It's hard to believe that I began my rowing experience over 30 years ago, with an old 2 hydraulic shock type trainer. With that old-school low tech in mind, rowing has come a long way to some of the chain driven flywheels or to the water rower experience with on screen computer metrics.
Rowing is the most efficient exercise on land or water that uses every part of the upper and lower body especially the CORE region with every stroke. While majority of my cardiovascular work is done by cycling, CrossFit training and rowing that is 1 to 2 times a week. Rowing incorporates different muscle groups in a balanced controlled movement that is 60% legs and 40% upper body as cycling on a trainer is 95 plus percent legs. Rowing is a full body exercise and burns approximately 2 to 3 times more calories than spinning, running and of course walking. There are few exercises that engage all muscle groups and especially the CORE muscles which are required and fully engaged during the entire movement. This engagement allows for more of a complete upper, middle and lower body exercise which therefore increases metabolic calorie burning abilities, muscle stimulation and muscular balance.
One of the most important things that I look at as a Chiropractor is the effect of technology on posture and health. Poor posture is such a prevalent issue in the world today because most and/or all our activity is on a computer, iPad or smartphone. With this repetitive and continuous forward motion posture causing a reverse neck curve and abnormal bio mechanical changes that cause muscles to become weaker, joint wear/breakdown (arthritis) and dysfunction over time. Additionally, few of us have a job that allows us to move the entire day and sitting has become a major part of this technology (the new smoking) which continues to destabilize your midsection, cause dysfunction in spinal mechanics and leads to pain in the mid and lower back regions. Rowing in my opinion is the best exercise to reduce the stress on the spine and muscular system, strengthen spinal/joint bio-mechanics and improve posture all at the same time.
As I work out in my home gym, the Concept 2 rower is a essential part of my healthy posture and fitness. I do believe that there are many different types of rowing machines out there, which includes the Concept 2 (My favorite) and Water Rowing. Regular rowing gives you the workout that is more complete, stimulates muscle growth, improves posture and spinal mechanics, weight-loss and of course improve your overall health.