The ERG rowing machine is an amazing tool for losing weight, building strong muscles, improving your cardiovascular fitness and much more.
Depending on the type of workout you do, the ERG rowing machine can focus on different aspects of your fitness.
If you’re considering using an ERG rowing machine and don’t have a ton of experience with rowing workouts, you’ll probably need some help learning the best ERG workouts.
Keep reading below to learn more!
Benefits ERG Rowing Machine Workouts
Similar to the Jacob’s Ladder, the ERG rowing machine is a low impact exercise that can provide intense cardiovascular training, and it also has the advantage of developing several different muscle groups for size, strength, and power.
ERG workouts can be an incredible warm-up, a conditioning tool, and an instrument for building mass, all at the same time!
Knowing these benefits, there is really no reason for you not to start doing rowing machine workouts today!
Here is some additional information about the benefits of using an ERG rowing machine.
The ERG Rowing Machine for Weight Loss
For about 90% of us, the main reasons that doing rowing workouts is so good for us is that we are not very good at it. Meaning, it is a challenging exercise for our bodies to do and it causes our bodies to work very hard. Due to this, you burn a staggering amount of calories both while training, and afterward.
As noted by Harvard Health Publications, someone who weighs 185 pounds can burn as much as 400 calories within 30 minutes through moderate-intensity rowing.
This may not seem substantially different than other cardio equipment, by the real benefit is the EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). Rowing workouts have an incredible after-burn effect since it works your muscles in such a new and unique way compared with most of your other training.
By igniting this energy system, you will burn more calories over the course of 24 and 48 hours than if you continue training in some way in which your body is already efficient!
The ERG Rowing Machine Improve Your Joints
One of the unique features of rowing is that it exercises all the major muscles of your body without much joint impact at all. Your hips, knees, and ankles all need a certain amount of flexibility to perform the rowing exercise, but it does not overwhelmingly wear any of these.
The rowing machine can also build incredible core strength, which helps improve your posture and reduce back pain.
It is always necessary to consult your doctor if you feel concerns about whether or not it is safe to being any type of training or not, but there certainly is scientific results showing the safety of this exercise!
Respiratory Benefits of Using the ERG Rower
The rowing machine is excellent because it can build both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems at the same time!
Regardless of which energy system you are attempting to train, the seated position of the rowing machine forces your diaphragm to work at its full capacity, since you do not have other support mechanisms for breathing as in other exercises. Due to this, your body will naturally:
- Correct your natural breathing pattern.
- Learn how to utilize oxygen better.
- Increase anaerobic threshold.
- Steadily improve aerobic endurance.
Helping to Develop Muscle Strength
As mentioned before, the rowing machine works nearly every muscle in your body. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, core, back, and biceps, are all worked extremely hard with every movement.
Your quadriceps and hamstrings are worked especially hard because that is where the majority of your force-production should be coming from.
Another main benefit of the rowing machine is that it forces your stabilizing muscles to work in both a controlled, and powerful way.
Power is necessary to increase speed on the rowing machine, stabilization is needed so that you stay in control of the exercise, and both components are necessary for all sports.
The stabilizing muscles surrounding your hips, knees, lower back and shoulders are all fatigued with movement, providing them with exceptional metabolic conditioning benefits that carry-over to many different sports!
The Best ERG Workouts!
For general use, I have about 4-5 ERG workouts which I consistently do on the rowing machine. Personally, I am not and probably never will be a fan of extended duration rowing.
If I were a better rower, maybe I would be.
For my body and my goals, however, shorter more “sprint” like rowing workouts are far more effective! 3 of my favorite workout styles for rowing are:
The Tabata protocol is absolutely perfect to use on the rowing machine.
Occasionally, I will even do this as a part of my dynamic warm-up!
To do the Tabata interval protocol, you perform 8 sets of 20 seconds of maximum-intensity rowing followed by 10 seconds of rest. In total, the Tabata interval protocol takes 4-minutes, and it is one of the best ways ERG workouts you can do!
Tabata interval are great for the beginning of your workout or as a “finisher” at the end.
500m Sprints on the ERG Rowing Machine
A 500m sprint on the rowing machine is a very effective anaerobic threshold test, and a very strenuous workout itself!
If you can row 500m in under 1:40 you are probably in pretty good shape, and this conditioning will undoubtedly improve every other aspect of your training.
An even more difficult test for this is similar to the 300-yard shuttle run (general conditioning test).
Performing 500m rowing machine sprints followed by a maximum of 3 minutes of rest, and then repeated 3-5 times will without a doubt leave you gassed!
Rowing Machine Circuit Training: 25 Calorie Row During Circuit
Rowing for 25 calories during a cardio-strength circuit has seemed to me to be the exact perfect challenge to increase the difficulty of an excellent cardio-strength circuit, but without overwhelming the rest of the workout.
Sometimes I will even pair rowing with stationary biking for multiple different cardiovascular exercises in one circuit!
Rowing for this amount of calories should easily take you less than 1 minute, but it will be difficult when done at full speed!
Adding this in with push-ups, sit-ups, jump roping, jumping jacks, jump squats or any number of other exercises can make for the foundation of a fat-incinerating circuit!
My personal favorite is a mix of Stationary Biking, ERG Rowing, Push-ups, and Air Squats! Try this for five rounds for time!
- 100 Calorie Stationary Bike
- 25 Calorie Row
- 30 Air Squats
- 20 Push-ups
Whichever way you choose does not matter, just make sure you are not missing out on the potential benefits of using the Erg Rowing Machine!
Concluding Thoughts – Rowing Machine Benefits
One of the best parts about the erg rowing machine is that it is a great exercise machine for home.
For bodybuilders, this can be a quick way to improve your overall conditioning, while still working towards building muscle size and shape.
For athletes in need of cardiovascular conditioning for their respective sports, doing rowing workouts can be the perfect and only-necessary cross-training protocol you use to condition your body, due to its wide range of benefits!
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