Adding a resistance band to my rowing machine?
April 12, 2020 9:57 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to increase the resistance on my rowing machine so that I can get a better leg workout. Is that plausible or will it lead to injury?

I recently bought a lower end/cheapish home rower. I picked this style with independent arms because I didn't want to tweak my already messed up back with bad posture, however, even the highest resistance my legs are barely getting a work out (I've tried to trouble shoot, but it seems this is a common complaint with this rower.)

I was thinking of trying to add a resistance band to loop around the back of the seat so I can work my legs a bit more but have not been able to find any info on this particular type of hack. Any thoughts on if this is a good idea? I am newish to rowing but I know proper mechanisms and form determine whether you get the most efficient workout. Plus, I want to avoid injury. Also, any recs on type of band to use to make this happen?
posted by Eudaimonia to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, a few things.

Many pricey rowers use a long bungie cord to return the handles. In theory you could do the same. However, leg powered bungies have a lot of energy in them and when they fail they launch their attachment points at high velocity. That is why the pricey rowers contain them in housings.

You should be able to look at the gas piston, get the part number, and then order the next size up. This is likely more money than that rower is worth.

Using the rower for aerobics and then doing body weight squats has the benefit of being free and avoids potentially dangerous monkeying about.

You can scrounge Craigslist or similar to find an older Concept rower. Schools and gyms often surplus them when they upgrade their gear and used ones can be had for around $250-300.

Be careful! Back injuries from rowing can be nasty and they last a long time as one ages. If I was in this situation I'd do the whimpy rower and squat thing.

Good luck!
posted by pdoege at 10:27 AM on April 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that typical rowing machines you find at a gym don't adjust overall resistance throughout the range of motion only resistance to momentum. Specifically, they are attempting to model the difference between boat hull shapes and the effect the cross-section would have on water resistance. Your model may have the same thing going on.

I would suggest that you try and measure your heart rate and use the rower as cardio then doing some squats and other free standing kinds of exercises with something like dumbbells or a medicine ball or the like.
posted by misterdaniel at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2020

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