Indoor rowing machines have gained popularity over the past few years, becoming a staple in many home gyms. Indoor rowers provide a great cardiovascular workout all while focusing on strengthening many different muscle groups, all while offering a low impact cardio option.
Fitness Experience has partnered with industry leaders in rower design in Canada to provide our customers with nothing but the best indoor rowing options. Here is some information we like to share with our customers as they start to consider an indoor rower for their home gym.
SO, WHY CHOOSE AN INDOOR ROWER?
Indoor rowers provide a great full body workout, targeting your upper body, lower body and core. It is one of the most complete, full body workouts that a person can do, all while being a great low impact form of exercise. Furthermore, indoor rowers require little maintenance and have the ability to easily store. These features make indoor rowers a great option to add to any home gym. There are a few different types of rowing machines, such as magnetic rowing, water rowing and rowers that are air or fan based. No matter which types of rower you choose, it will have many benefits for your workout routine.
Water-based designs provide a smooth feel that resembles rowing on the water. Water rowing does not typically have an adjustable resistance system. Instead, the user will dictate the amount of resistance by rowing faster and with more intensity, just like if you were rowing on the water. Some people desire to have an adjustable resistance system, but once you try water rowing I think you'll find it very smooth and once you increase your intensity, the resistance increases pretty quickly. WaterRowers are great for storage. They are light weight and easy to store upright. If you're interested in a water based rower, we recommend looking at the brand WaterRower. They have many different models to choose from. The basic model will come with a console that will display time, distance and calories burned. WaterRower also has a variety of accessories at a very reasonable price, including bluetooth modules, more advanced display, tablet holders for personal digital devices and more. The bluetooth module is a great option to transform your rowing machine into a connected rowing machine.
Here at Fitness Experience our favourite water-based rowers are by WaterRower. WaterRower combines all the benefits of a water-based rower with a stunning aesthetic. Most WaterRowers have a wood frame, available in multiple stain choices to match your home.
Fan or Air Based Designs
Fan-based rowers are durable and smooth oftentimes with the option to increase resistance through a damper, or with a magnetic resistance system. Magnetic rowing is another very popular form of rowing. These rowing machines will often have an adjustable resistance system. A rowing machine, such as the Echelon rower allows you to adjust the resistance on the handlebars, whereas others like the Concept2 have the adjustments near the fan. Much like water based rowers, these machines will come with basic consoles and will display time, distance and calories burned. The Concept2 rowing machine has a limited amount of games on the console, which are a fun addition.
A top pick for fan-based rowers is the Concept2 RowErg (formerly the Model D). Concept2 has been a leader in rower design for many years, making them a trusted brand by home and commercial users.
While there are other types of rowers on the market, we find fan based and water based to be the most popular machine designs for in home use.
Ski-Ergs & Multi-Use units
Another product on the market that uses similar design and components is a skiing ergometer. Much like rowers, skiing ergometers are designed to provide a great full body workout.
One example of a skiing ergometer is the Ski-Row by EnergyFit, which combines a rowing machine with a skiing ergometer. The versatility of this machine provides users with many more workout options, without taking up any additional space.
TYPES OF WORKOUTS
Whether you are on a rower for three minutes or thirty minutes, you are getting a great full body workout! Rowing targets many muscle groups in the body: your upper back, arms, shoulders, quadriceps, glutes and abdominal muscles. Some users may use rowers for high intensity interval training, while others may use it for a long-distance row. Your rower should come with a console that provides basic feedback, such as calories, distance and time. In addition, most rowers will have the ability to pre-set interval programs, or have a distance-based goal if you prefer having that extra push.
Rowing is a uniquely challenging, dynamic workout that helps build both strength, muscle and endurance.
If you are concerned about the noise level of your rower, we recommend looking at a water based or magnetic based design, as these are the types of rowers that provide the quietest workout.
Indoor rowers are long by design in order to accommodate taller users. Most rowers will have the option to either store upright, split into two pieces, or sometimes even fold. Storage of a water based rower will be a little easier than the storage of a fan based rower. Typically it's not advised to have the fan sitting in an upright position. The weight of the machine will also dictate how easily it is stored. Most rowers weight under 100 pounds.
Overall indoor rowers require very little maintenance, however here a few things you'll want to consider.
If you have a water-based design, you will need to put in chlorine purification tablets every few months. It is quite simple; you just drop in the tablet and start rowing.
If your rower uses a chain, like many fan base designs it is recommended that you lubricate the chain every few months. Finally, as with any piece of fitness equipment it is important to keep the machine as clean and if possible, wipe down after every use.
POPULAR ROWING SPECIFIC APPS
The indoor rowing app market has transformed dramatically over the last five years and with more apps entering the scene. Some product specific apps will have the ability to connect to the console in order to track data, as well as have the option to use with a different rower. Below are some of the most popular rowing apps in 2021courtesy of worldrowing.com
With the CITYROW GO at-home rowing app* you can take on-demand classes featuring rowing, cardio, strength training and more from top NYC instructors. CITYROW GO classes offer high-intensity sweat, low-impact burn and total body results. Watch on your phone, tablet, or cast to your smart TV using any rowing machine. For the fully connected experience, use the ComModule available for the S4 monitor or purchase the CITYROW GO Machine by WaterRower. https://www.waterrower.com/us/digital
A rowing app focused entirely on coaching and performance. After downloading the app and paying the membership fee, users can set goals and follow the programmes set up by the Asensei coaches – including none other than Eric Murray. The app provides a series of lessons to help users improve over time. It is available for iOS – and the membership fee is 12.50 USD per month. https://asensei.com/
This iOS app will link to your Concept2 rowing machine. It allows you to choose a workout and will then programme the monitor for you. At the end, it will save your data and give you an analysis of your performance. It also connects to your Strava account. Wireless connection to PM5 monitor, cable connection to PM3 and PM4 monitors. Free to download, login required, in-app paid upgrades. IOS compatible. Android coming soon. https://liverowing.com/
RowVigor offers video workouts both on and off the rowing machine. The instructors in the video give technique and training tips. You can pair the app with a Concept2 PM5 monitor and it will track your progress, or follow the video workout on any indoor rowing machine. Free to download. IOS and Android compatible. https://rowvigor.com/
Kinomap provides workouts, tips, videos and tracking for rowing as well as other sports. You can row, run or cycle around the world while watching pre-filmed courses and getting coached by the Kinomap experts. It also offers challenges and a social aspect. The app is compatible with iOS and Android, but charges a membership fee (free-trial available). https://www.kinomap.com/en/
Additional information on indoor rowers can be found on our website, or by calling your nearest Fitness Experience.