Aside from watchingthe sport during the Olympics, or briefly examining the rowing machines at alocal gym, many do not consider rowing as an activity they could add to theirworkout routine. However, trainerssuggest those struggling with a plateau or looking for new training methodsshould try rowing and reap the numerous benefits it has to offer.
U.S. Rowing, theadministrative organization for the sport in America, cites rowing as one of thefew total body exercises. The lower bodyis heavily utilized through the movements as the quadriceps, hamstrings, andgluteal muscles must all work together to allow hip and knee extension tocontinue moving forward. In addition tothe legs, the upper body must utilize the largest muscle groups in the back andchest to coordinate the rowing motion and increase momentum. Abdominals are engaged as the rower pushesback to prevent the body from pulling into a flexed position.
In addition to being afull body workout, rowing is also a low impact activity. The machine allows for smooth movement andresistance adjustment to suit various fitness levels. Being in a seated position refrains fromputting any impact on the joints, and the movements themselves assist inincreasing flexibility by requiring full extension of the joints and musclesduring periods of the movement.
By allowing theperson to adjust resistance, rowing is an exercise suitable for all ages andfitness levels. The rhythmic movementincreases both endurance and cardiovascular health without adding impact andstrain from other activities. Many lakesand rivers offer rowing classes, and the machines can be found in most athleticclubs. Overall, rowing is a userfriendly workout that provides total body conditioning and can help a personeither get started on an exercise program, or break through a plateau they’vebeen struggling with.
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