Guest Post by ENELL Ambassador Jennifer Sader
Have you noticed how hot rowing has suddenly become? It isn’t as if the rowing machine is a new piece of equipment — most gyms always had one or two, but they would sit dusty and neglected while everyone waited for the treadmill or the elliptical machine.
What has changed? First off, it was probably time for Spinning to be replaced by something new. As more gyms offer rowing classes, people realize what a great workout rowing offers. Second, Crossfit’s popularity means more people are familiar with the benefits of rowing. Finally, some sources even suggest that Frank Underwood’s basement rowing sessions on House of Cards are responsible for the trend. Whatever the reason, it makes sense to jump in on this fitness fad.
Tips for new rowers:
- Give it a try! Taking a rowing is a great way to add variety to your fitness routine. It is a low-impact, safe exercise. Even if you think you know how to row, be sure to take a class where the instructor can teach you good form. Proper form is just as important as power. Though you might think rowing is all about arms, rowing is a full-body workout, and the main drive comes from the legs.
- Don’t worry if you are a beginner. Though there might be a little friendly competition about who rowed the longest distance or with the most power, the nice thing about stationary equipment is that no one will be left behind. A good instructor will make you feel welcome no matter what your level, and will encourage you to work at your own pace. Because form is so important, you will see improvement quickly if you stick with it.
- Wear your ENELL to class. Good support is just as important in a rowing class as it is in running or Spin class. Because your whole body is engaged, your whole body will be moving. You need to bring the rowing handle under your chest, which will be easier if your chest isn’t bouncing all over the place.
- Be prepared to sweat. Most gyms will be kept cool so that it is comfortable for exercise, so you might want a light jacket to start out. With workouts burning 400-1000 calories per hour, you will warm up quickly, so wear a tank top or light t-shirt in a moisture-wicking fabric. And be sure to bring a full water bottle and a towel with you.
- Have fun! With room-pounding music, class camaraderie, and even a little friendly rivalry, rowing is a great way to get your fit on. Enjoy yourself and keep a smile on your face.
Have you tried a rowing class yet?
Jennifer Sader started training for her first triathlon (Danskin Chicagoland) in the fall of 2001. She was tired of having “lose weight” as her only goal and she decided that she needed something bigger and more inspiring to shoot for. She completed that race in 2002 and has gone on to do dozens of other races, including the Chicago Triathlon in 2004. Though she has continued to battle the scale, injury problems, and a lingering notion that she is not a “real athlete,” she hasn’t lost her love of the sport.
Jennifer has been blogging since 2006. At “Perfect in Our Imperfections,” she shares her thoughts on trying to lose weight without losing her mind. She shares her training experiences along with recaps of “The Biggest Loser,” book reviews, favorite beauty products and fashion finds.
Jennifer is a full-time faculty member at a small university. She lives in the Toledo area with her husband and two cats named after Muppets.