Why Buy a Rowing Machine?
Rowing is an excellent and safe activity to stay in shape, working all your major muscles as well as being an ideal cardiovascular activity. The rowing motion makes it a low impact sport so it is safe for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
Top quality rowing machines are also comparatively cheap, making them ideal for those on a budget seeking a serious aerobic training machine! In fact, the only caveat is that while rowing in itself is unlikely to cause lower back problems, the biomechanical requirements of the rowing action could aggravate an existing lower back condition. If you fall into this category, try some regular rowing down at your local gym first in order to ensure that you and the rowing machine are totally compatible.
Rowing is second only to cross-country skiing in overall muscle management, using over 82% of the body's muscles. It also works most of your joints through a significant and beneficial range of movement with virtually no impact. This makes it one of the best forms of exercise for all people of any age including:
- those seeking weight loss, cardiovascular fitness or muscle tone
- anyone looking for flexibility, strength or endurance
- competitive athletes
- people recovering from injuries
Choosing an Indoor Rowing Machine
There are currently three different types of rowing machine available on the market today. These are:
Air Rowers - Often referred to as flywheel, these rowers rely on resistance provided by wind. This is caused by the fan blades attached, which in turn cause the flywheel to spin. The resistance can be altered depending on the strength of the pulling motion used. At present the Concept 2 rower is proving the most popular air resistance rowing machine.
Water Rowers - At Fitness Superstore we offer the First Degree Fluid Rower and the Waterrower range. The ideal behind water resistant rowing machines is to emulate the dynamics created by a boat in water. Apart from the sound of the water these machines offer a silent fitness workout.
Magnetic Rowers - These rowing machines offer smooth and variable resistance, invariably found in gyms. In addition they are virtually silent utilising a magnetic brake system that produces no friction. We offer a wide range of magnetic rowers with the Kettler Coach rower proving very popular.
Rowing Machine Essentials
- Standard of construction - Look for a well-finished all-metal construction with an aluminium seat rail. When you sit on the seat, there should be no flexing in any part of the frame as you put your weight on it.
- Braking system - Electronic rowers use magnetic braking and are very quiet in use, but tend to lack the feel of top quality air and water rowers. Air rowers can offer a very high standard of movement and accuracy of feedback but can be a little noisy. Water rowers create the closest feel to actually rowing on water and provide a wonderfully soothing, swishing sound to boot!
- Transmission - Look for chains or straps which give a positive feel to the oar action without any stretching or give as you accelerate the oar.
- Quality of movement - Look for a smooth and even feel with no jerkiness or points where resistance suddenly drops away, especially at the beginning of the stroke (common with rope transmission). Check the range of the movement. When you are as far forward on the runner as possible (i.e. buttocks as close to the heels as possible) with your arms fully extended and holding the oar, the oar shouldn't have reached its start position.
- Console feedback and ease of use - How clear and comprehensive is the displayed information? How easy is it to access programmes (if there are any)? Are the buttons clearly visible and easy to use?
- Seat comfort - The seat should feel comfortable, even after rowing a few thousand metres!
- Seat runner and rail - Move the seat to one end of the rail and tilt that end of the rower up a couple of inches. A good runner and rail will allow the seat to roll freely to the other end with a tiny amount of tilting.
- Oar grip- Does the oar feel comfortable to hold? Does it offer good grip, even when your hands are becoming tired and sweaty?
- Footplate adjustability - Check that your feet can be securely and comfortably accommodated in the footplates
- Overall dimensions - Rowing machines generally are amongst the most compact of home fitness equipment but tend to have a long, narrow footprint. Some can be stored upright, useful if you are tight for space.
- Warranty - Most indoor rowing machines are pretty robust, but it's advisable to check what warranty is being offered on the frame, transmission and any electronics.
Concept 2 rowing machines, WaterRower and FluidRower by First Degree Fitness specialise in rowing machines. However, other brands, although focused towards cross trainers, treadmills and exercise bikes, offer a range of equally impressive rowers. Brands such as Horizon Fitness, Tunturi Fitness, York Fitness and Reebok Fitness are some of the most popular examples.
Why Purchase From Fitness Superstore
At Fitness Superstore we offer an extensive range of rowing machines including our top three brands - FluidRower by First Degree Fitness, WaterRower and Concept 2. We offer free UK delivery on all orders over £99 and finance on selected orders over £299.