The Erg rowing machine is a shortcut to becoming shredded for a large majority of us.
The reason for this?
Most of us are not very good at it, and it works our bodies extremely hard.
Also, it’s safe.
Meaning, there are some pretty incredible benefits to using the ERG rower, and there isn’t that much risk while using it. In fact, one of the most commonly cited advantages of the Erg rowing machine is that it is suitable for older people, since they can utilize the machine at a comfortable pace without inducing sever back or joint pains.
Similar to the Jacob’s Ladder, the ERG rowing machine is a low impact type of cardiovascular training, which also has the advantage of building several muscle groups in size, strength and power.
The erg effectively is 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 rowing today!
ERG Rowing Machine Weight Loss Benefits
Probably over 90% of us benefit from the same factor while rowing, we are not very good at it. This means, it is a very difficult 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 afterwards.
As noted by Harvard Health Publications, someone who weighs 185 pounds can burn as much as 400 calories within 30 minutes through the rowing itself.
This may not seem substantially different than other cardio equipment, by the real benefit is in the EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). Rowing has 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!
How Can the ERG Rowing Machine Benefit Your Joints?
One of the unique features of rowing is that it exercises all the major muscles of your body, without nearly any joint impact. Your hips, knees and ankles all need a certain amount of flexibility to perform the exercise, but it does not overwhelmingly wear on any of these.
The rowing machine can also build incredible core strength, improving your posture and reducing back pain.
Numerous studies have even shown that those with spinal cord injuries were able to train with rowing following their injuries! 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 in that 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.
ERG Row Machines Benefits for 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 each and 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, and stabilization is needed so that you stay in control of the exercise, both components which are necessary in 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!
Best ERG Rowing Workouts!
For general use, I have about 4-5 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 was 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:
High Intensity Interval Training-Tabata Row Machine
The Tabata protocol is absolutely perfect to use with the rowing machine.
Occasionally I will even do this as a part of my dynamic warm-up! By performing this first, you can effectively dive right in to your fat-burning attack, and really ignite your metabolism.
There is also a psychological benefit to this, especially for those in competition sports.
By performing such a taxing interval protocol first in your workout you promote mental conditioning, teaching your body to fight through fatigue.
If you are able to perform a high-speed Tabata rowing protocol and then still burst through the rest of your workout, you can effectively simulate the mental preparation you need for the last few minutes of your sporting competition!
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 are able to row 500m in under 1:40 you are probably in pretty good shape, and this conditioning will certainly 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 in the midst of a cardio-strength circuit has seemed to me to be the exact perfect challenge to increase the difficulty of a good 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 pushups, sit-ups, jump roping, jumping jacks, 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 5 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!
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, adding rowing in can be the perfect and only-necessary cross-training protocol you use to condition your body, due to its wide range of benefits!
As always, make sure that you are in proper physical condition to start any training protocol in general.
However, if so, try out one of the workouts above or make up your own and let me hear it!