Rowing machines are excellent for toning muscles throughout your body as they work your legs, hip, back, arms, shoulders and abs. All this whilst providing a cardio workout that burns up to 800 calories per hour.
Always popular and always busy in the gym, the rower is one mean piece of equipment if you know how to use it. The combination of muscle toning and cardio workout is pretty much unique, and one of the reasons that rowing machines are so popular not just in gyms, but also at home. If you only have the space for one piece of equipment, it’s hard to think of anything that will provide more value for your pound, generally easy to store as most of them you can tip up and store against a wall.
If you want to buy your own rowing machine for great cardio workouts in the comfort of your own home, you need to know what to look for. When you start comparing different models, you’ll quickly find that the biggest difference is between those with magnetic resistance (at the lowest end of the price range) and the water or air resistance models, which are more expensive.
This is an area where you get what you pay for. Rowing machines with magnetic resistance are generally less smooth than water/ air resistance models, they are also far less reliable. For anyone who intends to use their rowing machine on a regular basis, the higher quality of a water air resistance model is the only way to go.
Why? Because the key to these machines is the rowing motion, and only water/ air resistance models offer a smooth, comfortable workout that imitates the feeling of being on the water.
Prices for water resistance models range from around £600 to in excess of £1000 from Water Rower or circa £1000 for air resistance ones from Oartec/ Concept. As you move up the price range you will find an increase in the “bells and whistles” – for example, pre-set programmes or a heart rate monitor – but if your budget is tight, it is vital to look carefully at the options offered on the different models.
Ultimately, you have actually to test out any model that you are considering buying. When you test them out, you need to be looking for a smooth, comfortable feel, a quiet action – you don’t want to work out at home with something that sounds like a 747 taking off – and a seat that glides back and forth easily. You also want an electronic display that is easy to read and simple to use.
If you make a good choice you will get a smooth, good quality machine that enables you to reap the benefits for years to come. The unique combination of cardio and strength work – exercising the whole body while putting little strain on the joints – is why these machines are popular with everyone, men and women, old and young, beginners and fitness fanatics.