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Row like a pro. We’re all familiar with the awkward-looking rowing machines neglected in the corner of the gym, but the humble heart-friendly rower has been adapted for group exercise sessions which use natural rowing simulators. If you think that only those with the most vivid imagination could feel inspired pulling back and forth on a metal cord, picturing wind in their hair and water lapping against their oars, then think again – and try WaterCrew rowing classes.

How does it work?

These simulators use real water barrels to produce resistance, providing a far more authentic rowing experience than those you find in your local gym. With unique ‘Waterflywheel’ technology the WaterRower machine used in small, motivational group classes reproduces all the physiological benefits of rowing in water.

One 45 minute session provides a full-body workout, helping to strengthen core muscles whilst improving flexibility in a low impact environment. Light to moderate rowing burns 502 to 733 calories per hour, and if you’ve really overdone it with the puddings, vigorous rowing will burn 709 to 1,035 per hour. WaterRower simulators work 84% of the body’s muscles and its advocates claim it’s the best form of cardio, beating the cross-trainer, treadmill and bike.

Another advantage of these group classes is the mentality they engender. The combined focus on group-timing and drills make one less inclined to jump ship after two minutes of half-hearted tugging. The high-tempo music and team spirit create a similar vibe to a spinning or aerobics class but with lower impact.

Is it for me?

If you struggle to stay motivated, thought rowing was just for those at the annual Oxbridge boat race, or are put off by butch associations with strapping outdoorsy-types, then rowing classes could float your boat.

If you need to lose weight quickly, but lack focus on cardio equipment, group rowing classes may be the perfect solution as they are motivational, friendly and effective. You won’t notice the calories flying from your thighs as you focus on the shared rhythm and move as a group. Pre-wedding, bikini-holiday or post New Year’s resolution, WaterCrew classes are the ideal way to a lean, toned physique and a happy heart.

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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