Underrated gym equipment: Rowing machines

At Home Fitness’ Chris Heneschen demonstrates a Life Core Fitness R-100 Rower.

NOTE: This is the first in a series on underrated equipment in the gym. Today, we feature rowing machines.

One of the true hidden gems of the gym is the rowing machine.

Outnumbered and outsized in most professional gyms by treadmills and elliptical machines, and often missing from home gyms, the rowing machine is a throwback piece of equipment that can give amazing results for people who give it a chance.
“We have a lot of people who come into our several Phoenix-area locations who can go for 30 minutes on a treadmill, but they can’t do a rowing machine for 30 minutes,” said Chris Heneschen, a fitness consultant for At Home Fitness working out of the Ahwatukee store. “(The rowing machine) is one of my favorite pieces of equipment there is. It gives you a great, complete-body workout.

“It changes muscle groups as you go,” Heneschen continued. “It’s great for the back and bi’s, and it simulates a squat as you work the legs to drive away.”

One of the top rowing machines available is the LifeCore Fitness R100 Rower (MSRP $1,599.00, AtHomeFitness.com Sale Price $1,299).

It includes a Large LCD “Blue Backlit” Computer Display, 15 Challenging Preset Programs, Adjustable Cooling Air Vent and a Large Ergonomically Designed Seat for Added Comfort.

Whether you go for long rowing sessions, or perform interval training, top-of-the-line rowing machines such as the LifeCore Fitness R100 Rower are surprisingly smooth operators that are easy on the joints and deliver a great workout.
“It’s probably the best piece of workout equipment in the gym,” Dr. Timothy Hosea of the American College of Sports Medicine told Reuters.com. “It’s a total fitness machine. Unlike running or elliptical, where you use your legs, you exercise every major muscle group in the body in a smooth, controlled manner.”

Hosea, an orthopedic surgeon from New Jersey, said the rowing machine burns more calories than running or swimming.
“The average person can easily burn 700 to 750 calories per hour going at a pretty moderate pace,” he said.
So although you may not look as cool as someone running on a treadmill, or riding high on an elliptical, from a seated position on a rowing machine you’re in on the secret that you’ll be getting a great workout.

If you take the time to get the proper form down, the rowing machine can help take you to wherever your fitness goals are.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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