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March Challenge - Function Health Club

March Challenge

For the month of March we are heading back to the cardio machines. This challenge will be to see who can get the fastest time on a 1500m row on the Concept2 rower.


Looking for a way to continue to train for rowing in the winter months, the two Dreissigacker brothers put their heads together and in 1981 came up with the idea for an indoor rowing machine. It all started with one of the brothers nailing his old bicycle to the floor of a barn and then pulled on the free end of the chain. It was the birth of the indoor rower!

The name Concept2 came from a company by the same name that operated inside an abandoned dairy farm. This company had previously helped the Dreissigacker brothers with their idea of creating carbon fibre oars.

Word slowly spread about these indoor rowers. By 1982 a rowing club from Boston bought into the rowers and ended up hosting an indoor rowing competition. In 1986 the model was improved to include a flywheel cover, improved comfort, and a monitor that was more powerful in performance. By 2003 there had been several new models come out, each with added improvements from the previous model. The latest model is now quieter, smoother, has a new monitor and an ergonomic handle, as well as a smaller and more functional frame.


  • before getting on the rower, adjust the resistance to the desired level
  • sit down on the rowing machines seat
  • place feet in the holds with the straps going over your laces (can adjust foot pedals if needed)
  • with bent knees and a straight back, grasp handles

Motion Order

Pull Phase:

  1. Push with legs until they’re straight
  2. Lean torso back slightly
  3. Pull with the arms bringing the handle into the chest.

Return Phase:

  1. Straighten the arms back to starting position
  2. Torso returns back to being upright
  3. Knees bend back to their starting position

In general, the elbows, wrists and cable line should all line up and be parallel to the floor. The shoulders should remain down and retracted and the back should not arch.


  • great for increasing cardiovascular endurance- the lungs ability to provide oxygen to the body and rest of the body
  • great for a weight training warm up as it works both the upper and lower body
  • calorie burner- several times faster than a bike
  • core strength
  • joint improvement through wide range of motion and reduces stiffness
  • low impact with high results
  • raises heart rate and increases oxygen uptake
  • muscles worked: rhomboids, trapezius, lats, biceps, pecs, grip strength, abs, quads, calves, gluts, hamstrings
  • low risk of falling or losing balance
  • helps maintain healthy body composition
  • can burn up to 600 calories an hour
  • promotes weight loss
  • full body exercise
  • the power comes from the legs, while it takes core and upper body strength to transfer that power into the stroke


Here is the biography of strength coach Norma Sheane:


Having played soccer from a very young age, I quickly fell in love with a lifestyle revolving around health and fitness. Growing up I followed that passion and continued playing soccer at the university level. The leadership skills I developed along the way landed me the role of Team Captain in my final seasons. This allowed me to continue practicing my leadership skills, as well as giving me the opportunity to lead by example while still being a part of a team. Now having finished my university career I still play soccer however, I am now expanding my horizons in the realm of fitness and always looking to try new ways of being active. With my personal training clients I continue to let my leadership skills shine through but I also like to think of my clients and I as a team that works together to help them reach, and surpass, their fitness goals. We are in this together, so let’s get moving!