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View Full Version : Is the rowing machine a superior form of cardio?



GMCtrk
01-21-2005, 10:19 PM
My friend introduced me to the rowing machine today, and wow, I only did it for like 2-3 minutes all out, it was quite a workout! I imagine ~45 mins on that thing would work up a good sweat. My question is, is that any better than say riding the bike or getting on the eliptical? Thanks!

Ares
01-21-2005, 10:24 PM
I like it more than other cardio machines.

Adam
01-21-2005, 10:26 PM
It uses more muscle then the bike, more upper body then the eleptical.
Do what you enjoy.(for cardio)

GMCtrk
01-21-2005, 11:41 PM
Do what you enjoy.(for cardio)

I don't like any cardio :study:

I haven't done any in about 5 months, just pure bulking baby :dj:

The Real TO
01-22-2005, 07:18 AM
The row machine is the best cardio workout by far. Not running on a treadmill or spinning, or anything else. If you can do the row machine at a level of about 500 meters every 2 minutes, you are kicking ass. And if you can sustain that intensity for 30-45 minutes you are doing things right. I'm not the biggest cardio fan, but when I see someone going all out on a row machine I've got some respect for them, rather than someone on a treadmill watching TV, and hitting on some gym bunny.

dissipate
01-22-2005, 07:44 AM
why would cardio on the row machine be better than cardio on the treadmill or elliptical assuming HR is the same?

J450n
01-22-2005, 07:48 AM
Preferred the rower when i trained in the gym (train at home now). Do some boxing instead now.

GMCtrk
01-22-2005, 08:27 AM
Cool thanks guys I will hit up the rowing machine! :)

The thing I like about it, it's in a secluded place in the gym, and the spinny things makes TONS of air to keep you cool

Keith Wassung
01-22-2005, 09:33 AM
In addition to be a great exercise, is also has positive effects on your overall health. When you fire the deep postural muscles of the spine ( which happens in rowing) You cause the mechanoreceptors in your joints to fire input into the brain. The brain is a lot like a power plant in that it needs input ( think of a windmill) in order to generate output. When you perform the rowing, you are bombarding the CNS with neurological input and this has a pronounced influence on the function of your nervous system, including how you think--ever notice that after a good hard workout-althought you might be tired but your mind is sharp and crystal clear-its because of the endorphins released and the mechanoreceptors firing. In addition, people who engage in life long activities that involve movements that fire the deep postural muscles, such as rowing, swimming (some strokes) cross country skiing, almost NEVER get degenerative neurological disorders- ie Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc.

I like the Concept 2 rower-or one that allows you to modify the intensity and performance

Keith

Adam
01-22-2005, 12:07 PM
^^^ I never knew that. Thanks for the input.

waynis
01-22-2005, 12:13 PM
I don't like it cause you can create a pattern over load. Your gonna be working primarily your lats. Unless your competing for actual rowing I see no use for it. Running, jump rope and eliptical are the best forms of cardio.

Keith Wassung
01-22-2005, 12:43 PM
I don't like it cause you can create a pattern over load. Your gonna be working primarily your lats. Unless your competing for actual rowing I see no use for it. Running, jump rope and eliptical are the best forms of cardio.

only the lats? what do you hang on to the bar with, do you keep your legs completely straight? The seated rowing exercise works the entire body, the deep postural muscles of the spine and your cardiovascular system-and the great thing about it is that it is largely non-weight bearing, meaning you dont have the repetitive pounding on the joints.

waynis
01-22-2005, 01:07 PM
your extending your shoulders which makes the lats the primary mover. I agree there's not much impact at all which is benificial on the joints but visualize a seated cable row. There's not much diffrence except your sliding and getting more hip movement.

accuFLEX
01-22-2005, 01:36 PM
what burns more cals.....a cross trainer or a rowing machine?

GMCtrk
01-22-2005, 01:42 PM
your extending your shoulders which makes the lats the primary mover. I agree there's not much impact at all which is benificial on the joints but visualize a seated cable row. There's not much diffrence except your sliding and getting more hip movement.

I don't know man, my friend was introducing me to the exercise, and to begin the pull you are really supposed to drive with your legs. You don't really pull back until; the end of the motion

REFLUX
01-23-2005, 03:04 PM
This is a topic I can shed some light on.
I was the coxswain on the rowing team at my high school & we had a huge rowing program (competitive on a national level)

Proper rowing form goes as so:
-In the "starting" position (hands stretched out, knees & back bent)
-You extend your body by first pushing with your legs, then pulling with your back, then pulling your arms (so legs -> back -> arms)
-At the "finish" (full extension) your knees should be straight, elbows bent & tucked in beside your ribs and your back should be reclined (leaning back)

Majority of your power is drawn from the legs (biggest muscle in the body, most strength) with the back & arms primarily helping to get you the widest stroke possible (wide stroke = more displaced water = faster)

So if you are using the Ergometer (technical name for rowing machine) with proper form, you shouldn't feel much strain on your back & arms.


Hope that helps :)

Ironman_1964
01-23-2005, 04:26 PM
Running is the best form of Cardio in terms of burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Remember the key to any form of Cardio is maintaining your heart rate in the fat burning zone.

Canadian Crippler
01-23-2005, 11:37 PM
Running is the best form of Cardio in terms of burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Remember the key to any form of Cardio is maintaining your heart rate in the fat burning zone.Exactly. Which is why cardio wise it really doesn't matter if you run, use an elliptical, or the rowing machine. With all 3 you can keep your heart rate high, therefore I personally recommend using what you enjoy more.

dissipate
01-24-2005, 05:26 AM
:withstupi

JMW
01-25-2005, 10:52 AM
I don't like it cause you can create a pattern over load. Your gonna be working primarily your lats. Unless your competing for actual rowing I see no use for it. Running, jump rope and eliptical are the best forms of cardio.

And you have no idea what you're talking about.

I never puked after a race because my lats were on fire. I puked because it felt like someone was pouring molten lava all over my quadriceps. I finished races staring at my coxswain as if I were lookin at him in the end of a looney tunes cartoon (when the screen goes black except for a gradually shrinking hole in the center). My lats were huge and overdeveloped yes, but my quads even more so. The vast majority of the drive in a rowing stroke is developed with the legs. Back and arms are simply the finishing out of the stroke, merely trying to maintain some of the power that the legs created and carry it through to the release at the end.

I rowed competitively for a large university for a number of years. I competed at an International level on the rowing machine at an event in Boston that draws olympians from all over the world. During my heat I sat next to one of the guys that would go on that summer to represent the United States at the Olympics in Sydney. Certified badazz he was.

The rowing machine is absolutely the best form of cardio machine I know of. If all you are doing is trying to elevate your heart rate, anything will do, if you are attempting to become a better all around athlete, the erg will help you develop a good bit of muscular endurance to do so.

Additionally, if you are going to incorporate some erging (rowing) into your program, get some advice on technique, either at the concept II website at www.concept2.com and look under technique. It is a great form of exercise, but as in lifting technique is vitally important. And lastly, theres no reason to row with the machine on a setting of 7 or higher on the side of the fan. Higher settings really tend to load up your lower back at the beginning of the stroke and can lead to soreness if not an injury. I was an extremely competitive rower and never raced/trained with a setting above a 4. It's simply not necessary.

It's also the best way I know of to warm up for a few minutes prior to lifting. Gets the blood flowing to all of the major muscle groups.

JMW

waynis
01-25-2005, 10:57 AM
And you have no idea what you're talking about.

I never puked after a race because my lats were on fire. I puked because it felt like someone was pouring molten lava all over my quadriceps. I

The rowing machine is not a exact replica of real rowing. Real rowing has a lot more involved. You should know that.

JMW
01-25-2005, 11:40 AM
The rowing machine is not a exact replica of real rowing. Real rowing has a lot more involved. You should know that.

They both involve your quads much more than your lats. Furthermore, real rowing involves the lats much moreso than the machine in the gym, as they are somewhat involved in setting the boat while on the water.

JMW

Keith Wassung
01-25-2005, 12:19 PM
Nice post JMW, completely agree

Geeper
01-25-2005, 01:19 PM
Running is the best form of Cardio in terms of burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Remember the key to any form of Cardio is maintaining your heart rate in the fat burning zone.

From what I've been reading skipping rope is actually better than running. Skipping burns the same amount of calories as running at 8 mph!!!! And although it's still high impact it's easier on your joints than running that fast for extended periods of time.

We had a great laugh at this at the gym, till we tried it. Only one of us (and we all can run for long extended times 30-40 minutes plus) could do it for more than 10 minutes. Then one buddy came in who's 62, and ex-boxer and just cut (most people think he's 30) and had a good laugh at us cause he skips rope everyday. Another buddy showed up later and we told him how foolish we had looked trying it, and he told us he skips all the time, something he learned from his pro hockey days.

I always found rowing great too, but found I ended up overtraining my legs and back. I just found running and skipping took less muscular effort and thus didn't hamper any gains.

Mr Joshua
01-25-2005, 02:09 PM
In addition, people who engage in life long activities that involve movements that fire the deep postural muscles, such as rowing, swimming (some strokes) cross country skiing, almost NEVER get degenerative neurological disorders- ie Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc.

Huh?

Eddan
01-26-2005, 04:19 AM
"From what I've been reading skipping rope is actually better than running. Skipping burns the same amount of calories as running at 8 mph!!!!"

Running at 8 mph isn't really that fast.
(Don't want to sound like a bitch, but it still needed to be said.)

fen2zla
01-26-2005, 05:08 AM
Running at 8 mph isn't really that fast.
(Don't want to sound like a bitch, but it still needed to be said.)

It is for my lazy arse!
:D

Geeper
01-26-2005, 07:43 AM
8 mph for 30 or more minutes is quite fast even to experienced runners, sure it's easy to jump on a treadmill and try 8 mph, but to do it for extended periods is something else. If you can run at 8 mph for extended periods maybe you should take up running instead of weightlifting

Vido
01-26-2005, 10:51 AM
"From what I've been reading skipping rope is actually better than running. Skipping burns the same amount of calories as running at 8 mph!!!!"

Running at 8 mph isn't really that fast.
(Don't want to sound like a bitch, but it still needed to be said.)

I agree completely, and to compare running at such a moderate pace to skipping rope is stupid. CLEARLY running at that pace is easier to continuous skipping for 30 minutes, so if they burn the same amount of calories I don't know why you'd ever consider skipping (except perhaps for a change in your routine).

Vido
01-26-2005, 10:53 AM
Remember the key to any form of Cardio is maintaining your heart rate in the fat burning zone.

Not true. The key to any form of cardio is burning calories, whether they come from carbs or fat. If you try to stay in the fat burning zone, you are limiting the number of calories you could be burning in a given period of time because you're not working very hard.

This, among other reasons, is why HIIT is the best form of cardio.

GMCtrk
01-26-2005, 02:34 PM
well guys I got on the rowing machine today and WOW...just WOW

talk about a FULL body workout, my legs felt like I had just got done with squat day, and back felt like I had just deadlifted lol.

I wanted to ease into using this machine so I did 1000 meters 3 separate times. I was on a pace of about 500m every 2:09.

Great workout! :)

The Real TO
01-26-2005, 04:00 PM
Nice work. That is a good start. You have got to ease yourself into this machine because it can tear you apart if you aren't ready for the pain. Keep up the good work, and try to get that pace under 2 minutes for 10 straight minutes. After you can do that, bump it up to 12, 14, 16, etc, but try to keep the 500m interval under 2 minutes.

GMCtrk
01-26-2005, 04:49 PM
Nice work. That is a good start. You have got to ease yourself into this machine because it can tear you apart if you aren't ready for the pain. Keep up the good work, and try to get that pace under 2 minutes for 10 straight minutes. After you can do that, bump it up to 12, 14, 16, etc, but try to keep the 500m interval under 2 minutes.

Sure thing, will try to get that 500m in 2 mins! I plan on slowly increasing the distance. Next time I will probably try 1500 meter intervals and see how I do.