True or false: Indoor rowing only works the muscles of your back and shoulders.
False, says Jared Stein, instructor at NYC’s CityRow. “Rowing is one of the most efficient and effective full-body workouts,” he explains. When you break down the stroke, you’ll see how different muscle groups are engaged in a seamless, fluid process. For example, the stroke starts with the drive (where you push through your legs to straighten them), which activates the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. As this happens, you also hinge your torso back into a 45-degree angle, which activates your core and thoracic spine. You finish the pull by bringing the handlebar towards your chest, which engages the muscles of your upper back and shoulders. Then, you return to start and do it all over again — you know, that whole "row, row, row" thing all these kids keep singing about.
When you row correctly, this is far from a shoulders-only workout. In fact, it's "roughly 60% legs, 25% core, and 15% arms and shoulders,” Stein explains. So, get onto the equipment and really row for it.