Which Rowing Machine Should I Buy?
A rowing machine is a device that simulates the movement and action of a rowboat or rowing shell. Technically, it is known as an ergometer, a term usually abridged and referred to as erg or ergo. A rowing machine has handles that function as oars as well as a movable seat sliding to and fro.
At the head of a rowing machine, there is a device termed as the flywheel. This is basically a store of kinetic energy and each time the seat moves to the front, the flywheel's rotational energy pushes the seat and the rower, back to the starting position.
Thus, the entire apparatus works like a modified elastic band, with the stretching occurring when the rower moves forward and the reassuming of shapes occurring when the rower eases up to allow the flywheel to take over. The operation of a rowing machine might sound complicated but in reality, it is fairly simple to use.
There are many small and large manufacturers that make rowing machines.
Some of the popular rowing machine brands:
Current studies of user preference seem to indicate that models from Concept2 dominate the market for rowing machines.
Rowing machines are essentially a tool to enable intensive workout sessions and therefore, are not recommended for people who are not inclined towards serious, heavy-duty exercise programs.
In fact, most models of rowing machines are used as training equipment for professional rowers to practice at home. They are designed to maximize effort and test a rower with a plethora of rowing challenges, such as disturbed and hard, maneuver and smooth and shallow rowing conditions. The flywheel can be adjusted to different levels such that the rider will have to use a varying quantum of force to achieve the same movement.
Considerations before buying a rowing machine
For those considering a rowing machine as a device for basic exercises, it is important to be cautious in it's usage. If you are not in great physical shape or not accustomed to intense exercises, you might want to start off with practicing on an indoor cycling machine or a treadmill and work your way up to a rowing machine, once you have achieved some muscular mass.
The rowing machine is an excellent device to build the upper body - shoulders, triceps, biceps and abs. For those interested in bodybuilding, workouts using rowing machines can complement weight training and nutrition supplements.
An important factor to note is that the usage of rowing machines has very little impact on the lower part of your body. Sole dependence on it can result in an imbalance in your body structure, with the upper portion well developed and your legs resembling a pair of stilts, in comparison.
To prevent this, you might want to work with the rowing machine only thrice in a week. For two days, you might want to rest the upper body and work with the lower body only. It is also advisable to ensure sufficient rest to the back between sessions as rowing is stressful on the lower back and neck.