Want to maximize your time at the gym? This doctor recommends you do this instead of running


Think you can’t get fit sitting down? Think again. No, we’re not talking about counting lifting the remote as a workout, but you also don’t need to pound the pavement (or the treadmill).

In fact, if you’re looking for maximum fitness efficiency (think: less time at the gym), one doctor recommends using the rowing machine in lieu of running. Dr. Cameron Nichol is a former Olympic rower and two-time world silver medalist, so he speaks from experience, and he says that rowing may get you the most bang for your buck.

Rowing may not seem like a super-appealing exercise because it looks like, well, hard work, not to mention a bit boring and repetitive. It lacks the trendiness of a group cycling class or the glamour of a barre-based workout that promises a dancer’s body. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

rowing machine photo
Getty Images | Stuart Franklin

“As a rowing industry we’ve known for decades that we’re responsible for not communicating how to row well,” Nichol told Business Insider. “It’s a really valuable movement, but the problem is we don’t grow up with it, whereas we do running and cycling.”

To help combat rowing’s “image” problem, Nichol has founded RowingWOD, a program to help aspiring rowers learn how to master the exercise and the machine.

To prove his point, Nichol also conducted an experiment that showed that rowing activated more muscle groups than running when athletes of a similar fitness level performed 20 minutes of each exercise.

What do you think? Would you incorporate rowing into your exercise routine?

Health, Wellness & Fitness
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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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