My new favorite cardio machine

I fell off the running bandwagon.  Wah wah.  😦  The reason being, my body just couldn’t take it.  I definitely was biting off more than I could chew.  The running part wasn’t so bad but the pain I felt in my left hip was pretty bad for days after.  I found it difficult to even walk for three or four days after my last 2-3 mile run.  I’m not sure if my abductor is weak or if it is a joint problem. I know I could start again by building up my endurance, but then my gym was renovated and all those ideas went out the window….

Meet my new love – the rowing machine!  

The rowing machine is a great cardio workout because it works both the upper and lower body fairly rigorously.  It does take some finesse to get the motion down correctly.  This is the thing I see most people struggling with at the gym.  I find it’s best to watch a video of a pro working it to get the most out of it.  Below is a nice and easy instructional video.

 Key Points to Remember:

  • Get the motion right:  It’s simple if you can remember to move the upper body, hips, then legs and then legs, hips, then upper body and repeat.
  • Keep your back straight. Resist the urge to curve your spine forward.
  • Bring your elbows back behind your back when your legs are fully extended. You should feel your lats and traps contracting (like you are trying to pinch a coin with your shoulder blades).

Being that I’m on a body building workout (or resistance training) I am only trying to maintain my current cardio endurance so it makes up a much smaller percentage of my overall workout routine at the moment.  I find it’s a fun way to get the entire body warmed up before my resistance training and a nice way to finish with some light cardio.

There is a resistance switch at the front of the machine that can allow you to get an easier or more rigorous workout.  (The machine uses a fan in the front wheel to create resistance.) This machine requires a little more concentration than the stationary bike, but you can get a more total body workout with this machine. So don’t be afraid to try out this crazy looking contraption the next time you visit your gym.

Love it or hate it? Are you a fan of the rowing machine? What is your favorite form of cardiovascular exercise or machine?


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