In some people’s minds, the words “rowing machine” conjure up images of that lonely corner of the gym where members rarely venture or that hulking basement fixture, too antiquated to use and too big to throw away.
But the tide seems to be changing in favor of the oft-neglected apparatus at Row45, the first Long Island fitness studio to use the rowing machine in a spin class setting. Started in Albertson last May in Craig Hatchett’s personal training studio D-Fine, Row45 recently opened a new location at 609-02 Cantiague Rock Rd. in Jericho.
Row45 offers an intense, low-impact, calorie-burning workout that incorporates posture-improving movements of the leg press, hip hinge and upper-body rowing motion. Hatchett said these exercises are essential for enhancing core strength while maximizing flexibility and range of motion.
“This is a workout that can impact the entire body, but it is also easy on the body,” said Hatchett. “When in a spin cycle class, you are physically hunched over the bike. That can be tough for people with a bad back. This is much more forgiving.”
Row45 combines cardio and toning by alternating between group rowing exercises and floor exercises and hand weights.
Jericho resident Sheri Lapidus said she has always been someone that frequents exercise studios. But with the 60 minute classes and the torturous toll it can take on the body, she grew to dread the prospect of yet another fitness slog. With some concerns about her lower back problems, she tried Row45 in October 2014 and has been going religiously three-times a week, ever since.
“My back actually strengthened. It not only gives you group cardio, but also one-on-one training on the mat,” she said. “At the end of the workout, I’m bright red in the face, which is indicative of a great workout. You can really see and feel a change in your body.”
Changing people’s concept of the group workout was Hatchett’s aim from the start. The idea for a rowing class came to him while working out in South Beach in Miami, FL. He was at his hotel’s gym and jumped on the rowing machine. Soon after, he was back on the beach buying the domain name for Row45.
“I spent 45 minutes on it and it really was a great workout for the whole body,” said Hatchett, 42, a certified personal trainer in the business for about 20 years. “From there, it started in Albertson and then opened in Jericho. It’s been really positive. People love the workout. It’s a fun class with engaged instructors.”
Row45 doesn’t use the old rickety machines of yore. Instead, the studio boasts WaterRowers that mimic the dynamic resistance of a boat gliding across the water, while providing a soothing wave-like sound. And just like on the water, resistance increases as speed and intensity increases.
Hatchett said the rowing stroke utilizes 60 percent legs, 20 percent core and 20 percent arms. Throw in the strength component of the floor workouts and the overall workout is made that much more complete.
Another Jericho resident, Wendy Ehrlich, said the classes are incredibly convenient for anyone with a busy schedule. She was thrilled when the studio opened in Jericho and was one of the first to show up to class.
“The instructors are very professional and informative. It’s a small class, so you get very personalized attention,” she said. “And the times are so convenient.”
And soon the rowing revolution will spread beyond Jericho and Albertson, as Hatchett said he is in discussion to bring Row45 studios to Merrick and Plainview. He is even thinking about taking the concept back to where it all began, with a studio in South Beach.
“My wife told me I come up with a lot of ideas, but this is one she actually likes,” said Hatchett. “It’s been a lot of fun and very exciting to see people advance and get healthier and more in shape.”