Training outside in the winter can be a challenge, thanks to snow, ice and extreme temperatures. If you are looking for a low impact, indoor training switch-up, look no further than a rower. Known to those in the rowing world as an erg (slang for ergometers), the indoor rowing machine can be a great replacement for a run or track workout when the weather is challenging.
The rower is a great cardio workout that gets you off the high impact treadmill. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, rowing can be muscle toning, as each pull works your back, shoulder and arms. All of this in a low impact environment, so little pressure is put on your joints. This makes it a perfect companion on a strength day. An added bonus is that the resistance is adjustable, so it is appropriate for all levels from beginner to professional athlete.
Tips For The Rowing Machine
1. Start with a low resistance and get a coach or trainer at your gym to check your form. Practice form first before upping the resistance.
2. Rowing is 75% legs and 25% upper body. When you row, be sure to push with your legs and let your body follow. Don’t strain your back
3. Exhale during the pull; inhale when returning to starting position.
Here are a few workouts to get you started on the rower. The intensity is completely in your hands and can be adjusted for all levels. These workouts can be added to a strength day or worked into other high intensity workouts.
Workout 1 – Sprint
5 Sets at medium resistance for 100 – 250 meters with a 10 second break in between each set.
Workout 2 – Medium Distance
2 -3 Sets of 1000 meters with a 2-minute break in between each set.
Workout 3 – Long Distance
For a real challenge, complete a 5K on the rower. Try to maintain a steady pace.
As with any new exercise, start slow and build up your resistance and distance. That’s the dirt for this week. Next week, I’ll bring you more tips to keep your training going through the winter months!