Buying Guide: How to Choose a Rowing Machine

Buying Guide: How to Choose a Rowing Machine

May 07, 20220 comments

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have now been trapped in our homes since Mid-March when the provincial government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses as a way to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19. While the infection rate has since slowed and a gradual economic recovery seems to be on the horizon, the question on everyone’s mind is how long it will take to get back to a sense of ‘normalcy’. The truth is that nobody knows, not even the national health ministry.

While this is happening outside our doors, inside we are left with more time on our hands than ever before but also having less options than ever before on what to do with that free time. Physical exercise is vital to a person's health with aerobic and anaerobic exercise helping with weight management, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and increased blood pressure. It equally helps to lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of diabetes and assist in stronger bones and muscles which in turn leads to a lower risk of developing osteoporosis.

Rowing machine benefits include being a good example of a convenient indoor physical stimulus which constitutes a type of anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is a type of exercise which is more focused on bone and muscle growth in comparison to the more cardio and endurance-based training of aerobic exercises. Seated rowing machines were created in 1981 to be used as a training aid for competitive athletes. Ever since, it has evolved into a general exercising machine, one that you’ve probably already seen in your local gym.

What should I look for when buying a rowing machine?

The most important factors to consider when purchasing a rowing exercise machine are the size, storage, noise, and usability. For one, when typing in “rowing machine Canada '' or “rowing machine for sale”, find one that suits your size since models range from supporting 220 lbs to 270lbs in weight and more. The size can also differ in terms of length so make sure to check the dimensions to see if you are able to maintain your proper rowing form.

The “how to use a rowing machine” portion involves straight arms, a neutral head, level shoulders, vertical shins and upper body leaning forward. If it proves to be too small, consider another model. Different types of rowing machines also produce different levels of noise and if you are living in an apartment block, that may be a significant concern and an important factor in your buying process. The usability is determined by how easy it is to catch onto what to do and the level of maintenance required. These factors are discussed in the next section.

Which type of rowing machine is best?

There are 4 different types of rowing machines: hydraulic rowing machines, air rowing machines, magnetic, and water/fluid. While rowing machine reviews differ, let’s go down the list of what actually differentiates the lot.

  1. Hydraulic Rowing Machines: Best option when it comes to space and/or storage as well as when it comes to cost efficiency. Receives its tension from the air compressed within its cylinder. Doesn’t allow for pulling in a straight line and thus a natural rowing motion.
  2. Air Rowing Machines: Gets resistance from the blades that are spun as a result of your rowing. Therefore, the harder you row, the greater the resistance. This results in a more natural and continuous stroke. On the other hand, the noise may be a bit of a concern.
  3. Magnetic Rowing Machines: These are known for providing a fluid stroke motion while also being virtually silent. It uses a magnetic brake system that produces no friction and thus, no sound.
  4. Water-Based Rowing Machines: these are designed to emulate the rowing of a boat as much as possible. The machine receives its resistance from the effect of drag as water moves through the tank. These machines are also generally silent.

Should I buy a rower?

There’s no reason not to. Especially in times such as these where physical activity is at an all-time low with no real options available to us after the closures of gyms, community centres and parks alike. Rowers work on many different muscle groups such as your rhomboids (upper back), latissimus dorsi (mid back on both sides of the torso), quadriceps, hamstrings, your core muscles(abs) and additionally your biceps and triceps. This type of all-body workout is important for not overworking one part of your body whilst neglecting another.

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

While losing belly fat is definitely possible with rowing machine workouts, since this is an example of anaerobic exercise, this is more focused on building bone and muscle. Aerobic exercise is more efficient when it comes to losing fat. It is recommended that a beginner starts off with aerobic exercise before transitioning to anaerobic exercise since anaerobic exercise is more likely to cause injuries without proper technique or from overstressing your muscles. Aerobic exercise is lighter on your body and thus doesn't put as much strain on you, during aerobic exercise, you’ll usually know when a good time is to stop.

Walking or Rowing, which is Better?

It depends on your priorities. Walking is a form of aerobic fitness in which one focuses more on endurance and general fitness while anaerobic fitness is more focused on building bone and muscle. If you are just starting out and out of shape, it is recommended to start off with walking to get up to shape enough to begin exercising at a level where you can handle more stressful exercises such as rowing.

How long should you row for a day?

That honestly depends on the goals you are setting for yourself. Whether you want to take it nice and slow or whether you already feel confident and optimistic is what will decide how long you should row for daily. After 15-20 minutes of rowing daily you will begin to see results but that shouldn’t stop you from going for more. If you feel your body is giving out on you, keep going but not too far. So purchase a rowing machine for sale today! One tool for all of your daily exercise needs.

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