Category Archives: Rowing Machines

Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

Amazing value for a magnetic resistance rowing machine at just over $200.

Sunny Health and Fitness are very good at producing good pieces of gym equipment at very reasonable prices. The Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW5515 is no exception to this trend. If fact, the price is so low, it’s almost silly!

So what about the machine? The assembly is very straightforward and simple and only takes about 20 minutes.

Unlike air baffle rowers such as the Concept 2, the action is extremely quiet making it very suitable for a living room. The only thing that you can really hear is the seat rolling backwards and forwards on the runners and perhaps the occasional grunt of effort by the user!

The performance is similar to many of the other magnetic resistance rowers on the market. There is a knob just underneath the monitor which adjusts the load that can be set to a high enough level to challenge the strongest of men.

Sunny Fitness Magnetic Rower SeatThe seat is fairly comfortable although I prefer to user a rowing machine seat pad. The foot rests are big enough but it is not possible to adjust the position of the straps relative to the feet. I could imagine this being a problem if you have really small feet. I don’t (size 13!!)

In terms of storage, this machine folds away to quite a compact size and can be folded with minimum effort. It’s not as beautiful at the Waterrower which looks like a piece of furniture when put away against a wall, but then it does cost six times as much!

The monitor is not fantastic. It tracks strokes, time, and calories. However, with a good heart rate monitor and a notebook, it is quite easy to measure your improvements. My advice is to set a stroke rate of around 21-25 spm and the resistance to whatever you can sustain for the time period you are training. Keep these settings for ten training sessions and make a note of your average heart rate at the end of each session. If it starts dropping, you are getting the training right. If you are looking for a machine with a fantastic competition level computer, then you need to upgrade to a Concept 2 but this will set you back around $1000.

All in all, the Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine is terrific value for money and will give you as good a workout as with any other magnetic resistance rower.

It’s currently priced at $205 on Amazon.


Compare other rowing machines here.


Why Indoor Rowing Is Much More Than Just Cardio

The term “cardio” is loosely used to define several activities. It is important to note some cardiovascular activities hold greater weight than others despite being under the same umbrella. Indoor rowing would be one of these activities.

It is one of the more robust activities a person can use to lose weight and get stronger. Let’s take a look at why indoor rowing is more than simple cardio for those creating a meaningful workout program.

What Is Indoor Rowing?

Before looking into dissecting indoor rowing for its benefits, let’s assess what it encompasses.

Indoor rowing is completed with an indoor rowing machine or “indoor rower.” The premise of this machine is to recreate the rowing motion indoors.

An ergometer is attached to the machine to determine how much force is being expended and the artificial distance being covered. This helps shape one’s workout and progress towards established goals. Many gyms and home gyms are now filled with these machines because of how useful they are in losing weight and getting healthier.

Comparable Types Of Cardio

What are some of the comparable types of cardiovascular activities and machines one can use?

Treadmills are not as effective as indoor rowing1) Bicycle
2) Treadmill
3) Stepper

These are the three key cardio machines a person will get to see when heading to a local gym or when buying equipment for a home gym.

These pieces of equipment are fantastic, but it’s important to understand rowing machines are better. The amount of wasted force with these machines is greater than that which an indoor rowing machine will require. With wasted force comes lost potential.

Studies have shown an indoor rowing machine is far greater in getting a whole body workout.

Benefits Of Indoor Rowing

Let’s begin with the advantages of indoor rowing for those who are looking to come to grips about this activity and why it holds merit in the world of cardio. Many people feel this is the ultimate solution and far better than other activities due to these underlying advantages.

1) Whole Body Workout

Indoor Rowing Workout Rocks!
Workout Rocks!

The first benefit comes from usage. A general cardiovascular activity will get the blood pumping and heart racing. This is wonderful, but it’s not ideal when it comes to time expended. With an indoor rowing machine, it’s possible to get the whole body working out at the same time.

The movement requires force and this means the body from head to toe has to be utilized.

With indoor rowing, the body will be put under the pump, and this will extract real value from each minute spent on the machine.

2) Maximizes Muscle Retention

The one thing a lot of cardiovascular workouts tend to hamper involves muscle retention. This is the idea of losing muscle over a period of time. Instead of letting this happen, it’s better to go with a machine designed to retain muscle in the long-term.

The maximization of muscle is one of the key selling points of the indoor rowing machine.

It gets the heart racing, but it also makes sure the body is working in a manner where the muscles don’t start to lessen in mass.

3) Builds Mind-Muscle Connection

The machine does an excellent job of building an in-depth mind-muscle connection. This lets you understand your body better and get more value out of the session.

This is why many prefer indoor rowing over other activities.

It challenges the body to maintain good posture and continue the movement in a safe manner. If a person ignores this, they don’t optimize the movement. It’s a unique activity and one with a lot of value.

4) Reduces Pressure On Joints

The final benefit comes in the form of reduced pressure on the joints. There is no reason to go with a machine such as a treadmill, which can ruin one’s knees from the constant pounding. The low-impact nature of indoor rowing makes it beneficial.

These are the reasons why indoor rowing is more than simple cardio and continues to be a prime option for those wanting high-grade results in this day and age. Working out isn’t about getting up, but also making sure things are doing with a high level of care where quality results are possible.

Best Rowing Machine Training Tips

Rowing for Men

Man with OarMuscle formation and stamina increases with rowing – perfect for men!

Conventional fitness equipment primarily focuses on either the individual parts of the body or specific muscle groups; however, this is not the case with rowing. Rowing is a total body workout, where both cardio and strength are equally trained. Strong resistance at regular short periods will help grow your muscles. Especially the back, arm and leg muscles and the stamina are trained with the help of Rowing. However, training for longer periods improves endurance helping protect you from many diseases that often occur in untrained people of the same age.

Rowing for Women

Rowing workouts tone the individual body parts and burns calories – perfect for every women.

Rowing, not only offers an optimal training for men, but slowly more and more women are also discovering the benefits of rowing for workouts for both muscle strength and aerobic fitness. In contrast to a treadmill or cross-trainer, the rowing machine stresses the whole body. In particular, legs, arms, shoulders, stomach, and the back are functionally trained. Such a strengthening full body workout boosts post training calorie consumption and therefore helps reduce weight.

Motivational Tips

Lose weight & get fit!

Continue reading Best Rowing Machine Training Tips

Why is a Rowing Machine the Best Training You Can Do?

A Workout using a Rowing Machine is versatile and extremely important for the body. Rowing offers an optimal total body workout. No matter you are old or young, male or female, trained or untrained; every individual who wishes to be athletic fit is in good hands with a rowing machine. Discover here the benefits of rowing and the important tips and tricks to be kept in mind for the right training!

 Why is rowing so important?

Rowing offers an optimal total body workout. Indoor rowing is pretty popular and is not only just meant for the top athletes. No matter you are old or young, male or female, trained or untrained; everyone who wishes to be athletic fit is in good hands with a rowing machine.

Discover the positive effects that come along with rowing and why you should also consider investing in a rowing machine! Continue reading Why is a Rowing Machine the Best Training You Can Do?

Best Pages about Rowing Technique

This is my favourite site for learning how to row. This page not only breaks down the stroke for you but also links to videos to show you exactly how it should be done. But that is not all! There is a whole section on getting started, under the how to row/drills menu there’s a bunch on posts about different practices you can to to improve every part of the stroke.  There’s a list of good workouts and even a section for sport’s scientists to learn more about rowing. All in all, an excellent resource even if you’re only ever planning on rowing on your indoor machine. Continue reading Best Pages about Rowing Technique

Exercises that Keep Seniors Active

Forget childhood obesity. Children are not the most inactive group of North Americans. Studies show that adults over sixty-five spend ten or more hours a day sitting or lying down. They are the most sedentary age group.

Inactivity comes with a cost both physical and mental. Inactive seniors have higher incidences of falls, obesity, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s and early death compared to their more active counterparts.

Staying active often means staying healthy and maintaining independence.

Keeping active is an excellent way to combat the aging process. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there about aging and exercise. Here are some examples. Continue reading Exercises that Keep Seniors Active

What are the benefits of a rowing machine workout?

If you’re looking for an exercise machine that will help you lose weight build strength in major muscle groups and maintain bone density no matter what your age or level of fitness rowing is the perfect exercise for you.  Rowing also offers those who are recovering from an injury or surgery a good workout that won’t irritate injuries or incisions.

When you row, not only your arms, legs, chest, back, and abs but also your mind gets a complete workout. The smooth, rhythmic motion of rowing and the time to let your mind wander do wonders to relieve stress.

If you have aging joints rowing offers Low-impact exercise that is easy on the knees and ankles. Rowing proceeds at your own pace. Thus, people of any age or fitness level can do it. Rowing actually improves range of motion for bodies that are aging and losing range of movement. Continue reading What are the benefits of a rowing machine workout?

Don’t Jog – Run. Why long low intensity workouts are a waste of time

jogging photoUnless you’re training for a marathon, the idea that long low-intensity cardio sessions, such as an hour of slow jogging or pootling along on the stationary bike whilst reading a book will burn piles of fat is a complete myth. I could get all technical here about energy pathways and how oxygen is utilized in the presence of fat to rebuild adenosine triphosphate from adenosine diphosphate (If you’re curious, here’s a good summary).

However, I’m not going to do that, as what we are interested in here is how you go about beating the bulge in the 30 minutes a day that you actually do have for fitness once you’ve been to work, been shopping, cooked, fed the family and got the kids to bed. At this stage of the day, you’re completely knackered and it’s the hardest thing in the world to motivate yourself to go to the gym, let alone the prospect of sitting on that stupid treadmill for an hour.

Well, I can’t offer you much help with the kids, but I can make your workout more efficient.

rowers photoThe first thing you’ve got to understand is that you are not training for the Olympics… or maybe you are, in which case, WHY are you reading this?? Olympic rowers will spend a couple of hours at a time sitting on the ergo in the boathouse. Boring, yes, but this is the stuff of champions.

What they are doing is training a particular energy pathway, namely the fat + oxygen + ADP -> ATP + CO2 + water. They need to be more efficient at doing this so that their bodies can utilize this source of energy production at higher intensities and for longer during a race. But you my friend are trying to get fit and lose weight.

A very effective type of training is a circuit with resistance stations and medium intensity cardio stations.  You can use your imagination and create your own in your garden, with running on the spot, star jumps, press-ups, crunches, burpees, lifting sandbags, etc., etc. Great in the summer, but more tricky in January.

If you can’t be bothered with that, there’s always jogging. What?! Jogging? Don’t jog – Run! OK, don’t overdo it on the first outing, and please, please make sure you consult your doctor before you start an exercise program especially if you’re been a couch potato for the last decade.

However, once you do get into it and have been out for a few jogs, try a bit of interval training. Interval training is where you raise and lower the intensity of the exercise in intervals. This trains different energy pathways such as the ones needed for the final sprint for the line at the end of the 1500m or perhaps, more realistically, the turn of pace required to catch the number 38 bus that is just pulling away.

More to the point, you’re muscles and joints will also react to the training, getting stronger than if you only pushed them to the level of a slow jog all the time. Practically, you could pick up the pace on alternate lampposts or trees on your normal circuit. Like I said, build it up gradually. Depending on your starting level, if you keep this up, eventually you will get to the stage where you can go at a full on sprint between every third and fourth lamppost. Now, that’s fitness!

There are a couple of added benefits to training at higher intensities. Once you finish your workout, with your tired muscles, the body has to go to work repairing the damage you have done. OK, this sound more dramatic than it actually is.

Every time you train a muscle to the point at which it feels sore the next day, you have slightly damaged some of the muscle fibers. This is perfectly normal. Your body repairs the muscle and slightly over-compensates, adding a few extra fibers so that it is better able to cope next time. This is the whole principle behind body-building.

muscle photoThis repair job requires energy, which will be created in the presence of oxygen and fat. So there you have the after-burn effect, which can last up to thirteen hours post training. So, you could go for a slow jog to burn your hours worth of fat, or you could do a half-hour high intensity workout, and burn extra fat several hours whilst you rest. Hmmmm. Difficult choice?

The other wonderful benefit of a high intensity workout is the amount of endorphins it releases in comparison to low intensity. You will simply feel great afterwards.

I like running. I go off with my dog in the woods behind my house. Trouble is, it’s pretty hard on the joints and there’s always the risk of injury. I tore a quadriceps muscle last week by stumbling over a root on the way back downhill and taking a big step to prevent myself falling on my face. It’s just about getting better now.

rowing photo

I have never injured myself on my Concept2. I usually do my interval training by doing 30 seconds high intensity, then dropping down to low for a minute, then 30 seconds medium, followed by another minute low and then repeating the process for ten cycles. It’s easy to set your intensities using wattage or meters per minute as your guide.

Whatever exercise method you choose, remember that the most effective form of exercise is a mixture of cardio and resistance. The resistance can be in the form of higher intensity such as interval training. Vary your training to prevent A) boredom and B) your body getting used to the same routine. If you run the same circuit every day, try going the other way round.

Happy training!

Photo by Claude Robillard

Photo by RightIndex

Photo by markheybo

Photo by DancesWithLight

Different Types of Rowing Workouts

Why Rowing Machine Workouts?

Rowing machines have become a popular home workout vehicle for several reasons:

  • Rowing machines burn calories. Rowing for half an hour burns up to 200 calories—depending on your pace and the resistance setting of the machine. So mathematically in a month you could but up to six thousand calories with just a half hour a day time investment.
  • Rowing machines target muscle groups in abdomen, arms and legs.
  • Rowing is a good cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens cardiac muscles and raises the heart beat leading to better blood circulation.
  • Rowing leads to better muscle tone
  • Rowing eases stress. You will feel more energized, more confident, more optimistic and less anxious.
  • A rowing machine workout is low impact exercise.

The best time for a rowing machine workout is early morning or late evening when your stomach is empty. Drink water before and after your half hour of rowing.
If you are a beginner, start with lower resistance e.g. 2-3 level. Proper posture is vital to avoid back pain. Gradually increase time and resistance over a period of weeks.

Example Workouts

1. Beginners
Try a WaterRower. If you are a complete beginner, row on low resistance (i.e., 2 or 3) for three to five minutes. If you have a medium level of fitness you might extend the time to ten or fifteen minutes. If you are very fit, you might row fifteen to thirty minutes.
When starting out, shorter sessions more often are better than one longer session.

Row at an easy pace with a smooth stroke rate of eighteen to twenty-two strokes per minute.
Take a few weeks to reach a comfortable speed for you. Use a heart rate monitor to monitor intensity.

Focus on good posture. Regulate ratio and rhythm. Make sure you pass through all the checkpoints. Practice your slide drill. Take twice as long to slide forwards on recovery compared to the drive back.

Always allow tome for a cool down and stretch period after each rowing workout.

A good beginner schedule is three to four workouts the first week.


For more seasoned rowers:Twenty-Minute Cardio workout

Set the damper (controls the drag or resistance) between 3 and 5. Choose a comfortable pace.
Row for nine minutes
Stand up. Stretch. You might try walking lunges.
Sit down. Complete the second half of your session.

For very Experienced and Fit Rowers: The Thousand-Meter Meltdown

This workout involves rowing long and fast. It also requires perfect rhythm and form.
Increase and decrease the strokes per minute for each set.

Warm up for five or ten minutes.
Set the level to medium.
Do three sets of thousand-meter rows.
Maintain 28 strokes per minute on the first set.
Take a four-minute break.
Do 24 strokes per minute for the second set.
Take a four-minute break.
Complete the third set at 26 strokes per minute.
Warm ups, Cool downs and Stretches
To avoid injuries it is important to do warm ups, cool downs and stretches. A video of helpful suggestions for these vital parts of your rowing workout is available by clicking on:

Pinsent to Receive Rowing’s Top Honour

Matthew Pinsent
Matthew Pinsent

Sir Matthew Pinsent of Great Britain is to be the recipient of the 2005 Thomas Keller Medal for an “outstanding career in rowing” awarded by the International Rowing Federation (FISA).

The medal has been established as the highest honour in the sport of rowing and is presented to recognise an exceptional rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship. Named after the late President of FISA, the first medal was first awarded to the great Norwegian oarsman Alf Hansen in 1990.

Pinsent’s rowing career spanned over 17 years, since his International debut at the Junior World Championships in 1987. He became part of the rowing legend when he partnered Sir Steve Redgrave to help win his 5th consecutive Olympic Gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

When Redgrave retired, Pinsent teamed up with James Cracknell in the men’s pair, continuing the World Championship winning streak and going unbeaten until 2002. Pinsent returned to the four for the 2004 Athens Olympics, successfully ending his rowing career with a fourth Olympic Gold medal.

Since 1990, Pinsent’s rowing achievements include 4 Olympic gold medals, 10 World Rowing Championship golds and 6 Rowing World Cup gold medals in the men’s four, men’s pair and even the men’s coxed pair, making him one of Britain’s most successful athletes in any sport.

The 18-carat gold Thomas Keller medal will be presented to Pinsent by Dominik Keller, son of the late Thomas Keller, on Saturday 28 May 2005, just after the men’s eight race at the BearingPoint Rowing World Cup regatta in Eton, Great Britain (26 to 28 May).

Previous awardees of the medal include Nico Rienks (NED), Peter Antonie (AUS), Marnie McBean (CAN) and Sir Steve Redgrave (GBR).

For additional information contact Marion Gallimore at FISA on +41.21 612 20 26 or by e-mail:

Accreditation and results details for major international events can be found at

The GB Rowing Squad is supported by the National Lottery Sports Fund as part of UK Sport’s World Class Performance Programme.

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