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Life in Motion

Rowing: Mixing Tradition and Trend

Sports & Exercise

Rowing is becoming a popular way to exercise in the United States, and every October, Boston welcomes some of the world’s best crew teams for the Head of the Charles Regatta. Although at first glance rowing may seem like a strictly upper body workout, it is actually one of the most efficient exercises out there. You don’t have to join a crew team or even go near the water to get the health benefits of rowing, as you can find rowing machines, also commonly known as ‘ergs,’ at most local gyms.

Rowing is a full body workout, and with each stroke, your body uses strength and power output from the arms, legs, hips, core, lower and upper back. Rowing can allow you to lose weight, build muscle, and improve muscle and joint mobility. It is a great cardiovascular workout, enhancing your lungs ability to provide oxygen throughout your body. Additionally, it is a low impact sport, so it is easier on your joints than many other forms of exercise.

To help prevent injury when rowing, make sure you practice these general safety tips:

  • Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.
  • As with any new exercise, start slow and don’t overdo it.
  • Warm up and stretch before and after you row.
  • Have a trainer review your rowing technique including your rhythm and form to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take rest days to help reduce your chance of overuse injuries.
  • Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly your core and back muscles.
  • As you begin to get fatigued, try to focus on your form. When form breaks down, injuries are more likely to occur.

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