Pros and cons of compact rowing machines
A full-body workout
Most body workouts target a specific part of the body. For instance, squats challenge your core and lower body, and running works your legs. However, a compact rowing machine will offer a full-body workout by working on multiple muscles at once.
You can expect the equipment to focus on muscles such as the back, arms, hips, legs, glutes, and shoulders. So, when you invest in a rowing machine, you get value for your money.
There are a few factors that determine the number of calories you will burn in one exercise session. Using a compact rowing machine can help you burn more calories than other exercise equipment.
This is because, unlike most devices, a rowing machine will engage a lot of muscles in your body. All you need is to begin at a slow pace and work your way up to will feel the burn while rowing.
Like any other product, rowing machines come at different prices. They cost less than treadmills, and you will also be getting a muscle strengthening and cardiovascular machine in one product.
How safe is rowing? Unlike exercises like running, which puts extreme pressure on your joints, knees, and ankles, rowing is safer and more comfortable. Although your legs will be in full motion, they won’t hit any hard surface.
That said, you should always consult with your doctor before getting into any workout routine. If you have leg or joint issues, the doctor may recommend rowing since it is a low-impact exercise.
A lot of noise
Rowing machines, especially water and air rowers, tend to be noisy. Each time you pull them back, they make a loud noise. This can be quite aggravating for people who live in the same house or apartment.
However, this doesn’t mean you should forget about rowing. You can consider working out when other people are not at home.
Pressure on the lower back
Make sure you read the instructions carefully before using a rowing machine. Then start slow and increase the pace with time to avoid straining your lower back. If you suffer from back problems, rowing might not be an ideal exercise.
For some people, rowing can put a lot of pressure on the lower back as the machine pulls a cord and brings it back away from you. As such, it is not recommended for those with back or spine problems.
Can be tedious and boring
Rowing is a repetitive activity. You sit, pull, return, and then repeat the same exercise. You can do this for one hour or more, which can be quite boring. Doing the same things over and over again is boring.
However, you can mix it up with other cardio exercises like weight lifting or HIIT to make the workout session more enjoyable.
How to use rowing machine effectively
A rowing machine is a great tool for making your cardio routine, but it can be quite intimidating for first-time users. Although the machine is very effective, misusing it can lead to serious back injuries.
Before you start, there are a few things you need to keep in mind while using a rowing machine. Avoid wearing baggy clothes as they might be caught in the machine. Set the equipment low, especially if you are a beginner. Now, let’s look at the three main steps when using a rowing machine.
Start by strapping in your feet, then straighten up your legs. Next, ensure your palms are facing down and clutch the handle, and let it fall on your lower rib. Let your body lean back slightly. This is called a finish position.
Move your body forward and ensure your knees are slightly above your ankles. At this point, the shins need to be parallel, and the chest should be touching your thighs.
This is the most challenging part so pay attention! Straighten your legs without locking the knees. Next, pull your body backward and finish the process by pulling the handle towards your sternum.
This last position requires minimal or less resistance. Here your arms are leaned forward, legs straightened, and your body is bent forward and ready to go back to the finish, catch and drive position again.
Features to consider while buying the best compact rowing machine
Now that we have looked at some of the best compact rowing machines available in the market today, we will also give you key factors you need to consider while looking for a high-quality machine.
There are a few things you need to consider when it comes to the product’s company. For example, the machine’s release date, the period the company has been in the market, and the popularity of the brand. The release date helps you know if the product has been well -tested.
Your size will greatly determine the type of rowing machine you select. It’s important to pick equipment that will accommodate your weight and length. If you are tall, a machine like the Stamina ATS will be a great pick.
Some compact rowing machines like hydraulic resistance and magnetic rowers have a foldable design for easy storage. A good example is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801, which is foldable and easy to store.
On the other hand, water and air machines like the Merax Water Rowing Machine do not fold up. If you have limited space, a water rower will not be an excellent option since they are quite large and heavy. So, you should consider the size of your space before buying a rowing machine.
Although price doesn’t always guarantee quality, a rowing machine with the latest technology and high-quality construction costs more than other models. Brands that make top-notch machines invest a lot in making and improving such products.
We recommend that you spend more money on a reliable rowing machine that will offer fun workout sessions instead of going for a cheap and unreliable model.
Resistance type will determine the type of workouts you will do. Water resistance rowers will offer an unmatched and intense rowing session. With these models, you will feel like water there’s water flowing around the equipment tank.
When it comes to air resistance, expect a smooth and responsive experience during the rowing session. The most outstanding thing about these machines is that they will let you record important dates like speed, strokes, etc.
Although a guarantee will not determine a machine’s performance, you will have peace of mind knowing that should your investment have a malfunction or break, you will get a replacement.
Warranties vary from product to product. However, if you invest in a rowing machine, you should look for one that comes with at least 2-5 years of warranty. A good example is the Schwinn Crewmaster, which comes with a 3-year limited on a frame, 1-year limited on parts. Lesser equipment such as the JOROTO Magnetic Rower can provide at least a one-year warranty.
In general, the rowing machine produces noise while you are working out. If you live with other people in your apartment or house, you might want to keep the sounds as low as possible. A machine like the Merax Water Rowing Machine produces very little noise.
Rowing machines are not easy to understand since they have a low-learning curve. With that said, there is more to them than just sitting down and rowing. An ideal machine should be easy to set up at home and easy to use.
Since rowing is a full-body workout that engages many muscles, the last thing you want is a machine that feels like a tedious game of tug of war. The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine has a great design that is easy and comfortable to use.
Another feature you need to consider is maintenance. Make sure the machine’s replacements parts are easy to access. Also, the seat of the rowing machine should be large enough to keep your back comfortable.