Rolling-seat rowers get your legs in on the workout.
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If someone were to tell you they got a great workout rolling the seat of an exercise machine back and forth, you'd be reluctant to believe it. But the same claim made about a rowing machine is easily understandable. Rowing machines are made to simulate the movement of rowing a scull on the water. Sculls have sliding seats, so rowers have seats that roll back and forth with your movements to replicate scull rowing accurately.
Get Your Heart Pumping
One of the main reasons for using a rolling-seat rower is to get a challenging cardio workout. Rowing machines are typically included on the list of effective aerobic workouts because the repetitive action and quick pace of rowing gets your heart rate up and requires your body to use more oxygen to keep your muscles moving.
Work Multiple Muscle Groups
When you work out on a rowing machine, you engage almost all of your muscles. Your back, arms, hips, shoulders and core all have to work together to perform the rowing movement and maintain the cadence. Additionally, the rolling seat gets your legs in on the action to build strength in your lower body, from your calves on up, including your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Enjoy Low-Impact Benefits
Rolling-seat rowers are among the few fitness machines that provide a challenging cardio workout while being low impact. That makes rowing useful for kick-starting a weight-loss program if you're overweight because your joints won't take a beating while you get your heart rate up to burn calories. It's also an effective way for runners to cross-train if they have a minor injury.
Row the Right Way
It's vital to properly use your rolling-seat rower to reap the full exercise benefits. The rower should always be on a level, flat surface. Row at a pace that is quick enough to get your heart rate up to 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Keep your back straight and head up during the exercise. As you row, don't flex your knees before your hands pass them when you're pulling back. When starting the forward part of the row, move the handles toward the front of the rower before you start bending your knees and rolling the seat forward. Row at a slower pace for about five minutes to warm up and than again to cool down. The American Council on Exercise recommends that beginners start with 15-minute sessions, increasing time and intensity as fitness levels improve.