You wouldn’t expect the average gym rat to say, “I love rowing,” but magnetic rowing machines are changing all that. These rowers are the latest development in ever more sophisticated workout equipment as industrialized man tries to stay one step ahead of the aging process and the growing obesity epidemic.
Magnetic rowing machines create resistance through an ingenious mechanism that creates resistance by harnessing the energy you create with each rowing stroke. The pull you exert feeds into an electromagnet, which acts as a brake on the rower and creates resistance for you to work against. If you’ve ever wished you could harness your energy while you’re huffing and puffing at the gym, the magnetic rower is your dream come true.
One of the beauties of these machines is how quiet they are. Unlike air rowers, which create resistance by using your energy to spin a fan, there’s no annoying noise to distract you from your workout. That’s because the magnet inside the machine doesn’t create any friction. For this reason, this type of rowing machine is less prone to wear and tear than other designs. On the other hand, if you’re really attached to air rowers, you can buy a machine that uses a fan in combination with a magnet to produce resistance. Some rowers believe that a fan apparatus is more effective at lower speeds, while the magnetic system gives better resistance at higher speeds. The best way to make this choice is to try out a number of different machines.
If there’s anything to scare the would-be rowing enthusiast away from a magnetic rower, it’s their bulkiness. The long rail running down the center doesn’t fold up readily, so unlike other types of rowers, you can’t fold it up and tuck it away inside a closet. The ideal spot for one of these units is in a special room in your house dedicated to working out. Of course, commercial gyms have embraced this technology with enthusiasm as well.
Magnetic rowers have sophisticated workout programming technology to go with their high-tech method of generating resistance. Options include adjustable resistance, preset workout programs, a heart rate monitor, and metrics such as time, distance, and calories burned.
For many years, rowing has gotten short shrift at the gym and in fitness magazines, and most personal trainers seem to ignore it. There seems to be a misconception that only sport rowing enthusiasts can benefit from this exercise. On the contrary, rowing is a wonderful full-body workout that uses the trunk, legs, arms, and back in combination, while at the same time driving your heart into the aerobic zone. With the right equipment, a magnetic rowing machine can be every bit as much fun as an elliptical machine or treadmill—or at least, as fun as exercise can possibly be.