We’ve invested so much in ourselves after the year we’ve all gone through and now as the world slowly starts turning again the struggle to balance work and staying fit has crept back in. Working out from home was a great distraction and pretty successful for a lot of us, but many will no doubt be looking for ways in which they can sustain the fitness levels they achieved – in as little time as possible.
That’s where a clever piece of kit like the Hydrow rower comes into play. Some may say they tend to ignore the rower at the gym, but when you consider it can deliver a near full-body workout in one 15-minute session, working out up to 86% of the muscles in your body in one smooth stroke, it needs to be taken more seriously.
What is Hydrow?
Time-strapped commuters and busy parents will reap the rewards from squeezing in as little as three 15-minute sessions a week, or those still WFH can hop to their spare room or garage for a quick burst of cardio.
The Hydrow is a rowing machine with a 22-inch immersive screen that will transport you to Miami, Lake Lucerne, the Highlands and more, where you row with Olympic athletes in real-time as they glide along the water and you follow suit. There are no boundaries with the £38 monthly subscription fee as everyone in the household can access a profile to complete one of the 3,000+ live and on-demand workouts on real waterways around the world, which also include yoga, Pilates and strength.
You won’t need to worry about bothering your neighbours as the Hydrow rower promises a smooth, quiet ride so if you’ve got space in your apartment, they’ll barely hear a peep, just maybe a spot of panting as you work out with your favourite athlete and climb the leaderboard alongside your fellow members.
Try out Hydrow's new Gemini Boat Race inspired home workout entitled Race on the Thames.
What areas does the rowing machine target?
Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer Jack McNamara, explains just how effective rowing is as an exercise: “Our bodies utilise nearly every major muscle group in the body when we row, and since rowing recruits so many muscle groups, it's also one of the best workouts you can do. On a minute-for-minute basis, you'll burn more calories, build greater endurance, and maintain more strength and balance.”
Jack adds: “Rowing involves coordinating multiple types of actions and overall targets every large muscle group in the body – a total of 86 per cent of the body’s total musculature is involved! The rowing stroke is typically thought of as consisting of four main phases, each of which places the emphasis on slightly different areas.”
The catch – the start of the stroke when your knees are fully bent, and the shins are ideally vertical. Your arms stretch out and grip is engaged to reach the handle, back is relaxed and abdominals will help you flex forwards.
The drive – typically the most powerful part of the stroke when your legs extend and the shoulders contract. Your glutes and hamstrings extend your hips as the torso tilts backwards and your arms pull through. The main focus is to push, not pull, though all the muscles of your upper body will play a role during this phase.
The finish – This is when you’re furthest away from the screen, with the legs extended, glutes and quads contracting. A large number of muscles at the back of the body also contract to keep the body upright.
The recovery – the triceps push the arms forward and abdominals flex the torso as you slide forwards again to the catch position, with the large muscles at the back of the legs, hamstrings and calves, contracting to assist you to pull back in.
How much does a Hydrow rower cost?
This is about long-term overall fitness, so the price tag of the Hydrow (check the site for special offers) is for those who want to invest in their lifestyle and make a change with the low-impact piece of equipment.
The Hydrow rower itself is 86 inches long and 25 inches wide, and it can be stored upright but you will need at least 86 inches of ceiling height. Hydrow suggests a minimum of one foot of clear space both behind and in front of the Hydrow rower when you’re working out. You’ll also probably want a rubber or dense foam mat underneath your Hydrow rower to protect your flooring which you can also buy at Hydrow.
Shop: Buy A Hydrow Machine
The Hydrow machine is sold with a 30-day 'risk-free' trial. Check the Hydrow site for special offers on packages.