Row, row, row...

The group of 254 Fitness Pointe participants, some shown here, recently beat 250 teams from around the globe by winning the 2012 World Rowing competition.

Those looking to spice up their cardiovascular workouts might want to think about rowing.

However, you don’t have to have a body of water to get the benefits of the total body workout. Indoor rowing equipment can provide just as much of a challenge, and no one knows that more than members of the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe rowing team.

The group of 254 Fitness Pointe participants recently beat 250 teams from around the globe by winning the 2012 World Rowing competition, sponsored by Concept2. The team, comprised of facility members and cardiac rehabilitation patients, rowed a total of more than 21.3 million meters over the course of one month. Each member of the team averaged 93,948 meters apiece.

“It’s a great accomplishment to win the world title three years in a row—a three-peat,” says Nikki Sarkisian, fitness facility supervisor for Fitness Pointe.

Three members rowed more than 1 million meters—Mac Daniel Adamas (1,602,899), Judy Abbott (1,375,052) and John Bracik (1,056,896).

“It’s quite a commitment,” Abbott says. “But the rowers on our team have a great camaraderie. I enjoy it and if I can, I will do it again next year.”

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What makes someone want to row thousands of meters? Sarkisian says it’s the perfect sport for someone looking for a low-impact workout with high results. “Rowing is a great cardiovascular workout,” she says. “However, it can also be a muscular endurance workout for those individuals that row 100,000 meters or more during one workout.”

Rowing tones the whole body, but is soft on various joints such as knees and elbows. Someone using a rowing machine would use the thighs, hips, torso, pelvis, forearms, triceps and shoulders, as well as strengthen the core and abdominal muscles.

Indoor rowing machines also have been used to assist with rehabilitation. “The Concept2 rower is used in many of the cardiac rehab programs throughout the country,” Sarkisian says.

It’s difficult to find another sport that would provide the same benefits as rowing, but Sarkisian suggests trying squats or leg presses, calf raises and an upper body row.

If anyone is interested in learning how to row indoors, Sarkisian says Fitness Pointe can provide instruction through its personal training department.