Back in the days, people did more physical labor, so perhaps special equipments and gyms weren’t needed. However, in today’s society we have so many more options to choose from. We can purchase many different exercise equipments. We can join countless of gyms and classes. Heck, we can join group meet-ups for a fun Saturday run in the park.
Though there may be a significant difference between the times, one thing remain common… People are seeking ways to include some type of physical activity because we know of the health benefits it provides.
The exercise equipments we have today are surprisingly similar to the 1800s.
In Gustav Ernst’s book, The Portable Gymnasium, he describes some exercise routines specifically for the use of muscles. In other words, resistance training. It’s interesting to read that he provides basic description for the exercise equipment and gives instructions for the different types of major muscle part exercises. (1)
On page 10 of this book, he describes the machinery as, “a form of oblong pedestal of either best deal or mahogany wood; and varies in height from 6 to 9 feet 6 inches, and is usually 7 by 8 or 9 by 14 inches deep and wide, the pedestal resting on a firm base proportionally larger than itself.” And he goes on to say that it is suitable for children and adults as well as instructions for exercise. (1)
Upper body, lower body, full body, legs, rotations, and head exercises are included in this book. The only difference between the equipment in the 1800s and today is the material that it’s made and perhaps today we have the option to use many different equipments for certain exercises.
Rowing machines is probably the best cardio equipment.
It appears that rowing machine is becoming increasingly popular these days. It’s appearing more in CrossFit gyms, other major gyms, and even in boutique studios. The possible reason is because it’s likely most efficient in burning optimal amounts of calories, while gaining cardiovascular benefits as well as resistance training. In fact, rowing machines work on all major muscle groups such as shoulders, arms, back, core, legs, and glutes. (2)
According to MyFitnessPal, a 150-pound person doing vigorous exercise for 30 minutes can burn nearly 300 calories. (3) And the best part of all is that it puts very little stress on the body by minimizing impact on the joints!
As noted in this article, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is an awesome way to include in your workouts to burn optimal amounts of calories in a shortest amount of time. Moreover, it’s an excellent tool for weight loss. The set up of a rowing machine allows you to utilize HIIT in the best way possible. (2)
Rowing machines appears to stand out in Ernst’s book (see pg. 61) and of all cardio equipments we use today. (1) Apparently, it does provide a lot more benefit than we realize. It just may be an excellent equipment to invest to place in our own homes.
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