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The Benefits of Rowing as Strength and Endurance Training

27 April 2021

Rowing has always been the most underrated form of workout for a healthier body and better physique. It can be used as cardio, cross training for endurance running and long distance cycling. It can burn a huge amount  of calories by the minute and that, without taxing your joints more than it could handle. One doctor even claims that  rowing is way better than running as a form of exercise. Why? While running is primarily all about working your lower body such as your calves and thighs, rowing does the same but for multiple muscle groups. It is great for those with persistent arm and back fats that are hard to get rid of by traditional exercise. 

Rowing is defined as the act of propelling a boat or a water based transportation by the use of oars. By history, rowing was used in ancient Greek, Rome and even Egypt. But not as a form of exercise but a means of transportation for trade and travel. However, as a sport it can be traced its origin in England between the 17th to 8th century. Around the year 1828, the first Oxford-Cambridge university was launched. A century later, this sport has gained momentum and popularity among young men in Europe and subsequently brought to America. There are two kinds of races then: one is racing via  sculling which means using two oars and the other is sweeping where a single oar is used to propel the boat.

This sport has always been featured in all Olympic games except for the year 1896 in Athens, when a storm compelled the organizers not to push through for the safety of the rowers. Back then, it was only men who competed in this sport. But this changed in 1976 in the Montreal Olympic Games. From then up to the 1960s the USA was dominating this sport, followed by the Soviet Union in the next decade, from then to the present the unified Germany stayed among the best in the whole world. However, the man who is said to have been the best in this sport isn't from any of these places but its country of origin. As a six time world champion and having won gold medals in five Olympic games, Sir Steve Redgraves has been touted the best. Because of the physical demands of rowing as a sport, he has been loosely called Athlete of the Century. Women did not fall off behind in this sport, as Elizabeth Lipa of Romania also won five gold medals between the years 1984 up to 2004. She has spent and won for two decades in this sport.

Now let's talk about the health benefits that you could have if you choose to incorporate rowing as a form of exercise in your regime. One of the most common misconceptions about rowing is that it is only an exercise for the arms. But in fact, it works the entire body specifically 86% of the muscles. It is good exercise for the obliques to tone down the obliques for a more prominent curve on the waistline. It also works your abdominal muscles for a stronger body core, the pecs and arms for upper body strength, and upper back for a stronger spine and lesser back pains. 

Since it works your abdomen and back, rowing can be said to be good for those who struggle with their posture. This is especially advantageous for women who are often weaker in terms of upper body strength. Not only that, it is a low intensity exercise that all or any fitness level can enjoy. In a study in the Department of Healthcare Engineering in Chonbuk National University in South Korea last 2014, in the course of eight weeks the 24 people who participated in this research have gained improvement in the rotation and joint strength by a whopping 30%. This means, there is a higher fluidity and lesser pain in the parts of the body near the joints like the legs, elbows shoulder and lumbar area. Other taxing exercises like running do not have the equal  effect on the body. Even the glutes or the butt muscles are toned and shaped by constant rowing. 

Some fitness enthusiasts also use rowing as a cardio exercise. That said, it maintains and strengthens the optimal health of the cardiovascular system. This is the system in our body that comprises the heart, blood vessels and blood itself. It's important to maintain health here as it is the proper transport of nutrients and oxygen to the brain and the entire body. 

However, there are some constraints to rowing as an outdoor sport. There is the weather, joining clubs, schedule, balance between work, life, health and so on and so forth. Fortunately, you would be able to do this as an exercise to your convenience even without going to the gym. At FlexiSpot, yes the popular brand of ergonomic chairs and adjustable electric desks has a product available for this endeavor. The AB Foldable Rowing LCL is a space saving and easy to assemble machine that you can adjust to a comfortable resistance and conform to your height.

An average person with a weight of 125 pounds can burn 255 calories every thirty minute spent on this machine. Meanwhile a 155 pound person can burn 316 calories for the same amount of time spent rowing. If you're heavier than that, say 185 pounds, you can burn up to 377 calories. With a healthy diet, regular exercise, good posture while rowing and not overexerting yourself beyond your current endurance, rowing can be just as fun and meditative as much as it is healthy for the body. You can transform your body to the best it can be at the tip of your fingers. As a whole body workout that you can conveniently insert in your daily or weekly exercise regimen, rowing is a good option as strength and endurance training. You don't have to worry if it's not as good as outdoor rowing, because it is just as effective being done at home or your office. Please visit the FlexiSpot website, for more details about the AB Foldable Rowing LCL.