Rock 'n' Row Your Way to Better Health

This week, we're turning to our very own Diane Szwajkowski (Diane Ski) for a look into the world of indoor rowing. Diane comes to us from Bucks County PA., bringing  35 years of experience in Indoor Rowing and instruction. She has competed in many indoor rowing races, is a 2004 Finisher of Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon, previous marathon runner and Triathlete. Currently, she teaches Strong Women, a Penn State Extension Program. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher and retired Massage Therapist. 

There's been a lot of buzz around PYRAMID lately surrounding our rowers so we'd like to take you through some basic techniques and ideas in case you missed one of our rowing clinics or are interested in learning more.  

Rowing is more than just a way to get your workout in; it's a combination exercise that provides both a calorie-burning cardiovascular workout and resistance training for your upper body and core. As you work through the drive sequence, your biceps engage to pull the handle toward your abdomen, your back muscles work more as you swing your torso open, and your glutes and hamstrings contract to extend the hip. As the drive finishes with the arm pull-through, nearly all the muscles of your upper body engage.

When you first get on the indoor rower, resist the temptation to do too much too soon. Instead, make sure you focus on your technique and learn to maintain a steady pace. Regardless of your effort level, your stroke should always look smooth.  Legs first, then body, then arms on the drive (pulling motion); Arms, body, legs on the recovery (forward motion).

If you take a look next to the scale in front of our gym floor, you'll notice posters where you can sign up for our Concept2 rowing competition. As a gym, we are participating in the World Erg Challenge. Whether you're new to rowing or are an avid rower, consider signing up and logging your meters. Each team completes as many meters as they can collectively between 12:00 a.m. March 15 and 11:59 p.m. April 15. You can train with a partner, but also feel good knowing that you are part of the larger rowing community, even if you work out alone!

We're very pleased with the communities that are organically growing within our facility to encourage each other in our fitness journeys. Stay tuned for future competitions and clinics. If you'd like help getting acquainted with the rower, we're now offering training sessions to teach you proper technique and help you get the most out of your rowing. If you'd like to set something up, stop at the front desk or see Diane.