Article by The Drummond Team

It burns 600 calories an hour – and its back in fashion – get ready for power rowing!

Notice how there’s never a queue for the rowing machine in the gym? It’s normally in the corner of the gym collecting dust, but now the machine is having a moment, thanks to the rise of the rowing-machine-only studios and classes with rooms full of indoor rowers, sweating it out under strobe lights to the sound of very loud house music.

Sure, it may work all your muscles at once, but everyone knows that it’s really hard work (and no one seems quite sure of the correct technique). When you’re craving a cardio fix, you probably head for the treadmill or elliptical. 

Did you know the  rower is easier on your joints because there’s no impact, but you can burn lots of calories?  it engages all of your muscles, from arms to core to legs, which gets your heart rate up to the maximum. It’s pretty much the ultimate full-body workout.

Using 85 per cent of the body’s muscles across nine muscle groups, it provides a full-body resistance workout, its brilliant for cardio fitness, flexibility and strength, gobbles calories (up to 600 in an hour) — and yet (for those concerned about their joints) is pleasingly low-impact.

And you’re almost doing a half-sit-up at the end of every stroke, so you’ll also get a tight, toned mid-region. Compared to a cycling or a treadmill, the rowing machine burns many more calories. It depends on your size and how hard you’re working, but in an hour you can burn over 1,000 calories.

What’s not to like? Well, a wrenched lower back because you jumped on the rowing machine and half killed yourself yanking that chain isn’t fun. The problem is that we think we know how to row, but in fact we don’t. Rowing is not about pulling — it’s about pushing with your legs, and then letting your arms follow through. People can hurt their backs because they pull really hard with their arms, instead of pushing with their legs.

So the next time you’re in the gym, be sure to give the rowing machine a go – but remember:  push with your legs – don’t pull with your arms!

Sources: The Times Online, Women’s Health