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  1. #1
    Registered User BiomedDood's Avatar
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    Question Rowing machine..most underrated indoor equipment?

    My daughter is in cross-country running and has started competing in high school. Their coach has started getting the girls onto indoor rowing machine for endurance (outside of other warmups, etc).

    My daughter urged me to get a machine for home use so I got a cheap $300 one from Walmart and set it up last night. I've done rowing before but never cared for it.

    For the heck of it, I did a 30 min nonstop session and I was sweating like a pig by the time I got done and whole body/muscles was tense. Unlike running, no pain on the joints ..just muscle pain. Definitely burns up the quads/thigh muscles with all the pushing. I don't lift heavy anymore cos I'm old :-) but I'm gonna try hitting heavy squats next round following a rowing session.

    I have mild arthritis too so having a machine that has less impact on the joints is always a plus! Now that I recall, when I used to use a local gym, the rowing machines were always either 1) empty 2) used mainly by females.
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  2. #2
    Registered User shaneinga's Avatar
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    I have never met anyone who can out row a rower. It will give you all you are willing to take.
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  3. #3
    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    I will have to agree. I'm looking to get one myself.
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  4. #4
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    I have an on/off relationship with them, currently it's "off" and I don't even look at them in the gym, but the times I've used one regularly, what I really found beneficial was 1 minute really slow barely even moving then 1 minute absolutely all out sprint.

    It's surprising just how few cycles of that you need to be really beaten up. The real opposite of LISS (low intensity steady state) so an ideal compliment to a base of LISS.

    Any old rowing machine will do for me, but my BIL is a competitive rower (actually competes in a boat for a club, all very serious) he says that water ones (rather than fan) are much better and much quieter. If you live in a condo (apartment/flat) it makes a big difference
    Last edited by OldFartTom; 10-17-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Cantplankwell's Avatar
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    We bought a Concept 2 rower a couple of years ago for our home garage gym. I was exposed to it initially in cross-fit where it was programmed extensively.

    Out of all the stuff we have in our garage it has had the best overall value:

    Summary;

    Its the only piece of gear that everyone in the house including my wife uses, year round.

    Probably one of the few cardio activities that will build some muscle.

    Its low impact.

    Works pretty much every muscle in your body.

    Like Vegas...where the house always wins...so will the rower...you cant overpower it and beat it.

    The calorie counter on the unit is very accurate, if you are cutting calories out you can use this machine to accurate expend calories...need to burn 500 calories.....row 500 calories, no guesswork.

    Busy day?.....You can shoehorn in a brutal... soul destroying work out in very short order. Ask anyone who has rowed competitively.

    Only drawback of the c2 is it takes up a lot of room, it will stand up, but not in low headroom places like a basement. The C2 breaks down into two pieces so it can be moved a little easier.
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  6. #6
    Registered User andy0w's Avatar
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    It's great for knee rehabilitation.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Rowers are great but like most things once you become accustom to it the benefit aren't as great as in the beginning.
    Of course it will still work but doing the same thing week in and week out will be less effective.
    Everything works well for about six weeks then its time to rotate to something different.
    A couple other things for me that are easier on the joints are an air dyne bike and the kettle bell swing.
    The swing does have a learning curve bit once you learn it will kick you butt cardio wise.
    So i rotate these different movements month to month or do different things through the week.
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  8. #8
    Registered User willybrokeback's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Rowers are great but like most things once you become accustom to it the benefit aren't as great as in the beginning.
    Of course it will still work but doing the same thing week in and week out will be less effective.
    Everything works well for about six weeks then its time to rotate to something different.
    A couple other things for me that are easier on the joints are an air dyne bike and the kettle bell swing.
    The swing does have a learning curve bit once you learn it will kick you butt cardio wise.
    So i rotate these different movements month to month or do different things through the week.
    I like the KB swing, but sometimes it hurts my back and sometimes it does not- the problem is I cannot figure out if its my form or just my spazy back acting up.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Cantplankwell's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Rowers are great but like most things once you become accustom to it the benefit aren't as great as in the beginning.
    Of course it will still work but doing the same thing week in and week out will be less effective.
    Everything works well for about six weeks then its time to rotate to something different.
    A couple other things for me that are easier on the joints are an air dyne bike and the kettle bell swing.
    The swing does have a learning curve bit once you learn it will kick you butt cardio wise.
    So i rotate these different movements month to month or do different things through the week.
    With the rowing I tend to do intervals, my favorite are pyramids. I like to combine some of these movements into metcons in one session where I can.


    Originally Posted by willybrokeback View Post
    I like the KB swing, but sometimes it hurts my back and sometimes it does not- the problem is I cannot figure out if its my form or just my spazy back acting up.
    Kettle bell swings require good ROM..depending how you do it. I had a rough experience with them a few years ago. My trouble began when I was doing the "crossfit" swing which is swinging it to straight overhead, this is how they teach you to do it in most cross-fit gyms, most of the time people choose weights that are way too heavy, coupled with bad ROM and technique will lead to back problems. I found out on my own that the crossfit method is contoversial and the better way is the traditional Russian method where you raise it no higher than arms parallel to the ground (maybe a little higher for some folks) At any rate this is another exercise I would avoid if you have back problems on and off, until your technique is rock solid.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    I recommend the "hard style" swing for cardio intervals.
    There are many ways to swing a KB but this seems to be the best one for me.
    The swing should never hurt or irritate your back as it's a hip hinge type movement and the spine stays in a neutral position.
    If it does hurt it's usually a technique issue.
    I will agree there is a learning curve for it and some people will take longer to learn it than others.
    It's a great cardio hit if you can get the technique down and do it dynamically.
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  11. #11
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Who was it on these forums who broke their toes a year or two ago, tripping over a rowing machine. Maybe they saw the title of the post and have been avoiding it
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  12. #12
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    I didn't start using them until this year, and so far only infrequently but I want to do more with them. They are awesome.
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