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Encyclopedia > Indoor rowing
A row of Concept2 indoor rowers

An indoor rower (also known as an ergometer, ergo, erg or rowing machine) is a machine used to simulate the action of rowing on land. Originally a training method, it has become established as a sport in its own right. The term also refers to a participant in this sport.

Ergo comes from the Greek word ergon - meaning "work". Therefore ergometer literally means "work meter".

Layout of the machine

Although several simple machines exist for casual home use, there are three major models: RowPerfect, WaterRower and Concept2. Of these the Concept2 is the most popular, and is generally considered the standard training option for world-class rowers. Each machine consists of a flywheel connected to a chain and handle. The rower pulls the handle, causing the flywheel to spin. The flywheel has a damping mechanism applied (using either air or water) that is intended to simulate the feel of an oar moving through water. Depending on the machine the rower either moves back and forth as part of the rowing action, or the rower remains stationary and the flywheel mechanism moves. The machines where the rower remains stationary are generally considered to better simulate the feel of a boat.

Each machine features a digital performance monitor that can display the athlete's work output in watts, calories, or notional "metres" that are roughly calibrated to correspond to the speed of a four-man boat on the water.


Concept 2 organise a large number of indoor rowing competitions all over the world, including the world championships (a.k.a. CRASH-B Sprints) held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The usual distance for competition is 2,000 m.

The world records for 2,000 m are currently (as of September 2004) 5:37.0 for men and 6:28.6 for women.

External links

  • Concept2 (http://www.concept2.com)
  • WaterRower (http://www.waterrower.com)
  • RowPerfect (http://www.rowperfect.com)

  Results from FactBites:
Indoor rower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1044 words)
An indoor rower is a machine used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing for the purpose of exercise or training for rowing.
Indoor rowing is an inclusive sport, perhaps because indoor rowing has historically been used for fitness, training and self-improvement rather than as an independent form of competition.
Indoor rowing is one of the most challenging forms of exercise as it works most major muscular areas of the body, as well as being an excellent cardiovascular exercise.
Rowing Machines (635 words)
Rowing exercises and strengthens both upper and lower body with a motion that is smooth, rhythmic and impact-free.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower allows you to row as hard or as easily as you wish, making it an extremely versatile machine that can be used by people of all ages and fitness levels.
The Indoor Rower captures the rhythm and feel of rowing on the water by using a carefully balanced and calibrated flywheel.
  More results at FactBites »



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