In 1981, Peter and Richard Dreissigacker, and Jonathan Williams, filed for U.S. patent protection, as joint inventors of a "Stationary Rowing Unit". The patent was granted in 1983 (US4396188A). The first commercial embodiment of the Concept2 "rowing ergometer" (as it came to be known) was the Model A, a fixed-frame sliding-seat design using a bicycle wheel with fins attached for air resistance. The Model B, introduced in 1986, introduced a solid cast flywheel (now enclosed by a cage) and the first digital performance monitor, which proved revolutionary. This machine's capability of accurate calibration combined with easy transportability spawned the sport of competitive indoor rowing, and revolutionised training and selection procedures for watercraft rowing. Later models were the C (1993) and D (2003). [2][4]

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.
As with any fitness activity, it’s important to exercise with proper technique, however. The big muscles in the legs are where most of the workout action should be. Injury to the lower back can occur from bending too far forward in the row. It’s best to maintain a upright 90 degree angle to the rowing machine’s seat and slider bar. Using the legs for the motion rather than relying as heavily on the back or arms can help reduce the chance of muscle pulls or other related injuries. Always check with a physician before starting any new fitness regimen.

Instead of air or hydraulic resistance, the Elite Wave Water Rowing Machine emulates actual rowing with lifelike water resistance. The paddles glide through the water housed in the reservoir, making the rowing stroke smooth from start to finish, and like rowing on a body of water, the resistance increases infinitely the faster you row. Not only does this feel like rowing on water, it sounds like water. Different stroke speeds and intensities vary water motion, resulting in realistic water resonance.

Water resistance models consist of a paddle revolving in an enclosed tank of water.[6] The mass and drag of the moving water creates the resistance. Proponents claim that this approach results in a more realistic action than possible with air or magnetic type machines. "WaterRower" was the first company to manufacturer this type of rowing machine. The company was formed in the 1980's by John Duke, a US National Team rower, and inventor of the device (1989 US Patent US4884800A). At that time, in the patent record, there were a few prior art fluid resistance rowing machines, but they lacked the simplicity and elegance of the Duke design. From the 1989 patent Abstract: "... rowing machine features a hollow container that holds a supply of water. Pulling on a drive cord during a pulling segment of a stroke rotates a paddle or like mechanism within the container to provide a momentum effect."
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.
At the catch the rower places the blade in the water and applies pressure to the oar by pushing the seat toward the bow of the boat by extending the legs, thus pushing the boat through the water. The point of placement of the blade in the water is a relatively fixed point about which the oar serves as a lever to propel the boat. As the rower's legs approach full extension, the rower pivots the torso toward the bow of the boat and then finally pulls the arms towards his or her chest. The hands meet the chest right above the diaphragm.
In the 1970s, the Gjessing-Nilson ergometer from Norway used a friction brake mechanism with industrial strapping applied over the broad rim of the flywheel. Weights hanging from the strap ensured that an adjustable and predictable friction could be calculated. The cord from the handle mechanism ran over a helical pulley with varying radius, thereby adjusting the gearing and speed of the handle in a similar way to the changing mechanical gearing of the oar through the stroke, derived from changes in oar angle and other factors. This machine was for many years the internationally accepted standard for measurement.
The Waterrower has recently been made famous by Kevin Spacy as the rowing machine used in the ‘House of Cards’. It is a type of wooden rowing machine produced and manufactured by Waterrower Inc. in New England, USA. The rowers were designed by ex-US national team rower john Duke in the mid 1980’s and the company to manufacture them was established in 1988.
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.
For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Like stationary bikes, rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery. While back strain is a concern, you can minimize your risk by using correct rowing form. Good rowing posture lets your legs do the work, taking the pressure off your back. Check out #9 for more details on proper rowing technique.
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.
A rowing workout can produce sustainable results without negatively impacting muscles and joints. With a reported average of five hundred to a thousand calories burned per workout, rowing machines are the hottest new fitness trend in the industry. Because of this, manufacturers are working overtime to produce a wide variety of styles and types of row machines, all of which can offer an effective low-impact total body workout. With so many choices of models, it can be confusing for beginners to choose the right type. Most consumers automatically choose the cheapest rower, however, cheaper models often feature piston resistance, which is considered the worst type of technology because the workouts are uncomfortable and the machine itself is often poorly designed.
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.
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.

One of the most common brand of ergometers is Concept2.[33] The company offers multiple types of models, including the Model D, Model E, and the dynamic rower. An updated Rowperfect brand of dynamic rowers, RP3, produces ergometers that more naturally mimic the feel and resistance of rowing in a shell on the water. It additionally, shows a dynamic force curve of power that provides the rower with detailed information about their stroke which they can use to improve technique and get stronger.[34]


In the 1970s, the Gjessing-Nilson ergometer from Norway used a friction brake mechanism with industrial strapping applied over the broad rim of the flywheel. Weights hanging from the strap ensured that an adjustable and predictable friction could be calculated. The cord from the handle mechanism ran over a helical pulley with varying radius, thereby adjusting the gearing and speed of the handle in a similar way to the changing mechanical gearing of the oar through the stroke, derived from changes in oar angle and other factors. This machine was for many years the internationally accepted standard for measurement.
Just because you don’t live on the water with a rowing boat sitting at the dock doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same physical benefits from rowing. You can purchase an affordable rower to use in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Sometimes getting motivated to work out is more challenging than the exercise itself. Uncomplicated and accessible workouts, like rowing, are much more appealing. It’s also great, because you can recruit a workout buddy to join you for added encouragement.
When you rest! From the “finish” position, the correct sequence is to move the hands away from the body first, then pivot from the hips to get back into that strong body position forward (your shoulders should be in front of your hips) and finally break the knees to roll up the slide to the starting “catch” position. “This movement should be blended together so as not to be too rigid, but the handle needs to get out past your knees before you start to roll up the slide so the handle doesn’t have to go up and over your knees,” says Teti. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that the handle should remain on one horizontal plane for the entire stroke and recovery, instead of bobbing up and down.
Rowing on an ergometer requires four basics phases to complete one stroke; the catch, the drive, the finish and the recovery. The catch is the initial part of the stroke. The drive is where the power from the rower is generated while the finish is the final part of the stroke. Then, the recovery is the initial phase to begin taking a new stroke. The phases repeat until a time duration or a distance is completed.
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]
When you rest! From the “finish” position, the correct sequence is to move the hands away from the body first, then pivot from the hips to get back into that strong body position forward (your shoulders should be in front of your hips) and finally break the knees to roll up the slide to the starting “catch” position. “This movement should be blended together so as not to be too rigid, but the handle needs to get out past your knees before you start to roll up the slide so the handle doesn’t have to go up and over your knees,” says Teti. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that the handle should remain on one horizontal plane for the entire stroke and recovery, instead of bobbing up and down.

NordicTrack creates machines that work in gyms and at home nationwide. If Peloton and Concept 2 were to have a baby, you’d get the RW900. Your first year of an iFit membership, which can be used on the RW900, is free, so you can enjoy workouts from trainers like Alex Silver-Fagan and Jay Wein that range from 10 to 60 minutes. And it’s not just rowing workouts. Thanks to the iFit app, you can pick from cross training, boot camp, HIIT and active recovery workouts — both on and off the rower. The digital screen transports you to the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, where Susan Francia, two-time Olympic gold medalist, leads you in a workout. Whereas the entry-level RW200 uses air resistance to challenge you, the RW900 uses a magnetic resistance that’s quiet and tough, in addition to the air resistance. You can pick up the RW200 today (for just $599), or wait for the RW900 which ships in December.

A bumps race is a multi-day race beginning with crews lined up along the river at set intervals. They start simultaneously and all pursue the boat ahead while avoiding being bumped by a boat from behind. If a crew overtakes or makes physical contact with the crew ahead, a bump is awarded. As a result, damage to boats and equipment is common during bumps racing. To avoid damage the cox of the crew being bumped may concede the bump before contact is actually made. The next day, the bumping crew will start ahead of any crews that have been bumped. The positions at the end of the last race are used to set the positions on the first day of the races the next year. Oxford and Cambridge Universities hold bumps races for their respective colleges twice a year, and there are also Town Bumps races in both cities, open to non-university crews. Oxford's races are organised by City of Oxford Rowing Club[41] and Cambridge's are organised by the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.
This elegant rowing machine builds strength and stamina by closely simulating a real world rowing experience. Its patented Waterflywheel, which moves through actual water, provides a smooth stroke that exercises 84% of your muscle mass evenly and prevents injuries. When not in use, the WaterRower can be stored vertically against a wall. Made in the USA from ethically sourced walnut wood. Assembly required.
“I always try to reinforce the need to swing over from the hips and not simply by curving you back. This is crucial to avoid injury and to get you into a stronger position to be ready for the next stroke,” says Frandsen. Even as you start to get tired or feel fatigued, don’t allow yourself to slouch or to collapse into the “catch”–swing over early in the stroke and then think about your chest rising up to the catch.
The Waterrower has recently been made famous by Kevin Spacy as the rowing machine used in the ‘House of Cards’. It is a type of wooden rowing machine produced and manufactured by Waterrower Inc. in New England, USA. The rowers were designed by ex-US national team rower john Duke in the mid 1980’s and the company to manufacture them was established in 1988.
While the WaterRower has been around since 1988, it experienced a revival of sorts after its starring role in the Netflix series, House of Cards. The beauty of the machine is that it’s built to blend in with its surroundings, so you don’t have to banish it to your gym dungeon. At CityRow and Orangetheory gyms, the WaterRower is the lead feature of each class. “When I first saw the WaterRower, I thought, ‘Is that the same [machine] as the dusty metal one I’m picturing empty in the corner gym?'” Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of CityRow, says. “When I dug into the specifics of the WaterRower, I learned it was perfect for group fitness and changing the perception people might have historically (from CrossFit, rowing on the water, etc.),” Knapp adds. The machine is smooth, easy-to-use and works for everyone from beginners to experts. The soothing sound of water rushing around the base of the machine is also a big plus.
When you rest! From the “finish” position, the correct sequence is to move the hands away from the body first, then pivot from the hips to get back into that strong body position forward (your shoulders should be in front of your hips) and finally break the knees to roll up the slide to the starting “catch” position. “This movement should be blended together so as not to be too rigid, but the handle needs to get out past your knees before you start to roll up the slide so the handle doesn’t have to go up and over your knees,” says Teti. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that the handle should remain on one horizontal plane for the entire stroke and recovery, instead of bobbing up and down.
I loathe exercise. Will do almost anything to avoid it, like holding down a couch or going to wash a car. But the time came to find something that I could do that would get me into regular exercise and make the most of the time. After researching, I found that rowing was almost universally lauded as a great full body workout that does not abuse your joints, and requires only a minimal time commitment. After searching and researching , the Water Rower consistently came out at the top of the pile. So I spent the big bucks and ordered one.
The model E’s seat stands 6 inches higher. And while the model D’s monitor rests on an adjustable arm, the E’s sits on unbending metal. These few technical differences do nothing to impact ride feel. We recommend the $200-cheaper model D as the best buy, but the Concept 2 E will appeal to anyone who values a higher seat and more solid construction.
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.

It’s time for a revolution — a rowing revolution. For too long, the rowing machine has been the default loner in the corner of the gym that seems to always be available. The desperation needs to end. Rowing machines work three major power groups of muscles — arms, core and legs — and are some of the most efficient power tools. With this one machine, you can target your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, upper back, arms and core. While there may not be an uptick in gym users, there’s undoubtedly an upswing in fitness studios opting to mix in a rowing component or focus on rowing as a critical fixture.
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