We asked MINT”s Intensity Director, Braegan Padley for some tips for first-time rowers, and here’s what she shared!
The rowing machine, called the ergometer, or “erg” for short, was originally designed for rowers who needed a way to train on land during the off-season. But it’s not just for rowers. More and more, gym-goers and fitness junkies are incorporating rowing into their workout routines. Here’s a look at why you should consider adding rowing to your gym lineup:
- Rowing is one of the most, if not the most, efficient exercises to improve your overall fitness. Because rowing has both anaerobic and aerobic benefits – meaning you are taxing your muscles (anaerobic) as well as respiratory and cardiovascular systems (aerobic) – it allows you to improve your stamina, strength, and flexibility in just a short amount of time.
- Studies have shown that rowing burns 2-3 times the calories compared to cycling and running for the same duration.
- It is a true total-body workout. During the course of each stroke, you engage an estimated 85% of your muscles. Pretty impressive for a seated exercise.
- Rowing is low impact, making it a great choice for those looking to be gentle on their joints.
- Rowing can help improve your posture, by forcing you to sit tall and pull your shoulders back on every stroke.
- Those unfamiliar with rowing often think it’s an upper-body workout, but rowing is actually about 70% legs! The remaining power comes from the combination of your core, back, and arms.
- It is NOT a weight machine. Although we do incorporate resistance (known as “drag”), a higher resistance doesn’t necessarily equal a more intense workout. In fact, a lower drag is most often a more effective and safer workout no matter your fitness level. You should never row with the max drag for an extended period of time — it’s a recipe for a lower back injury.
What to Know Before Your First Power Row Class:
- Rowing is for everybody! The erg is a low-impact, effort-based machine, meaning regardless of age, experience, or fitness level you can participate and get a great workout.
- Arrive a few minutes early so your instructor can help you adjust the equipment and familiarize you with the rowing machine.
- Power Row is an interval-style class, so you’ll have opportunities for breaks. We’re not rowing for 50 solid minutes.
- Focus on the basics during your first class and have fun!