The Most Unused Gym Equipment

When thinking about the gym and which equipment your going to use, you never think “Rowing Machine!” In fact, you probably think of the most common ones: the elliptical, the treadmill and the stair master. Why is that? Why is it that we automatically latch on to the most popular exercising equipment, but tend to negate the Rowing Machine (Indoor Rower)? Even, the cycling and regular bikes get more use then the rowing machines. It really seems like the rowing machine is headed for extinction, but the question is: why?

Earlier this week I went to the gym to complete a Mankofit Challenge workout (Mankofit is Massy, my motivation chick). The challenge had me complete 5 different types of cardio exercises, completing a mile in each. One of them required me to use the  dreaded rowing machine. Now, prior to Monday (when I completed the challenge) I had never, ever, used that machine. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just never used it, nor ever thought to use it. And I rarely saw anyone using it. It was like the unwanted step-child, the ugly duckling, like a sandwich where the two pieces of bread are alike but the middle (being the equipment) was different from the others; that’s how I perceived the rowing machine to be.

This is what a rowing machine looks like. Photo Credit: Fitsugar

This is what a person using proper form on a rowing machine looks like.
Photo Credit: Fitsugar

After using it for the first time last night, I realized “people are tripping!” I was breathing hard, I had burned close to 100 calories for that one mile, and I had a little bit of sweat going on (I mean, I tend to go hard in the gym, I’m there for a reason and there is no lollygagging allowed).

So as I began to think of what I wanted to tackle this week, I decided on the rowing machine; something that I believe to be the “most unused” aka “the most hated” fitness equipment at your favorite fitness center; asking the question of :  “Why does it go unused?” and “What are the benefits?”

So, Why does the equipment go unused?

The rowing machine is that one lonely machine in the gym, gathering dust as the day goes by. It’s the kind that does the exercise that looks like the person is rowing a boat. The benefits? Amazing.  These machines, that makes it look like your gliding in mid-air, allow for a nice burn, and conditions both the upper and lower body!

But it’s not the most commonly used machine, many times it’s because we don’t know how to use it. When we do try, we:

  1. Lack proper form
  2. Some of us are lazy and would rather have an “easier” workout
  3. Get bored easily, since the equipment sits kind of low, pretty hard to watch the TV’s.

As it turns out, when we work out with proper form, however, you get a hell of a workout! According to Stephenson, from SELF  magazine, the rower melts 8 calories per minute and tones your entire body. Pretty sweet, right?

But if we really sit down and think, who row’s outside of the gym? Like, who actually goes to the river, on their boat, and starts rowing away? Not many of us, so I can see how it would be hard for anyone to pick a machine that we normally wouldn’t do outside of the gym. Drummer Boy, from a City-Data forum discussing the reason for why the rowing machine goes unused states,”Also, many people who do the bike or the treadmill at the gym actually run or ride outside as well, so they are staying in shape for that by using machines that mimic that same exercise. Conversely, very few people row outdoors in real water very often; at least in comparison with those other two activities.”  Ain’t it the truth!

So, What are the benefits of using the machine?


The muscles worked , while on the rowing machine. Photo Credit: EZIA

Aside from the obvious, like getting a great workout:

  • Low Impact (especially if you have bad knees)
  • Muscle Conditioning (Sexy Legs, arms, core and back!)
  • Burning Calories (a lot of the of course)
  • Looking Good


Can I mention this again, though:

Sexy Legs,  Sexy Arms, Sexy Core and Sexy Back (yes, yes).  Total body workout! I’m all about getting my sexy and strong on! The Indoor Rower is an effective machine, for muscle and for aerobic workout. Don’t let it go unused anymore! Just remember to have proper form, bring a good pair of headphones and start rowing!

Give it a try 😉



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