Row, Row, Row Yourself to Health

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Before you hop on the treadmill or elliptical machine for another tedious cardio session, scan the gym for a rowing machine and hop on — after 20 or 30 minutes, you’ll be left wondering why you have neglected this incredible piece of equipment for so long.

Rowing: The Calorie Crusher “The health benefits from rowing include a unique combination of cardiovascular endurance and muscular toning and strengthening,” says Nick Karwoski, a nationally ranked triathlete, rowing enthusiast and trainer for Hydrow, the live outdoor reality rower that brings the on-river experience of rowing straight to the home. “Rowing engages 86 percent of your body’s muscles, compared to 44 percent with biking or running, as well as your heart and your lungs. It targets major muscle groups — including your glutes, hamstrings, hips, back and abdominals — while other muscle groups — such as your calves, quads, lats and arms — help support them to reproduce power with every stroke.”

As such, Karwoski says it’s possible to burn up to 400 calories in a 20-minute period of rowing, depending on the intensity.

When to Row Looking for the best way to get your heart rate up, use most of your body’s muscles and improve posture? Add a rowing session in before your straight training or lifting. Rowing — a low-impact sport — is also a great cross-training activity, since it doesn’t put as much stress on your joints and can help strengthen certain areas.

“Since there is an order of physical operation — legs, body, arms; arms, body, legs — during the forward and backward part of every stroke, it is easy to identify limitations, as well,” Karwoski says. “Rowing for 20 to 30 minutes straight through is challenging, but there are many metrics to test your ability and progress. Even 10 minutes of rowing has so many benefits.”

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