Water Rowing Machines
By Mike Armstrong
Rowing Machines and Water Rowing Machines - An Overview
Indoor rowing machines are a very popular form of exercise machine. They imitate the action of rowing a boat in the water. You slide back and forth on a seat as you pull on the oars, just as you would in a real boat. Rowing has long been acknowledged as one of the finest types of all round exercise.
There are several main types of rowing machine available. The earlier rowers used cheaper hydraulic pistons. These are not recommended nowadays.They tend to give a high resistance at the start of the stroke and less as you pulled through. The newer types of rower give a much better sense of really rowing through water. They achieve this by use of graphite composites and using flywheel tanks filled with water. Other machines use air resistance or magnetic resistance. Water rowers have the big advantage of offering a constant even resistance. The water rower emulates how a boat moves through the water, as though you are simply overcoming the drag of the hull in the water. The resistance is constant throughout the movement. Some rowers have a resistance knob or adjustable resistance, but in most cases you do not - you increase your exercise workout by simply rowing faster. When you have experienced rowing on a 'water rower', you will not want to use anything else.
Rowing is a actually a very efficient burner of energy, up to possibly eight hundred calories an hour. It gives an total body cardiovascular workout. You will have the benefits of toning up back, arms, shoulders and your abdomen muscles. It will stretch and tighten up your legs wonderfully.
One of the big advantages of an indoor rower is that because of the sitting position, the users body weight is removed from the areas of the body that are injury prone, such as the hips, knees and ankles. This is one reason that many competitive rowers are still rowing well into their seventies. The exercise can be very gentle and even relaxing, or it can be as vigorous as you like. These machines can be used by anyone from youngsters to senior citizens.
The only caution in using any rowing machine is that you do have to beware of back strain if you overdo it. The best method for keeping injury free is to concentrate on your breathing and the timing of the movements. You must get the right rhythm, exhale on the drive and inhale on the recovery. The technique for the stroke is to use the large muscles of your thighs to do the majority of the work in the stroke. Do not make the mistake of using your upper body to do all the work. Non-rowers frequently make this mistake. Make sure that the upper body never goes too far forwards or backwards, which will help protect your back. Keep your elbows close to your body. Remember that you do not have to attack this like a maniac to get the benefit. Be sensible and build it up bit by bit and you will reap the rewards.
Sometimes home machines can be folded up for ease of storage, but the better water filled rowing machines are probably best left set up. You are more likely to use a rower if it is there and ready for use in an instant. Most machines, particularly the water rowers, are very quiet in action, which is always good in a home environment.
Indoor rowing has now become so popular that there are a large number of championships around the world. Lots of different classes in these allow entries from of all age groups, teenagers through to rowers of over ninety. It has moved on from simply a form of exercise. The resistance on the machines can be individually adjusted to make it fair to everyone involved.
So, in summary, rowing machines are probably the most effective cardiovascular exercise available, used in a responsible manner. As a fun and enjoyable exercise, indoor rowing has elevated beyond simply working out, to a worldwide competitive sport.
It really is just like going for a row down the river but in your own home and without getting so wet!