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With snow season creeping in soon I started to feel like I needed to find an indoor alternative to my early morning run. I wanted something that wouldn’t break the bank and that wouldn’t take up much space but had an equally impressive calorie-burning capacity as a morning jog. Shaun T’s Insanity workout crossed my mind, but then I thought I’d prefer not to dance around in front of the television in my socks at 6 am. Purchasing a treadmill is an option, but they tend to be bulky, noisy and expensive. And what happens when your treadmill breaks down, how the heck do you get someone in for maintenance?

I’ve been looking at indoor rowers for about a year now. Searching online for used ones and figuring out if it’s worth it to purchase new. Before I started CrossFit about 1 ½ years ago I had never used a rower before. And within any random CrossFit workout, you might find a short (or long) row intertwined. Rowing is an intense cardiovascular workout, and mixed in with CrossFit exercises makes it even more extreme. Ultimately my mind was made up and it was time to pull the trigger. So we did it, we purchased a Concept 2 rower!

Here’s why you should buy one too!

1. Your machine will last forever. I got a used rower off Craigslist that is about 10 years old. It rows just as good, if not better than the brand new models at my gym. If you go with a Concept 2 then you’re definitely purchasing a high quality product. “Concept 2 rowers are built to last.” Whether brand new or used, your purchase is for the long haul. You can find a new rower for about $950 including shipping. Check Ebay and Craigslist often as we got ours for a measly $300! Well worth it.

2.  Work every muscle group at once. Simple enough – rowing requires pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms and back. Don’t forget about stabilizing your core for a strong pull. Just a few minutes of easy rowing is enough to get you huffing and puffing. It’s an excellent total body workout.

3. Burn loads of calories. Using your entire body to row exercises not only your muscles but also your cardiovascular endurance making you a calorie-burning furnace.

4. Cut your workout time in half. A 10-15 minute row session is plenty to get your metabolism revving. Amp it up for a longer duration and a bigger calorie burn.

5. Options are endless. Hop on the rower any time of the day or night for an intense full body workout; or switch things up with a CrossRow style workout incorporating bursts of rowing with other exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, pushups, burpees, box jumps, lunges, and the list goes on. You can even workout during a storm because indoor rowers don’t require electricity.

I’m excited for the winter season to begin. What excites me most is knowing that I have no more excuses to skip my morning workout. No matter sleet, rain, snow or ice – row on!

To find out how I kept up with my workouts during Hurricane Sandy, check out my guest blog post at

Do you have a favorite indoor workout? Tell your story and leave a comment below.

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