How to have a complete indoor rowing session with SKILLROW
Rowing is a full-body exercise that requires muscular effort from the legs, buttocks, lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms and abdomen. It is a very effective exercise because it involves many muscles at once, allowing the entire body to be worked out in a relatively short time.
In addition, when rowing, calorie expenditure is very high, which explains why rowing is an excellent way to improve body composition: it reduces fat mass and facilitates weight loss.
Indoor kayaking benefits
However, kayaking is not an easily accessible sport for most people, as it requires the presence of at least one kayaking club, and thus a large enough mass of water for this activity, which is not found in all cities. On the other hand, most fitness clubs have at least one rowing machine, which is sometimes used very little.
This is no surprise. Unlike pedaling or walking, which are somewhat spontaneous, learning to row is an exercise that requires the right technique, which sometimes even the average personal trainer doesn't quite know. With each stroke, three different parts of the body are activated, which must work in unison. Certainly, the work of the "core" in this sport is necessary, because it is, with the activation of the glutes, the cornerstone between the work done by the lower part (extension of the legs) and the upper part. From the body (extension of the torso followed by bending of the arms). Such a movement, if performed poorly, causes the famous lower back pain, which is the pain most terrified by rowers.
At the same time, even in the best rowing machines on the market, there are always one or more significant differences in the actual conditions of rowing in the water, which in the long run can cause inevitable overloading of the areas of the musculoskeletal system. Rowing movement muscles.
Let's learn the basic differences between kayaking and indoor kayaking.
1. Water resistance
The acceleration phase begins when the rower places his oars in the water. Then the rower pulls the oars as far as possible expressing the highest values of force. The higher the force applied and the speed of the blow, the more power is obtained during the artistic gesture.
Obviously, the more consistent the rower's resistance is from the beginning to the end of the movement, the more the sensation will be similar to that of handling the oars in the water, which will allow the athlete to put more force into his gesture. However, with rowing machines that are usually on the market, this is rarely possible, unfortunately, since they are composed of mechanical parts that, by reason of their structure, assembly or otherwise, cause more or less obvious defects, which subsequently harm the quality general emulator.
2. Fishing slip
It is directly related to the lack of water resistance, and it seems that one of the main faults of the rowing machine, according to athletes, is the so-called “fishing slip”. This problem has found fertile ground in the sports literature, as evidenced by numerous scientific studies and many famous Olympic athletes in their interviews.
What is a "fishing voucher"? In short, the catch slip is the shift in expression of the rower's resistance when the user pulls the handle. That is, resistance does not occur from the beginning of the draw phase. Then the handle moves quickly in the vacuum, then slows down after a few centimeters, or more or less suddenly as soon as the resistance begins. This irregularity, although also present but very little in the water, causes back injury which, in the long run, is very harmful to the athlete.
3. Weight of inertial rower
In the most common type of rowing machine, the footboard is attached to the frame and the athlete's body moves backward during the pulling phase. On the other hand, in a real boat, it remains stationary on the boat, but this boat is completely floating on a fluid body. Without the oars ("fixed" in the water), the rower pushes the boat back with its feet, in the opposite direction to the boat's advance. This difference in "movement pattern" generates inertial forces which add to the existing forces and primarily affect the upper body, especially the spine.
According to many people, the solution lies in the so-called "dynamic" rowing machine, in which the athlete's body remains somewhat immobile relative to the machine. In general, however, the resistance of the rower is not the same as the resistance of the boat, which generally results in a "lighter" overall voltage.
Plus, rowing includes a faster pace and excellent technique (which is unfortunately uncommon in the fitness world). For these reasons, it is used in the world of sports for specific activities (for example, to recover after an injury) or as part of training aimed at improving aerobic and anaerobic performance.
The solution of the aerobic stationary rowing machine today is the most widely adopted in the world of fitness and in the world of sports in general (so much so that even national and international federations use it in the framework of official assessments of athletes).
Skills, immersion in the world of kayaking
In order to make the world of indoor rowing less hostile to beginners and to remind people of its many benefits, we at Technogym decided to speak directly with athletes to find out what they think a rower can make a difference. We have designed and tested with them a rowing machine that can better reproduce the feeling of paddling in the water, in order to bring indoor training closer to real conditions.
To choose the most suitable rowing machine for sports training, it is necessary to pay attention to the level of resistance, but also to its quality in order to better reproduce the movement and the feeling of rowing.
The results of these tests led to Technogym's SKILLROW, a technically advanced rowing machine that meets the demands of athletes, making it the best rowing machine on the sports market.