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Every single person that I know that has a home gym shares one mistake in common.
What is the mistake they made while putting their home gym together? They didn’t think of efficiency. They didn’t think about the best bang for their buck. In general, they tried to put a commercial gym in their garage, and now they have a bunch of equipment sitting around that they haven’t used, and probably never will.
If you read my previous article on the pros and cons of a home gym, you know that getting a home gym may be one of the better things you can do for your long-term fitness if you’re dedicated. If you haven’t read that article, you may want to give it a read before jumping into the best fitness equipment you can get for your home gym. Anyway, onward we march.
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When it comes to having a great home gym, you need a couple of things. You’ll need a great exercise library, as well as pieces of equipment that offers the most versatility for cardiovascular and strength training. Today, we’ll go over what is - in my opinion, one of the most beneficial pieces of cardio equipment out there.
The rower is hands down one of my favorite pieces of cardio equipment for many reasons. One of my favorite things about the rower is that it incorporates nine major muscle groups. This is a very significant amount of muscle fibers used for only one exercise. This will allow you to work more areas of your body, and burn more calories during your workout.
Another reason I love the rower is because it incorporates all of the major muscle groups that are asleep most of the day. Take a look around while you’re at work. I’m willing to bet that most of the people you work with have rolled shoulders and forward head. They probably even have knee problems because their glutes are completely inactive. This is a result of years and years of keeping the posterior chain at rest. The rower is one of the few pieces of equipment that require us to completely engage a lot of our posterior chain, especially the muscles that help keep us in an upright position with our shoulder blades back. If performed properly, rowing can help you fix your posture, saving you thousands of dollars and years of pain spent on the chiropractor and physical therapy. That’s a plus.
I could go down the list further but these the two items I’ve addressed are the main reasons I believe it takes the cake over most other pieces of home equipment. Especially when looking at what is one of the best rowers of 2019, the Great Lakes WaterRower w/ S4 Monitor.
Oh, and one more thing. The rower is also one of the most “portable” equipment pieces, too. If you ever want to rearrange things in your home gym or heck, even row outside, all you need to do is pick up one end and wheel it to your destination.
Now that we’ve gone over the pros of having a rowing machine in your home gym, let’s briefly talk about what you can do with it. Fortunately, this won’t take long.
Although you can use the seat on the rower for exercises like pikes and bulgarian split squats, the rower is made for one thing and one thing only. Rowing. As I mentioned before, rowing will burn plenty of calories, wake up your posterior chain, help correct your posture, and activate several major muscle groups in your body. Therefore, there is no need to go out of our way and make the rower something that it’s not. It is made for you to row, so row you shall.
Rowing is indeed one movement. However, there are a few different ways you can do a rowing workout, similar to a running workout. How you format your workout/session depends on your goal. If you want a quick and efficient workout, you can row in a HIIT format. If you’d like endurance, you can row at the same speed for quite some time. I will say this, though. Rowing is something that is very technical and requires lots of practice to create proper form. Imagine rowing as the cardio version of deadlifting. If done incorrectly, it can lead to serious back injury, and none of us want that. So, I always recommend doing short, quick bouts of rowing for 10-15 minutes that you treat as practice. You should never go into a workout wanting to punish yourself. That’ll get you admitted to the hospital. Treat your workouts, and rowing, like practice. There is no reason you should be on a rower for more than that unless you are a competitive rower for some Ivy League school. Make sure you practice, perfect your form, and then perform some HIIT sessions from there. There are several different formats you can incorporate into a HIIT workout. You can vary your working time, recovery time, intensity during those times, and more. For more information on how to adjust those variables properly, check out the HIIT At Home series on how to construct your workout format.
Here’s the takeaway. If you’re dedicated, having a home gym is going to be one of the best things you can do for your fitness and long-term health. Once you’ve made that step, be sure to have a rowing machine in your home as it will allow you to get a great workout while waking up the posterior chain of your body that is asleep and inactive most of your life. When rowing, have practice, improve, and refer to our HIIT AT Home series for help when putting your workouts together.
Psst...check out what we feel is the best rower of 2019: the Great Lakes WaterRower w/ S4 Monitor.
Do you want to learn more about HIIT Training? Look for next weeks blog post or download our FREE HIIT Training Workout Guide.
ABOUT THE AUTHORAdam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.