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Rowing Machine 101

Time is of the essence these days. The quicker the workout while still being effective, the better. This is the benefit of a full body workout as opposed to a split routine. Maybe the workouts are not as frequent, but they are intense and quick.

How awesome it would be to jump on a machine that could provide you with a full body workout. A machine like that could even be utilized for warm-up and even cooldown work as well because the whole body is being used.


Guess what? There is a machine.


It is the rowing machine.


Gyms everywhere are putting these bad boys front and center in their cardio areas. They have become a staple in the CrossFit culture as well, having workouts based around their use alone. People will jump on them to warm-up, workout, or cool down. They are very versatile in use as well. Many rowing machines have games built in them as well because after a while rowing back and forth can get kind of boring.


The rowing machine pretty much mimics the movement of rowing a boat. Intensity can be adjusted on the machine as well. Many physiologists and fitness experts consider the rowing machine a lower body workout machine because of the involvement of the quads and calves, but it is no secret that the upper body is used as well.


The rowing machine is all pull. When pulling, the legs are used to push the resistance back, but the arms and back pick up a lot of the load. When pulling the handle to the body after the legs have been extended and locked out, the lats are targeted tremendously. This will help out with lat and upper back development as well, helping contribute to the v-taper many lifters aspire to have. By switching the hands to an underhand grip, you can also help target the biceps more. So cardio work aside, the rowing machine contributes to resistance as well. As noted, this is a full body machine with full body effectiveness.


Need to get warmed up or cooled down? Jump on the rowing machine. Keep your pace slow to moderate, allowing the blood to flow and warming up your body’s temperature. This will make the muscles more elastic and supple, getting them ready to go to work. After your workout, jump back on for a good 5-10 minutes, allowing the blood to keep flowing and getting the waste out of the muscles while preventing blood pooling.


Next time you see a rowing machine, you have no excuse not to use it.


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