W orking out at home wasn’t a novelty when the pandemic stroke, but this new situation completely changed the way people think about their training corner. Many have added a few extra pieces of equipment, but there is a new trend to bring home the large machines found in gyms, which are more motivating and make it easier to exercise. This is how the race for the best rowing machine started as people discovered a way to stay fit while doing a fun exercise, and all without hitting the gym anymore. Rowing got more popular and is still on the rise, with influencers praising its ability to get you in shape and researchers uncovering the many benefits it offers every day.
The only dilemma that remains to be solved is which is the best mechanism behind these machines, seeing how the offer includes air, magnetic, and water models. The opinions are divided, since some reviews tend to favor price over luxury, while others consider that it isn’t even worth buying a rower if you are not going for the best. What we believe is that each machine is suitable for a certain situation, and the purpose of this article is to highlight the pros and cons of every option and match them against real-life scenarios, thus making it easy for you to understand which suits you best.
“Rowing is the new running”, this is what fancy sports and lifestyle magazines say, and it is easy to see why athletes would prefer rowing inside the house with the AC on instead of running 10 miles through suffocating heat. But the truth is that this new way of training brings a lot of benefits for the average man as well. For example, according to the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine, you can lose up to 500 calories in only 1 hour of rowing, which is the equivalent of running 6 to 7 miles. Quite impressive, isn’t it?
This technique will also make you a lot stronger. If you have heard that rowing inside has nothing in common with the real water experience, you need to check your facts again, as this study has shown that the two activities are very similar in what concerns the development of the muscles.
The main reason specialists recommend this machine is that it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints. It is the perfect pick if your knees are aching after an injury or your hips are no longer as flexible as they used to be, as the latest research results have shown low-impact exercises to be more efficient during the recovery.
The first mechanism we decided to present is the simplest of all, as it doesn’t need any accessory to produce resistance but the wind. Exactly as in an air bike, the pull mechanism is connected to a flywheel, which spins faster and faster as you increase your effort. This also leads to it opposing more resistance, so the key with an air model is that, if you wish to work out harder, you just need to work out harder. Odd, isn’t it? You can nevertheless adjust the resistance level by controlling the volume of air that reaches the wheel, and for this purpose, these machines include a damper.
The mechanism behind a magnetic machine is very similar to the one you would find in an indoor magnetic bike: two magnets influence the rotation of the flywheel by getting closer or further to it. The control of the intensity is in your hand, as you will be turning the knob to select the desired level.
Luxurious and ultra-performant, water models often come with a wood frame and a transparent water reservoir, which help create the sensation that you sit in a real boat. In this case, the water is the one opposing resistance. When you pull the handle, the flywheel spins, and its paddles touch the water, increasing the opposing force.
While it is easy to see that a water mechanism is the most comfortable and performant, this doesn’t mean that it is always the best choice. Let’s see what criteria you need to take into account when making your pick.
Since they don’t put a lot of pressure on your joints, rowing machines have come to replace the traditional running and walking, which can now be performed indoors and on the horizontal. The offer has increased a lot in the past years as a response to the increasing request, so the good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from. Now that you have familiarized yourself with the most common mechanisms behind these apparatuses, it should be easier for you to make the right decision and pick one that is consistent with your budget and space limits but can also match your aesthetic taste.