can be connected to a personal computer using software, and data on individual exercise sessions can be collected and analysed. In addition, some software packages allows users to connect multiple ergometers either directly or over the internet for virtual races and workouts.
Now we start to decrease the intensity and increase the volume of these workouts, which will improve overall endurance and stamina. Complete this workout, 10 minutes of rowing at a hard steady-state pace (that’s one set), and take 3 minutes of rest between each set. The rates are set slightly lower so you should be able to focus on technique and solidify your posture at the catch, as well improving overall stroke length.
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.
Adaptive rowing is a special category of races for those with physical disabilities. Under FISA rules there are 5 boat classes for adaptive rowers; mixed (2 men and 2 women plus cox) LTA (Legs, Trunk, Arms), mixed intellectual disability (2 men and 2 women plus cox) LTA (Legs, Trunk, Arms), mixed (1 man and 1 woman) TA (Trunk and Arms), and men's and women's AS (Arms and Shoulders). Events are held at the World Rowing Championships and were also held at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.[59]
Water rowers feature a tank that is actually filled with water as a means for resistance. As you increase the pace of rowing, the resistance naturally increases as well. This means that you can set your own pace and resistance in a single motion. The same is true for air rowers. Air rowers use a fan or flywheel to create resistance, and you have control over the intensity of the workout due to the fact that the air resistance depends on your pace. Most water and air rowers come equipped with -- or at least have as an option -- monitors that track various functions such as distance, strokes, strokes per minute and calories burned.
At the international level, women's rowing traditionally has been dominated by Eastern European countries, such as Romania, Russia, and Bulgaria, although other countries such as Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain and New Zealand often field competitive teams.[55][57] The United States also has had very competitive crews, and in recent years these crews have become even more competitive given the surge in women's collegiate rowing.[58]
If you’re just beginning your journey to get in shape, the maze of complicated workout machines at the gym might have your head spinning. Don’t worry! Exercising on a rowing machine is relatively simple to learn and ideal for all ages and abilities. It’s important to make sure you use proper rowing technique when you exercise. It will help to both maximize your workout and minimize the potential for injury. Your feet should be securely fastened in the stirrups with your shins close to a 90 degree angle to the floor. It’s best to keep your back straight, your core engaged, and to row in a smooth, fluid motion. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!
These three machines are the top of the lot for a home gym, with one editor’s note: keep an eye out for the Hydrow, a rowing machine currently on Indiegogo that was funded in just four minutes. I tested one and can attest to the smooth ride and easy to store platform. The pricing on Indiegogo is unparalleled, but you won’t get delivery of the machine until May 2019.
Braked flywheel resistance models comprise magnetic, air and water resistance rowers. These machines are mechanically similar since all three types use a handle connected to a flywheel by rope, chain, or strap to provide resistance to the user – the types differ only in braking mechanism. Because the handle is attached to the resistance source by rope or similarly flexible media, the trajectory of the hands in the vertical plane is free making it possible for the rower to emulate the hand height difference between the stroke and the return. Most of these models have the characteristic sliding seat typical of competitive on-the-water boats.
As I mentioned, the rowing experience with the WaterRower is amazing. I bought the rower for myself, but my wife was curious and decided to try it out. She loves it, and now rows almost daily. We have a treadmill that neither of us has used since we started rowing - the WaterRower is a much better workout and much more enjoyable at the same time. It's easy to adjust the intensity, pace and duration of your exercise. There is nothing to change on the rower (* see note below), you just row harder or faster, adjust how far you lean forward and back during your stroke. The WaterRower will keep up with you as your fitness increases, all you need to do is keep throwing more and more at it.
From a fitness perspective, the WaterRower Classic works 84 percent of your muscle mass, helping tone and strengthen your muscles while burning far more calories than most other aerobic machines. The exercise is also low impact, as it removes all the body weight from the ankles, knees, and hips, but still moves the limbs and joints through a full range of motion--from completely extended to completely contracted.

John Duke, creator of the WaterRower, was inspired to try his hand at invention while working at a subsidiary for U.S. Steel. He wanted to make an indoor machine that felt as much like real rowing as possible, with a focus on aesthetics. It took him two years to get the design right, moving past failed ideas such as a flipper in the tank instead of a clutch. What began as a series of doodles at his desk turned into a sculptural piece of exercise equipment that upends expectations in two ways: by bringing water indoors, and by looking elegant and artful when stored.
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 the collegiate level (in the United States), the lightweight weight requirements can be different depending on competitive season. For fall regattas (typically head races), the lightweight cutoff for men is 165.0 lb. and 135.0 lb. for women. In the spring season (typically sprint races), the lightweight cutoff for men is 160.0 lb., with a boat average of 155.0 lb. for the crew; for women, the lightweight cutoff is 130.0 lb.[48]
Most of the Waterrower range is made of wood harvested from the sustainably managed Appalachian forests of the eastern United States. The machines are extremely well built and are beautiful to look at coming in Ash, Oak or Cherry wood. If you are concerned about having an exercise machine in a living area, then one of the wooden models will fit right in to your living room. They are also extremely quiet in operation due to the wooden construction and the use of a strap rather that a chain. The only thing you can really hear is the swishing sound of the water in the tank as you pull giving you the feeling that you are really on the river!
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.
Unlike the 1445, the Elite Wave Water Rowing Machine includes an upgraded, high-end fitness monitor and a chest strap heart rate sensor. Programmed to sync seamlessly with the multi-function monitor, the data the sensor provides allows you to tailor your workout. For example, you can target a certain heart rate for weight loss or to increase endurance by adjusting your rowing speed and therefore, your rowing intensity. In addition to pulse, the multi-function monitor also tracks distance, time, calories burned, stroke count and strokes per minute to further motivate you during your rowing session. For further customization, users can also add or remove water using the included siphon to either increase or decrease the resistance.

Indoor rowing machines have come a long way and there are now a variety of sleek, highly-refined pieces of exercise equipment ready to get your cardio health on the upswing. Having a rower right there in your home can really be the push you need to get your muscles moving in a challenging yet comfortable way. Overall, rowing machines provide an outstanding way to increase fitness by burning calories and building muscle in a safe, low-impact way.
Unlike high impact exercises, which can damage knees and the connective tissues of the lower body, rowing's most common injury site is the lower back. Proper technique is a necessity for staying injury free, with a focus on both mechanics and breathing, as correct rhythm, exhaling on the drive and inhaling on the recovery, is a stabilizing force for the upper body. Non-rowers commonly overemphasize the muscles of the upper body, while correct technique uses the large muscle of the thighs to drive much of the stroke. Also, good technique requires that the angle of the upper body is never too far forward, nor too far back, both of which jeopardize the lower back and compression injuries on the knees and hip flexor muscles. Proper technique however, can only be achieved if the design of the exercise equipment enables proper technique. The ubiquitous rigid, single-piece handle does not follow the natural movement of a user's hands, wrists, and forearms as the stroke progresses. It does not ensure or enable the bio-mechanically correct alignment of the hands, wrists, and forearms with the direction of the applied force. Typically, the user finishes the stroke with the wrists in an angulated position. It is incorrect to criticize this as "bad technique", when the equipment itself is the cause. Through no fault of their own, regular users of indoor rowers equipped with the standard single-piece handle, are prone to repetitive strain injury and chronic wrist pain (see more on this in "Rowing Technique" section, below).

The Apollo Pro 2 water rower is a commercial grade, natural wood rowing machine, perfect for group training or high-end home gyms. This rower’s water resistant design, meditative motion and integrity of construction sets it apart from its competitors. Handcrafted from the finest quality American Ash wrapped around a stabilising steel frame, this steadfast indoor rower offers a standout performance even in the harshest of fitness applications.

The recovery phase follows the drive. The recovery starts with the extraction and involves coordinating the body movements with the goal to move the oar back to the catch position. In extraction, the rower pushes down on the oar handle to quickly lift the blade from the water and rapidly rotates the oar so that the blade is parallel to the water. This process is sometimes referred to as feathering the blade. Simultaneously, the rower pushes the oar handle away from the chest. The blade emerges from the water square and feathers immediately once clear of the water. After feathering and extending the arms, the rower pivots the body forward. Once the hands are past the knees, the rower compresses the legs which moves the seat towards the stern of the boat. The leg compression occurs relatively slowly compared to the rest of the stroke, which affords the rower a moment to recover, and allows the boat to glide through the water. The gliding of the boat through the water during recovery is often called run.


Variability between machines is of small importance if one machine is used consistently for fitness and training, such as in a home gym. It will still provide a sufficiently reliable measure of one's progress. In a competition setting however, equivalence between machines is essential. An example will clarify: Consider the entirely reasonable possibility that the elastic cord of one machine requires 7 pounds of force to stretch, and the elastic cord of another machine requires 6 1/2 pounds of force to stretch. Now suppose that two competitors, one on each of these machines, complete a 2000M race in 8 minutes at an average stroke rate of 30 strokes per minute. The competitor on the machine with the elastic cord tensioned to 7 pounds will need to pull with 1/2 pound more force for the duration of each stroke than the other competitor in order to obtain the same monitored results (since, as explained, only the energy expended to spin the flywheel is measured, not the energy to stretch the elastic cord). If each stroke averages 5 feet in length, and it takes 240 strokes (8X30) to complete the race, the extra work done by the one competitor is equivalent to lifting a 1/2 pound weight through a vertical distance of 1200 feet (5X240), or put another way, the extra work required by this competitor is equivalent to lifting a 10 pound weight through a vertical distance of 60 feet. However, in this example, despite the difference in energy output by the competitors, the monitor displays are the same.
The First Degree Fitness Challenge AR (Adjustable Resistance) is designed and engineered by professional rowers and craftsman using only the highest degree of quality components – ensuring complete satisfaction in function, performance, and reliability.  With its patented Fluid Technology, First Degree Fitness has incorporated the truest emulation of sensation, sight, and sound of real on-water rowing captured in the private setting of your own home.
The WaterRower US office got in on the Pull for a Cure fundraising action and all pulled together to raise money for breast cancer! - - - - As many of you may already know, throughout the month of October, WaterRower has been raising money through our Pull for a Cure fundraiser. For each 500m workout rowed and posted online, we'll be donating $1 towards breast cancer research! Don't forget to get your workouts in before Monday, October 31st! #PullForaCure #WaterRower
It's cool that you can reach really far forward and pull really far backward, but focusing on getting the longest possibles strokes risks "over-compression," explains Crawford, a condition that causes knee pain by transferring the load to the quads. Hamstrings and glutes are the big muscles here, and you want them doing the big work. Be sure to keep your core braced, and when you lean forward, stay closer to 1 o'clock than 3 o'clock.
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:
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