Rowing machines replicate the actions involved with rowing a boat on water, and are great exercise machines to improve your cardiovascular fitness. They provide a full-body workout, and allow you to take part in low-impact exercise, which helps prevent joint injuries.
How to use a rowing machine
When using a rowing machine, you sit on a small seat which glides forwards and backwards on a thin bar, with your legs attached to foot holders. These keep you secure as you hold onto the rowing handle and move back and forth.
Your knees will be bent and your whole body close to the front when you begin to pull the handle backwards. You then push back with your legs until they are outstretched, and pull the handle towards your stomach as you push back. You then return to your original position to complete one stroke.
Some rowing machines have an option which allows you to change the resistance you face with each stroke, such as having a dial ranging from one to ten, for example, with ten indicating the maximum resistance possible.
Rowing machines can provide intense interval training, or slow continuous training, and the range of training you can perform is a great advantage for this system.
For those looking to have a piece of cardio equipment in their own home, rowing machines are one of the best options you can choose for a full-body workout. A standard new one may cost you approximately £100, but cheaper ones are available.
There are a number of things to consider however before you purchase a rowing machine; they are rather loud, quite large, and if you have wooden floors, they may slide around whilst you use them.
Physiotherapy with rowing machines
Because using a rowing machine means you are taking part in low-impact exercise, you may use them to gradually regain fitness if you have sustained an injury, because your joints will not be under much pressure.
However, you should talk to your doctor before taking part in exercise if you are injured, and also be aware that lower-back pain is quite a common injury sustained during rowing. It is therefore important for you to have the correct posture when you row.