The benefits of rowing for your training plan
Rowing has a great reputation as both a strength and cardiovascular workout. Here’s our guide to finding a club and getting involved.
Team GB’s Olympic successes mean that the sport of rowing is at an all-time high in the UK, and even more accessible, due to excellent funding programmes. This sociable, club-based sport offers an excellent cardio workout: according to a study in Sports Medicine, an elite rower can burn 36kcal/min, which is one of the highest energy costs for any aerobic activity. You’ll also enjoy excellent isokinetic leg strength and improved core strength.
How do I start rowing?
The first thing to do is look for a club. British Rowing has a club finder web page that should point you in the right direction. Many clubs offer a free taster session, and a beginner’s course. The British Rowing Start courses generally consist of two-hour weekly lessons, for around six weeks, by which time you should have picked up enough technique to join your club as a member. Many of the UK Olympic team have started like this, and may have only been rowing for four or five years before selection to the Olympic squad.
What will I need?
The great thing about learning with a club is that you don’t need to invest in any kit and can experience the benefits of rowing without much up-front cost. Learners use wider, more stable boats, before progressing onto ‘finer’ Olympic-class boats. Equipment should be included in your club membership fee. Clothes should be comfortable but not too baggy, with a wooly hat for colder weather – and for those cold morning starts! As you progress in the sport, you might want to invest in an all-in-one suit. You may also want to consider upgrading your nutrition by using a supplement like Maximuscle Cyclone. This protein shake includes creatine, which is proven to improve performance during short-term high intensity exercise when you consume a minimum of 3g per day.
Where can I row?
If you live near a suitable river or lake or even by the sea, there’s a good chance you’ll be close to a local rowing club. Failing that, indoor rowing is a fast-growing sport with its own clubs and competitions.
Contact www.britishrowing.org for more information.