When it comes to fortifying your body, conventional wisdom often gravitates towards traditional weightlifting and cardio exercises, like cycling or running. However, there's an underappreciated gem that can significantly elevate your cross-training regimen: indoor rowing. In this blog post, we'll delve into the scientific evidence behind how incorporating indoor rowing with various exercises like HIIT, weightlifting, cycling, and running can bring about comprehensive fitness benefits.
TOTAL BODY ENGAGEMENT FOR HOLISTIC STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT
Indoor rowing stands out by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it an excellent complement to your cross-training routine. Scientific studies reveal that rowing activates a remarkable 86% of your muscle groups, including essential muscles like quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core muscles, upper back, and shoulders for a comprehensive workout (Hagerman et al., 2000). This simultaneous activation promotes balanced strength development, fostering overall physical performance improvement.
BOOSTING CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE FOR OPTIMIZED RECOVERY
Indoor rowing delivers a substantial cardiovascular workout. Studies, such as those published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, showcase how rowing increases maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and enhances aerobic capacity (Shephard et al., 2009). Improved cardiovascular endurance not only elevates overall fitness but also facilitates superior recovery between sets of different exercises, allowing for increased training volume and intensity.
ENHANCED STRENGTH AND SUSTAINED POWER OUTPUTS
Beyond full-body engagement and cardiovascular benefits, research indicates that rowing significantly enhances muscle strength and power output through resistance, muscle recruitment, and progressive overload (Sanders et al., 2000).
Resistance: Rowing provides a challenging load for your muscles, leading to gradual strength adaptation over time.
Muscle Recruitment: The compound movements involved in rowing engage multiple muscle groups, promoting optimal muscle recruitment.
Progressive Overload: Indoor rowing allows for gradual increases in resistance, intensity, duration, or frequency, fostering increased strength and power.
So, incorporating a rowing session amidst your cross-training routine not only serves as a rest day but also contributes to essential progress in your strength goals.
REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY AND IMPROVE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT PATTERNS
Last on our list but arguably the most crucial, indoor rowing enhances functional movement patterns crucial for daily activities and sports performance, mitigating injury risk through various mechanisms (Karpowicz et al., 2011). It's vital to emphasize proper technique, progression, and guidance to maximize these benefits.
Muscular Balance and Coordination: Rowing engages multiple muscle groups in a coordinated manner, promoting improved muscular balance and coordination in daily activities and sports performance.
Core Stability and Postural Control: The rowing stroke necessitates a strong and stable core, enhancing core strength, stability, and postural control.
Range of Motion and Flexibility: Rowing involves a full range of motion for multiple joints, enhancing joint flexibility and range of motion.
Neuromuscular Adaptations: Regular rowing leads to neuromuscular adaptations, enhancing communication and coordination between muscles and the nervous system.
Low-Impact: Indoor rowing is a low-impact exercise, placing minimal stress on joints while still providing an intense workout. Opting for rowing instead of high-impact activities reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, safeguarding joints while maximizing your cross-training results.
Scientific evidence unequivocally supports the myriad benefits of indoor rowing for enhancing your cross-training routine. Through total body engagement, improvements in muscular strength and power, cardiovascular endurance, and injury risk reduction, rowing emerges as a valuable addition to any comprehensive fitness regimen. By incorporating indoor rowing workouts into your routine, you'll unlock extraordinary benefits for your overall well-being.
Hagerman, F. C., et al. (2000). Kinematic and kinetic comparison of elite and trained rowers during ergometer rowing. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18(11), 845-854.
Karpowicz, K., et al. (2011). Effect of rowing ergometer training exercises on the functional movement patterns in young women. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(3), 217-222.
Sanders, M. E., et al. (2000). Six weeks of rowing ergometer training improves torque production in the legs but not in the arms of collegiate women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 14(4), 485-492.
Shephard, R. J., et al. (2009). The impact of repeated endurance exercise bouts on pulse pressure and hemodynamics in older hypertensives. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 19(6), 896-903.
This is the first time I have found a workout that I love and cannot do without. Down 11 pounds in one month with zero change in diet (other than being more conscience of calories). I’m 59 and this is my workout future.
Owned it for about three months and have loved every day that I use it. The rower feels very natural and really works your body when you get into it! Highly recommend to anyone with the means and looking for an excellent home workout!
If you’re thinking about purchasing a piece of work out equipment, buy the Ergatta! It engages 85% of your body with no stress to the joints which translates to wanting to do daily workouts. The music options are relevant. You can’t stream TV on here, but wouldn’t want to with the engaging variety of games programs it offers. I lost 14 pounds in two weeks doing a 10-15 minute workout. In the month we’ve had it, I’ve been hiking in the woods and can feel the difference in my lung capacity. The machine is beautiful to look at and so addictive I find myself wanting to go home just to work out. The husband and 15 y/o daughter are hooked, too. Well done Ergatta!!
Also, if you question the high-rise kit, it’s great for the getting back up after a work out. The mat is normal. The gloves didn’t work for my small hands.