WaterRowers Go the Distance for
 Cardio & Full Body Workout

April 9th, 2015

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In the last several years, fitness programs like Pilates and Yoga have gained widespread popularity in the U.S. We’re seeing more studios like our own that offer Pilates on the apparatus designed by Joe Pilates almost 100 years ago. But while resistance training that also builds flexibility, balance, and core strength is important to overall physical wellbeing, the body also needs cardiovascular work for heart health and weight management.
I’ve wanted to add a cardio component to our studio offerings that was also low-impact and utilized the same principles we emphasize in Pilates, yet still burned substantial calories. It’s been hard to find just the right equipment that we can integrate with Pilates. Enter the WaterRower.
Rowing is one of the best forms of exercise since it recruits a full 84% of the body’s muscle mass to perform the rowing stroke. I knew this meant that my clients would burn more calories with considerably lower perceived levels of exertion. At high-level performance, rowing can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour, more than most physical activity including shoveling snow!
Rowing also is a seated exercise, so body weight doesn’t impact injury-prone joints, and the rowing movements fit right in with our Pilates philosophy. But I always found that rowing machines were well, clunky. The motion as not at all smooth, and that, in and of itself, can be damaging to the body.
Then, I saw a demo of the WaterRower. The difference is that unlike other rowing machines that use air, the WaterRower uses the actual action of a flywheel in water for a smooth, uniform stroke. It’s just like rowing on the Charles and creates a connection between the rower and the water movement. As an added benefit, the gentle sound of the water adds a stress-relieving element to the workout.
The WaterRower was designed in the mid-1980’s by John Duke, a rower on the Yale and US National Rowing Teams. I also like that the WaterRower is manufactured right in our back yard, in Warren, Rhode Island. But the WaterRower really took off when Josh Crosby and Jay Blahnik developed an indoor rowing program, IndoRow, for the equipment. Josh and Jay are an ideal team: Josh is a 3rd generation rower, winning a Gold Medal in the 1992 Junior World Rowing Championships. He also rowed on the Brown University team that won two National Championships. Jay is the fitness education expert and has trained trainers throughout the world.
In my professional experience, you can’t find a better cardio exercise program than IndoRow on the WaterRower. So until the ice on the Charles melts, check out the indoor cardio program that burns calories while being easy on your body.


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  1. Pingback: Shawn’s Rowing Studio + WaterRower | WaterRower Blog

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