Even if you’ve never rowed,
the Indoor Sculler is your best choice.
Rowing’s low impact dynamics can keep you fit and active for a lifetime. Until now, you could only benefit from those dynamics in a boat on the water, usually at odd hours of the early morning!
The Indoor Sculler makes the benefits of rowing accessible more easily than ever before; it captures the sensation and benefits of real rowing: a full range of motion, no gravity shocks, and the perfect cardio & strength building exercise.
The shear and compression forces on your knees and back are lower than on standard rowing machines – injury risk is reduced and greater strength & co-ordination are developed
The Limited Tilt Seat encourages correct spinal alignment and significantly increasing core activation and development, while simultaneously creating a more interesting and challenging workout due to the inclusion of balance.
The moving Main Frame also radically reduces head movement – your brain no longer sloshes around in your skull, compared with a fixed frame where your head (& body) move large distances with vigorous changes in direction. As an added bonus, wearing headphones is more comfortable than on a fixed head rowing machine
The handle takeoff point (vertical distance from seat top to chain pulley) is significantly higher than on most common rowing machines, including the commonly-used Concept 2 (see photograph below). The benefit is a better, more neutral posture and reduced lumbar spinal flexion for the user – another protective injury reduction feature for the user’s lower back
How individuals will Benefit
It is not uncommon to see a serious co-ordination fault in someone who has been rowing for ten or more years.
I know – I had one. My arm draw was too late. Having been coached to really accelerate the finish hard, my interpretation had been different to what my coaches had probably meant.
After seeing my force profile on the Rowperfect monitor, I realised what I was doing wrong, modified my stroke and made a major improvement in less than fifteen minutes.
The Rowperfect breaks the learning process into easily managed steps.
The result is you can learn to row (or teach someone to row) much quicker – without the bad habits which are often acquired, and then ingrained, when we learn in a boat from day one.
Why Rowing May Be A Lot Better For You Than Static Exercise Machines
Benefits of Resistance Training
There is no doubting the benefits of resistance training – it can boost muscle mass (which improves body composition), increases flexibility & sports performance, and simultaneously give the psychological and physical benefit associated with exercise generally.
The problem with Static Machines
Some bio-mechanical experts now think that today’s high-tech resistance machines are not only inefficient at improving muscle function, but they may actually increase the risk of long-term injuries and movement dysfunction. The human brain has evolved over millions of years to perform complex movement, marked by highly complex natural sequences of muscle recruitment which share the load over as many joints as possible. Our muscles operate as teams not individuals. Every muscle makes its own contribution, operating at optimal length, tension and orientation. Lift a bag, lift a free weight, climb over a fence – all these movements require your brain to process a cast array of information and send the right impulses to millions of motor units small groups of muscle fibres each controlled by a single nerve ending). Contrast this with movement on a resistance machine where every movement is restricted to a pre-determined axis and plane.
Restricted Movements and Pattern Overload
Our natural development to share load across as many joints and muscles as possible is restricted in virtually all static machines, even if the handles or footplates are mobile, and of course the crucial element of balance is missing entirely. Every time you perform a movement, the exercise follows the exact same path – in the free-system, the path will vary with each repetition unless you control it. In addition, research has clearly established that the nervous system actually rotates the motor units used as fatigue sets in – a process known as Asynchronous Stimulation. It is an essential adaptation enabling the conservation of energy and helps avoid unwanted overload in particular tissues.
Free or 3-dimensional exercises (as opposed to static) enable load-sharing and Asynchronous Stimulation – Fixed exercise machines at best restrict them and at worst eliminate them. In the case of a machine chest press, the same muscle units will fire at the same point regardless of fatigue. The lack of Asynchronous Stimulation means the muscle units most suited in the superimposed pattern will fatigue much earlier than when performing the same exercise with free weights. If this movement pattern is repeated often enough, the result is “pattern overload”, effectively RSI (repetitive strain injury) for athletes.
Rowing – the most complex exercise?
Rowing in a boat, or an a Rowperfect rowing simulator is a genuinely complex exercise.
Not only is the movement extremely complex in terms of the load – which is spread between the soles of the feet on the foot-stretchers and the hands gripping the handles and involves nearly every muscle in the entire body – but the entire movement is conducted in an unstable environment.
So now added layers of complexity – requiring balance and dynamic interaction with a moving mass – have been added to an already complex skill set. When performed at maximal intensity, rowing is one of the most complex of movements – certainly the most complex common resistance exercise.
Operating in an unstable environment crucially tends to involve excellent activation of the abdominal and spinal stabilising muscles – the core stabilisers we hear so much about today. Why are the core stabilisers so important? Clearly, it is this group which enables us to absorb or transfer energy or force between the feet/ legs and the hands/arms (remember – spreading the load over as many joints as possible….) while keeping the information processor ( the brain) as safe and stable as possible – in summary, the core muscles tend to be working when we are avoiding pattern overload.
The one thing which has restricted the more widespread adoption of rowing has been the difficulty of learning to row and perhaps the inaccessibility of suitable water. On-water rowing requires relatively long stretches of protected water – which may be difficult to access or require very early training sessions, and good weather. Until the development of the Rowperfect, the physics of a dynamic rowing boat were only accessible if you put a single scull on water and climbed in. The Rowperfect thus represents an historic moment in the development of indoor exercise – the physics of real rowing available on dry land.
As we have discussed above the benefits of rowing for the whole body are exceptional – now they are truly easy to access.
Whether you want the benefits of rowing for general health, or to improve your performance in any sport requiring balance, coordination, rhythm, strength or endurance, it is now truly easy to “get in a boat”!
As the Water Rat said in The Wind in the Willows:
“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”
And in exercise terms at least, it seems he was pretty close to the mark.
A Few Qualifiers
Although extraordinarily complex, rowing is not a complete exercise in and of itself.
The leg adductors and abductors are certainly not used a lot in rowing, and the arm extensors and chest muscles are used to a lesser extent than the arm flexors and back muscles.
So even if rowing is your passion, the very least you should ensure is that you exercise your leg ab- and adductors with some scissor-kick type exercises, and do some bench-press, dumbbell press or push-ups, as well as the standard rule of all exercise – Work on your Flexibility!
As part of a balanced exercise program, rowing in a dynamic environment is certainly one of the best methods to develop your body and your mind toward their ultimate capabilities.
With the development of the Rowperfect, it became a whole lot easier to try.
The first part of this discussion is based on an article by Andrew Hamilton BSc Hons MRSC, published in Ultrafit Magazine Issue 86
Dear Mark. The new RP was definitely worth the wait! I had given up jogging as my regular sport because of the impact on my joints
and just found it too hard to get into a boat because of my job…. so I’m absolutely wrapped with the new Rowperfect Indoor Sculler
because I can squeeze in a RP session after work and before dinner. It is a great workout and my family know it’s a priority I can’t do without………
“As I’m getting used to the rower, I’m amazed at how much work I can do without my back hurting. I think there’s three reasons that is the case – 1) no harsh jerks at the catch, 2) my body is not swinging back and forth along the rail, 3) the wobbly seat forces my core muscles to be more supportive. When I’m rowing correctly on the Rowperfect, it feels like I’m floating. I’m enjoying the machine and feel with only a few days of use that it’s a big improvement over my static rowing machine.”
2/4 Moore Road,
Freshwater NSW 2096