The Rowing Machine: King of Cardio Equipment
It is of the utmost importance to any exercise-oriented individual that an adequate amount of cardiovascular exercise is completed regularly. Whether you are a bodybuilder with 22″ arms or simply a lean yoga enthusiast, the rule applies across all levels. Without a properly trained heart and lungs, your body misses out on a whole slew of health benefits and a decreased risk of heart problems; not to mention creating a disproportionate distribution of vitality within your body. Sure, your biceps have veins thicker than a garden hose, but what about what’s on the inside?
A dedicated gym goer may look at his/her six pack and scoff, “Cardio? My aerobic-free training has me leaner than ever and sweating it up on the Stairmaster for an hour isn’t my idea of a worthwhile workout.” OK, valid point, but a high performance vehicle is for nothing if the goods under the hood are garbage. Moreover, if you pack on muscle yet refrain to train your cardiovascular system, your physicality will resemble a hulking Toyota Tundra with the dinky engine of a Honda Civic. Struggling.
So, why rowing; better yet, why the rowing machine? Well, considering rivers that weave through your neighborhood with adequate boat houses are scarce, the rowing machine is the best substitute to mimic the movement and reap the rewards of such activity. Better yet, you never have to worry about bad weather, and even better than that, a great cardio workout can be accomplished in a fraction of the time that one may be looking at when getting on board an elliptical or treadmill.
The majority of people are under the assumption that rowing is an upper body intensive movement. Although there is some truth to that statement, the driving force in a successful rowing motion is derived from the lower body, where the body’s powerful leg muscles are able to sustain prolonged exertions that only they can deliver.
Need more reasons to try the rowing machine? How about the fact that the word impact can’t even be found in the same sentence as rowing machine, unless the word ‘low’ is front of it. Unlike running, which places unnecessary stress and trauma on the knees and ankles, rowing favors a far more fluid, floating sense of power and work. As your body moves back and forth over the rolling seat, your joints praise you as they are gently coerced into the flexion and extension of various limbs.
Still need more reasons? One of the greatest aspects of the rowing machine is that it is a cardio exercise that trains your whole musculature; not just your lower body, as many machines do. When stepping away on the Stairstepper, one can feel the sole distribution of strain compiling itself on your legs, while the upper body remains slack and in complete boredom. The rowing machine ties the two sides together, with the legs generating the massive power and force for each stroke and transferring it up the body, giving your abs, arms, shoulders, and of course, back, an awesomely toning workout.
If you have located and affirmed the presence of a rowing machine at your local health club, here is a great way to get introduced to the motion:
- Adjust the foot stretchers: Each machine is equipped with a platform to strap your feet into, both in socks or with shoes, and it needs to be adjusted so that the strap rests atop where the balls of your feet are, and also so that your bending motion isn’t inhibited by the strap.
- Set the fly wheel resistance: 10 is heavy, 1 is light – to put it simply. Personally, I like to warm up in the higher digits (7-10), and then commit to my workouts between 4 and 5, as most university programs suggest.
- Set the clock: The rowing machine has a great computer for tracking your workouts, but for now, simply hit ‘Just Row’, or begin pulling on the handle and the clock will start on its own.
Of course, it isn’t so easy to master the rowing stroke on your first few tries, so keep in mind these pointers:
- Always begin each stroke with lower leg perpendicular to the ground and your seat as far up as can be achieved. At this point, your should be fully outstretched and grasping the handle.
- Legs first! When driving, press off with your glutes, quads, and calves and drive your legs down to full extension.
- Back second! once the legs are down, lean back with a straight back and begin to transfer the speed of the fly wheel to your upper body.
- Arms in third! Once you have achieved a slight posterior lean with your straight back, pull the handle into your nipple line with by retracting your scapulae and flexing your arms.
- The ‘finish’, or end of the stroke goes exactly in reverse order: Arms back out, back over, then slowly move back up the slide with the legs, ready for another stroke.
20 strokes arms only
20 strokes arms and back only
20 strokes half leg extension
40 strokes full leg extension (full strokes)
Sample workout: 1 x 3000M, 1 x 2000M, 1 x 1000M, 1 X 500M, 1:00 rest in between each.
As you may notice this is a descending pyramid type of workout and it is great because mentally, the workload becomes easier and easier as you pass through each interval.
Select workout, then select Interval Variable, then enter the first distance, followed by the three others; then the rest.
The first 3000M should be done at 60-80% of your VO2 max, with that intensity increasing until the last 500M goes by at an all-out effort.
That’s it for now, I hope you can look into incorporating the rowing machine into your next workout and join the thousands who swear by rowing as the King of cardio.
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Three Health Issues Every Man Should Discuss With His Doctor
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Most men are squeamish about discussing their concerns about testosterone, erectile disfunction or trouble urinating, however these embarrassing topics could shed light on deeper more serious health issues like heart disease, cancer or hormone imbalance.
Since most visits to the doctor last less than 20 minutes, getting warmed up can take some effort.
Be armed with a list of questions and concerns to get the most out of your time with your physician.
Cancer, Cholesterol, Cholesterol levels, Diabetes, Hair loss, Heart disease, Hormone replacement, Medical Issues for Men, Men's Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Obesity, Prostate health, Sexual Health, Testosterone, Weight Loss
Tags: doctorvisits, Erectile disfunction, men's health, prostate health, Testosterone
Glutathione, the antiaging secret
Have you ever heard of glutathione (pronounced; gloota-thigh-own)? Neither has almost anyone else. Many researchers say it’s probably the most important substance we require to stay healthy. Many go as far to say it’s the secret to prevent aging. So where’s Oprah, and the rest of the media? A quick search of the term “glutathione” on PubMed.gov reveals 94,117 scholarly articles, reviews and abstracts.
Present in every cell of our body, glutathione levels just might be one of the best biochemical markers there is; the higher your glutathione levels are the healthier you will be. Glutathione deficiency is found in almost all patients with extreme illnesses, e.g., cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes and more. In fact, researchers are concluding glutathione deficiency may play a role in patients with schizophrenia. In cerebrospinal fluid of drug-free schizophrenic patients, a significant decrease in the level of total glutathione was observed as compared to controls. EJN
Glutathione’s importance to a properly functioning immune system has been shown in many studies. According to Dr. Gustavo Bounous, “The limiting factor for the proper activity and multiplication of our lymphocytes (white blood cells) is the availability of glutathione”.
Every day our bodies are exposed to stress, pollution, infection, drugs (illicit or licit) and alcohol, poor diet, infections and injury, which drain our bodies of glutathione; this depletion leaves our bodies susceptible to high levels of oxidative stress, which leads to aging, disease and eventual death. I predict that concern about glutathione levels will eventually be on par with other preventative health issues.
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Coffee cuts agressive cancer risk
A study that involved 5929 Swedish women, found a 33 percent to 57 percent lower risk for ER-negative cancer (the most aggressive type of breast cancer) than did those who drank less than one cup a day.
“Now, we don’t have all the details,” he cautioned. “We don’t know, for example, what specific type of coffee we’re talking about here. But what we do know is that the protective effect is quite striking and remains even after adjusting for a lot of other factors that have the potential to play a protective role. And we know that we’re talking about what we could call a relatively normal amount of coffee drinking. Certainly we’re not talking about consuming gigantic amounts of coffee. So, this is a very intriguing finding.”
Now the challenge is finding what it is in coffee that produces this protective effect, and if it will work with other types of cancer.
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Hot dogs better than chicken?
Many people when shopping for a convenient ready to eat meat at the grocery store would choose rotisserie chicken over hot dogs or pepperoni, but as it turns out in a new study, they’d be wrong. Surprisingly, according to a new study, hot dogs and similar meats like pepperoni and deli meats are relatively free from carcinogenic compounds, and rotisserie chicken would be the riskier option.
The carcinogens in question are heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are compounds found in meat that has been fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Diets high in HCAs from meat increase people’s risk of stomach, breast and colon cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers from Kansas State University tested the HCA levels of eight popular ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.
Pepperoni had the lowest levels of HCAs; hot dogs and deli meat came in second. Overall, these products were low in HCAs, researchers said, while cooked bacon and rotisserie chicken meat had the highest levels. However, rotisserie chicken skin had the highest levels of HCAs overall.
But, before you go purchase pepperoni, consider that its low HCA levels may have to do with processing, which is in itself a health hazard. According to a KSU statement.
Remember, You cannot judge the danger of a food by its HCA content alone, which is based on the manner in which its been cooked. You also have to evaluate all those added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavoring, and food colors. Hot dogs, deli meats and bacon are notorious for their nitrite content, so even though they might be low in HCA’s, they are far from healthful.
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