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8/17/12 3:18 P

As a former rower also, I too get a quesy feeling whenever I look at an ergo!

Another tip for rowing is keeping a count of 3, 1 to push back, and 2 to return to the starting position. This is really more to train for the motion of the real boat on the water but has some good effects on the ergo too: you get an explosive push back and even, controlled slide back to start.

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
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8/17/12 12:48 P

Did you know that a rowing machine burns more calories if you work at the same pace as you would on a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical or other cardio machine? It's because it uses your whole body and combines strength training with cardio.

Rowing's fun, but if you're incorporating it with other exercises, you really can just keep it limited to 10 or 15 minutes. Keep it interesting by tracking how many meters you do in a certain period of time, and then try to beat that time later. Set up a fun mix on your ipod and slip it down your shirt or in your pocket so that you don't need to change it while you row.

Your form when you row is supposed to be 60% power from the legs, then 20% the core, then 20% the arms. Reach far forward when you go forward, and don't lean back more than a little when you go backwards. I change it up sometimes by doing ab twists from side to side when I get bored of regular rowing.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,822)
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8/17/12 9:38 A

@CHI - I've been doing the same thing. I do HIITs with running, cycling, and of course in spin, but I just wanted to mix it up a bit more.

I gave the rowing machine a try. That's what I've been using as my warm up on ST days (if it's available; the gym I go to only has one).

I also have done the stair master a few times. Man, I cannot believe I once would go 30 min to an hour on that thing! I don't see that happening again, but it's good to mix things up and hit some different muscles in my cardio.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/17/12 8:49 A

Thanks for the reply


That's good to know! I realized I was only using elliptical recently and felt I had to change my exercise. I always push as hard as I can, and try to beat last time calorie burn, so I should be doing alright.


According to your description, it sounds that it's actually worn out machine. The resistance setting side of the flywheel gets very loose and can't be hold one place. The only place it stays is level 10. And that's not tough setting at all. Probably it's not actual level 10. I'll ask gym employee about it.

I think it could be fun exercise machine if it was working properly. I can see some people would love it. I wish it were perfect condition...

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
8/17/12 4:06 A

2] HIIT can only really be done safely on rowing machines/ stationary bikes

False. Doing any intervals, including HI ones, is possible in any kind of movement. HIIT can safely be performed with running, as well as the elliptical and stair climber type machines.

3] Overuse of tread mills /running can start to irritate your knees and in fact even your back

False. Long term studies show runners have better knees and fewer joint problems than non-runners. The myth persists because all people are susceptible to knee problems. When a runner has knee problems everyone goes "See? Running is bad for your knees", forgetting about all those runners that don't, and all those non-runners that do.

Using good quality shoes and proper running form will not likely irritate your knees and/or back.

SSMITHWC1N SparkPoints: (0)
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8/17/12 4:05 A

Maybe ask at your gym and find out the last time your erg was serviced. It sounds as if the resistance is off. Also, don't make the non-rower's mistake of jacking up the resistance to make the workout "harder". Rowing at a 10 setting for a long period of time won't do much for you. Most training is done at around a 4 or 5.

There are some great tips and workouts at the Concept 2 website that are specific to rowing machines that might help break up a long workout. Ergs aren't just for long "pieces", but can be used to do different kinds of cardio workouts, focusing on different aspects of the rowing stroke. It's also a great website for checking your form. There are videos that will walk you through the different stages of the proper stroke on an erg to make sure you're getting the best workout possible.

Any erg workout is tough, but hang in there. As a former rower, I freely admit that I still can't look at an erg without feeling queasy, but when I was pulling 4 or 5 hour-long pieces on an erg each week, I was in the best shape of my life.

BOB240 SparkPoints: (6,131)
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8/17/12 3:11 A

The benefits of mixing cardio are

1] suppresses boredom - actually this is a big one.
2] HIIT can only really be done safely on rowing machines/ stationary bikes
3] Overuse of tread mills /running can start to irritate your knees and in fact even your back

Running and cycling are very "stiff" exercises - rowing uses full range of movement and I certainly found it helped joint problems.

I find rowing hard. Concept II are very good machines and if I was to buy a cardio machine for home use a Concept II would be it. (I can run outside and I have a bike).

You do have to hit rhythm. Pace is all - don't pull too much from your arms - let your legs do the work. Try to "pull back back" using straight arms and almost falling back using your upper body weight. Only bend your arms to finish the movement.

iPod.. I wrap the wire around my neck to keep that out of the way and attach it on my collar.

Some people really get into rowing and end up enjoying it a lot. I see fitter women on rowing machines than treadmills - they may say something about attitude more than anything!

I would seriously stick with it. You never know when you might twist an ankle, get shin splins, develop a knee problem and rowing will save you. Thery are also great if all the other cardio machine are being used.

It's also a bit like running in that if you ever remember your first run - it was really bad, you didn't know how to breathe, you ran too fast etc.

If you read the first few pages of my blogg from January - they all end by saying "I hate rowing"... the truth is that it is a very good exercise..

Enjoy.. :)

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
8/17/12 2:06 A

If it feels sometimes tight and sometimes loose, it's probably worn equipment.

The good news is - you don't have to change the machine to stop your body getting used to specific exercises! That's a complete myth. So if you don't like the rower - stop using it. Go back to any machines you actually LIKE to use, and use those. Exclusively, if you like.

Just make sure that you always challenge yourself with inclines, resistances, speeds, and other settings. Use intervals sometimes and steady state other times.

These changes are more than enough to stop your body from "getting used to it". You only need to ensure you don't do "3mph on a 1% incline for 20 minutes every day for six months". THAT would let you "get used to it". If you change the incline, the speed, or the intervals that you do, your body remains unadjusted and inefficient - like you want.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/16/12 11:31 P

I'm rotating cardio machines to prevent my body gets used to specific exercise. This week, it's rowing machine!

but eek. it is... very stoic exercise (=_=

I have to provide every movements, and keep momentum on myself. I can't even wipe my face with my towel nor operate my iPod. I have to keep rowing. It's very... umm, I don't know...

Anyway, have a question. I'm having hard time to keep my rowing challenging. I try to pull flywheel chain by constant manner, place my hands same start/end position, and keep good pose, constant pulling speed, but its resistance is sometime hard, sometime loose. It is that difficult to keep rowing same pace?

There is only one rowing machine in my gym and can't tell if my form is not perfect and causing uneven movement, or it's just a worn out machine (it does look so). It's Concept II, supposedly world leading rowing machine.

Any idea or tips how to use it properly?

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