The same muscles used in running are used in rowing, but rowing is low impact, making it an excellent option for cross-training leading up to and during race season. Rowing will give your heart and lungs the same cardiovascular benefit without the impact on the joints.
Running is one of the toughest exercises we put our bodies through.
Every single stride is a single leg jump to the other leg, catching our body weight, and propelling ourselves into another jump. Running potentially for upwards of 26.2 miles this fall, and many more in preparation for those races. While we are training our legs need to take a break from the pounding on the pavement at times, but our heart, legs, and lungs need to stay strong if we are to perform well in our race. This is why CITYROW is perfect for runners. The same muscles are utilized in the rowing motion as are in a running motion. The heart and lungs will get the same benefit cardiovascular wise, but rowing is very low impact i.e. none of the pounding that running creates.
Not only are the same muscles used for rowing and running, but also the pattern in which the muscles fire throughout the movement is almost exactly the same.
As we push back from our rowers into the drive position, the muscles in our lower bodies fire just like when our foot is coming down from its highest point to strike the ground. As we pull ourselves back from the drive into the catch position, this mimics the motion of pulling our foot up from its most extended position. Not only will rowing help keep your legs strong, but also the firing pattern of that motion will be reinforced. Just like there is a specific firing pattern in rowing (LEGS, CORE, ARMS) there is with running as well.
Our muscular strength is only one portion of getting ready for a race.
Long races rely on a very strong cardiovascular system working with our strong muscles. This is your heart and your lungs, both of which get a great workout at CITYROW. The intervals are designed to take your heart rate up, make you breathless, and keep your legs working the whole time. As we transition off the rower, we have to control our heart rate and breathing, while keeping our core engaged, and going through different movements. Being able to maintain this control of our body during the stresses of class helps prepare us for the stresses of a race.
Scott Carvin is a trainer at CITYROW, a coach at Mile High Run Club, and works with personal clients as well. He ran track at the University of Tennessee where he earned his B.S.E. in Kinesiology. His goal through all manners of instructing is to help people understand how to fully utilize the potential within their own bodies. Check out Scott’s class schedule here and follow him on Insta @bodycarvin!