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The Concept2 Rowing Machine is regarded as one of the most effective all around pieces of exercise equipment on earth.

It's one of the best tools available for building endurance and improving your aerobic base using longer distance workouts. It's also highly effective for building strength, power, and anaerobic capacity via shorter interval-based workouts.

  • NASA researchers have found that 30 minutes on the rowing machine is as effective as 60 minutes of cycling. And NASA's training program uses the rowing machine extensively to help astronauts reduce their required training time and prepare their hearts to deal with the challenges of functioning in zero-gravity.

The Importance of Rowing Technique

Paying careful attention to your technique on the rowing machine is critically important to make sure you're rowing with maximum efficiency. It can also help you avoid injuries that can occur with improper technique - particularly injuries to the lower back.

Concept2 has a ton of great educational resources online that cover a variety of topics, including technique. The video below provides a great primer on rowing form.

(Fred - one of Chatham Works' owners - used to row competitively many moons ago and has logged over 5 million meters on the Concept2 rower. So please feel free to ask him for some pointers while you're here!)

SkiErg

Like the Rowing Machine, the SkiErg offers a great full body workout, and can be used for both shorter intense workouts and longer distance aerobic workouts.

Designed to mimic cross-country skiing, the motion the SkiErg requires is actually a great compliment to the movement pattern the rowing machine requires. But the SkiErg technique is much easier to master, and is significantly easier on your knees and lower back.

Concept2 has a number of educational resources online that can help you learn more about proper technique and how to get the most out of the SkiErg. Here's a quick primer on technique:

BikeErg

Whereas the Rowing Machine and SkiErg are both pieces of equipment that require a little getting used to, the BikeErg is ... well ... like riding a bike. But even though it's simple, it's still a fantastic piece of training equipment. And like its siblings it's great for both aerobic and anaerobic training.

Concept2 Tech Resources

  • Concept2 has a fantastic app - ErgData - that easily pairs with all three of their cardio machines. It can display additional data beyond what's shown on the built-in monitor, and can also upload all of your workout data to their Online Logbook. The Logbook lets you keep track of your total meters, analyze your progress, take part in challenges, and compare your results against others worldwide.
  • They also have a great podcast that guides you through workouts specific to the Rowing Machine, SkiErg, and BikeErg. It's well worth a listen if you're looking for some extra motivation or guidance.
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