Rowing has gone from being a competitive outdoor sport to one of the growing new trends in group exercise. Like cycling that came off the road and into the studio with spin classes, rowing has come out of the water and into the gym. It has become one of the more popular fitness classes in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Now Washington, DC has its very own specialty rowing studio called DC Row.
“We want you to make DC Row a part of your exercise routine,” said Brittany Bunch, spokesperson for DC Row. “It is both a low impact and high intensity workout that builds lean muscles in participants and burns up to 600 calories in one 50-minute class.”
DC Row will be open seven days a week. Both the studio owners and a majority of instructors have rowing backgrounds (most competed in college). The rowing machines used at DC Row may not be the same as the ones you have used in the gym. They are WaterRowers that use water instead of air. They were made famous recently when Kevin Spacey used a water rower on the House of Cards TV series.
DC Row has a unique offering of group classes.
The boutique studio’s signature class Scull & Sculpt combines rowing intervals with dynamic sculpting exercises for a balance of cardio and strength training. High-intensity intervals will alternate pushes of extreme activity and higher stroke rates with recovery and core exercises, with the goal to increase aerobic capacity and efficiency.
Row Flow classes begin with heart-pumping, total body cardio work followed by lower-intensity, lower stroke rate rowing focusing on mindfulness and the water, aligning your breath with movement, core work, and stretching.
For an advanced rower, Crash Crew class offers longer distances and competitions.
Crew Clinic is a workshop that introduces students to DC Row’s WaterRower rowing machines and teaches the basics of proper rowing form. The class is great for newbies as well as return rowers who want deeper instruction on proper form.
Who Can Benefit From Rowing?
Rowing is for everyone. When rowing, resistance is created by how hard you push or pull, so you control the level of your own workout. The harder you push and pull, the faster the water moves and the more resistance you feel. Your time and pace improves as you row harder.
Because each student in class controls his/her own intensity, rowing is a good choice for people of all body types and fitness levels, from beginners to professional athletes. “Rowing also conditions muscles which makes it an appropriate workout for people with arthritis and osteoporosis,” said Brittany. Because the workout is low impact, rowing is also good for injury prevention and rehabilitation. It is also excellent cross-training for runners or bikers.
Why Choose Rowing?
“Rowing works about 85 percent of your muscle groups in one stroke,” explained Brittany. “It is also a terrific cardio workout.” Rowing works major muscles including quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of a rowing session is that, according to Brittany, “Rowing induces EPOC – Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption- which allows you to burn calories even after working out.”
Using a rowing machine involves all the major joints and muscles in your body. Over time, this activity can contribute to improved flexibility.
DC Row hopes to attract students from the more than 160 rowing associations in the area. “We want people to make rowing a component of your workout, not the only part of your workout,” said Brittany. “We are concerned about your mental health as well as your physical fitness. We want to be able to provide the best environment for both.”
DC Row, which is an eight-minute walk from either L’Enfant Plaza or Waterfront metro, is scheduled to open at 790 Maine Avenue SW this month.
Pattie Cinelli is a fitness professional and journalist who has been writing her health/fitness column for more than 25 years. She writes about leading edge wellness topics and interviews leaders in the field. Pattie also runs a fitness business that includes personal training using holistic health and fitness principles, private and group yoga and Pilates mat sessions and lectures for companies, conferences and offices about wellness topics, Contact Pattie at: [email protected]