by Nicole Wilkes
Photography courtesy of @criboston on Instagram
Rowing is a cardiovascular godsend. Regular rowing workouts are known to increase lung capacity and the efficiency with which they supply oxygen to the blood. They are also great for strengthening the heart by lowering overall heart rate and blood pressure. In addition to the aerobic benefits, rowing is great for loosening the joints without straining them.
A total-body workout. Rowing works the major muscle groups in the back, legs and arms. The intense cardiovascular element of rowing means it’s perfect for burning fat. Plus, its ability to loosen the joints makes the workout ideal for anyone who leads a sedentary lifestyle and is looking to become more active.
Proper technique for rowing machines
Many people get on a rowing machine and almost exclusively use their arms to pull the handles to their chest, but that technique is incorrect. Your legs should actually be doing most of the work.
Start with your legs bent and your seat positioned at the front of the machine. Holding the handle out in front of you with arms straight. Then, straighten your legs and use this motion alone to push backwards. After you have extended your legs completely, pull backwards further with your back. Then, pull the handles to the middle of your chest. Return to the starting position by bending your legs sliding back to your original position at the front of the machine.
Where to find it
Any gym or health center should have at least one indoor rowing machine. If you’re looking to get outside, Boston is home to many adult rowing clubs, thanks to the utilization of the Charles River.
Check out Community Rowing for the real deal—outdoor rowing along the Charles. Alternatively, many fitness studios, such as Burn Fitness Studios, offer indoor rowing classes.