The rowing machine is an exerciser with which it is possible to simulate the sporting activity of rowing even in the gym or at home. It is a tool consisting essentially of a track on which a movable trolley, the seat, and a flywheel placed at the end of the track slides. To this is attached a chain, or rubber bands, which determine the resistance factor. Using a handlebar, the athlete pulls the chain towards himself, placing his feet on the platforms.
There is also a small display with various functions: it measures the duration of the workout, the “virtually” distance traveled, the speed, the calories consumed and the heartbeats. Its invention is of two American brothers, engineers and Olympic rowers, in 1976 when Pete and Dick Dreissigacker combined their passion for rowing with the precision of technical design to develop a machine that would allow them to train and paddle indoors, during the winter, when low temperatures froze the waters.
Thus was born the first rowing simulator, which immediately became very popular , also arousing the interest of those who had not rowed before. The boom in activities related to fitness and traditional gymnastics has contributed significantly, in recent years, to the spread in gyms and especially in private homes. of numerous tools, including the rowing machine. It is a tool consisting of a hinge structure to which an adjustable seat, a footrest and two rotating arms are fixed. Designed to allow the user to perform a movement similar to that of a rower, it allows to train mainly the torso and upper limbs, without however neglecting the lower muscles.
The constant practice over time of exercises related to the use of this tool contributes to the development and maintenance of muscle mass , therefore it is remarkably suitable for the daily training of both professional athletes and amateur athletes belonging to the most varied disciplines, as well as for their gradual recovery from any injuries or traumas suffered. The benefits guaranteed by regular use also make it particularly suitable for the development of exercises practiced by fitness lovers and ordinary people who can thus heal in a simple, but at the same time adequate, their physical shape for both aesthetic and healthy reasons. .
But what exactly are all the benefits of using a rowing machine?
– Reduces stress , anxiety and depression.
– Decreases high blood pressure .
– Reduces the cholesterol rate .
– Reduces the risk of heart attack by 50% .
– Decreases the percentage of your fat mass (using the rowing machine three times a week for about 20 minutes will be of great help if you intend to lose weight).
– improves your cardiovascular system .
The rower is a tool that allows you to train the upper and lower muscles at the same time. The training that this tool can provide is really one of the most complete, since it allows you to associate the training of the cardiovascular system with the strengthening of the muscles. The rowers engage the 80% of the muscles of the body. The muscles mainly used are those of the thighs, buttocks, back, biceps and shoulders. A rowing machine involves, in fact, different muscles of your body, toning the upper limbs and lower limbs at the same time, allowing you to strengthen your shoulders, arms, back, pectorals, abdominals, thighs and calves in a more or less intense way. . By alternating push-ups and extensions, you can train both the front and the back of your legs and arms.
From the first rowers on the market, giant steps have been made up to a tool that reproduces the gestures and sensations of rowing by exploiting the air resistance produced by a fan. From this a new discipline is born: indoor rowing, a mix of rowing and fitness, to the beat of music. This sport soon spread as it is a particular training tool because the resistance of the machine is directly proportional to the strength that the athlete uses.
It turns out to be a very effective sport because it puts all the main muscle groups to work, and not only the shoulders and forearm, but also the muscles of the fingers, abdominals, dorsals and entirely also the legs. It is a complete workout, therefore, which allows you to improve physical strength and tone the muscles. But there is also another very important benefit that sees our heart as the protagonist: increased cardiac resistance and cardiovascular and respiratory benefits in general.
What risks can indoor rowing bring?
To do indoor rowing you have to be healthy as a fish ; in fact this sport is not recommended for those suffering from hypertension and for those with heart problems. The effort caused by the movement raises the blood pressure and this can be dangerous in these cases.
It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor, preferably a cardiologist, before engaging in this sport, even if you do not want to practice it at a competitive level, especially if you have not been physically active for a long time. It is also advisable to avoid indoor rowing if you have shoulder and knee problems.
How long can an indoor rowing workout last?
It can last from 20 to 40 minutes , but you need to do some warm-up and stretch first to stretch the muscles, like any good instructor would recommend.
How to use the rowing machine?
– The movement of a rower must be performed in 2 stages : first the push is given by the legs, then by the arms.
– The back must always remain straight, the torso does not participate in the movement.
– During the movement the legs must not be stretched to the maximum: this in fact would have negative consequences on the knee joints.
– During the push, the legs must remain parallel and keep the same distance.
– The shoulders must remain low as they participate in the movement by bringing the shoulder blades together.
– Never release the pull bar while pulling.
– Check the position of the footrests : if your arms are not stretched correctly in the initial pulling position, it means that the footrests are incorrectly adjusted.
This sport can also be easily practiced at home , with rowers smaller than those for the gym and therefore cheaper but just as efficient. You can buy them in specialized shops and also online.