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Propel Yourself To Optimal Fitness With Rowing

This summer, the 2016 US Rowing Masters National Championships will be held August 18-21, 2016 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA. The four-day event features athletes 21 and older competing for national titles in 202 categories and is expected to attract more than 6,000 visitors to the region.

Often thought of as a “posh” sport, rowing has increasingly become more popular as thousands travel from all over the world to watch regattas, including Boston’s Head of the Charles, which is considered one of the largest regattas in the world.

Rowing, often referred to as “crew” in the U.S., can be done in singles, doubles, quads, or in an 8 person shell. If you row in multiples, you must work together to keep the same stroke speed and the boat balanced. This takes years of intense training, teamwork, and discipline (as any member of a crew team will tell you at 5 AM in the morning on a cold open body of water).  It is a true team sport that requires years of practice and trust building to remain both safe and competitive.

As the sport increases in popularity and accessibility, here are three facts about rowing that may inspire you to grab an oar (or two):

1. It one of the oldest team sports in the world
Rowing as sport can be traced back all the way to ancient Egypt, where Egyptian royalty attended and encouraged sporting competitions.  The Regata Storica in Venice can trace its history from 13th century Venetian festivals.  Rowing is also the oldest intercollegiate sport, with the Harvard-Yale Regatta taking the crown as the oldest intercollegiate sporting event in the United States.

2. It’s a total body (and mind) workout
Rowing is not just an upper-body workout. Indoors or outdoors, rowing works out your quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, arms, shoulders, and lats all at the same time. If you’re rowing on water, you need to utilize your stabilizer and neutralizer (think of your core or “trunk”) muscles to avoid tipping the boat into the water. The repetitive motions as well as being outdoors can have relaxing, meditative benefits as the water calms you and the scenery passes you by.

3. You can do it indoors
Images of lakes, rivers, and collegiate competitions come to mind when thinking about rowing. It can be a hard sport to get into as the upfront cost can be expensive. But did you know that with the indoor rowing machine you can get the same benefits of outdoor training? The indoor rower is a low impact, easy to learn machine that gives you total control. The harder you pull, the more resistance you feel. Your time and pace will improve as you row harder and along with building strength you get an amazing cardio workout. With the rowing machine, rowing has become much more accessible, affordable, and provides the same health benefits to rowing on water.

Though it may seem intimidating, rowing is one of the best and most rewarding activities you can participate in. Even rowing indoors on a machine can provide an effective, low impact, and easy to learn exercise that increases your strength and endurance.

For thirty years, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. has been championing for healthier lifestyles for its patients and the communities it serves, with the goal of increasing mental and physical well-being and helping to prevent health-related conditions. For appointment to discuss how SCPT can help you achieve your well-being needs, call us today at 508.832.2628.