Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Mark P.
Humans and exercise have a complicated relationship. Though sports and war are as old as humanity themselves, exercise purely for personal fitness for the sake of it is a bit more recent. This is largely because it’s only been recently that people could eat well enough and regularly enough to need to bother with exercise. Some people of course desire to be fit for the sake of it, and that’s been a driving force for the creation and development of exercise equipment as much as sports.
Some equipment is more involved than others because it isn’t just about building muscle, but creating a routine of movement. Treadmills are one such example, as are mechanical rowers. Rowing machines haven’t been around for very long, but they helped fill an important need for people to train away from the water, which isn’t always available and tends to freeze over in the winter. Trying to row over frozen water is not recommended, by the way.
New & Used Concept2 Rowers for Sale
When it comes to buying used, eBay and similar sites are a great place to search. Not only does it give you an idea of availability, it’s also a great way to get an idea of pricing for used items. Fans of rowing and rowing machines are well advised to give eBay a look.
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History of Rowing Machines
Rowing itself is obviously very old. Man-powered water transportation is one of the earliest ways humanity crossed over water. Peoples and cultures spread throughout the world by land and sea when possible, in various boats that needed oars before the advent of sails. Many cultures still maintain a strong rowing tradition as it is such an important part of their heritage and history.
Of course, rowing itself is very intensive. Not only does it require strength, but also coordination and the ability to complete repetitive motions at length. In order to train and ready their oarsmen, ancient cultures would drag boats onto land and have their crews practice and train out of the water. Boats being a heft investment, it’s not a good idea to risk them unduly with untrained rowers, after all.
Though not a rowing machine, it’s worth noting the importance of this sort of training as it related to the field. The first sports rowing dates back to the fifteenth century, so athletes were training for sports rowing before the machines were invented.
Though the sport dates back to the fifteenth century, and obviously rowing itself is much, much older than that, it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that people started making mechanical rowing machines that weren’t just a boat hauled onto land.
The first rowing machine patent in the United States was issued in 1872. This machine used a flywheel and ratchet system similar to a bicycle. The design concept itself formed the basis for later rowing machines, though the rower itself bore little resemblance to modern designs.
Like a lot of inventions, it took some time for mechanical rowers to grow in popularity. Progress arrived into the early twentieth century, as did sales. By this point competitive rowing had become a regular sporting event at the collegiate level, at least for universities near enough water to bother with a team. In order to train their athletes in the off-season, when water is frozen and rowing much more difficult, schools that could afford to do so started purchasing rowing machines to keep their athletes in top form.
These early machines lacked the sort of resistance you find in modern designs, especially when in comparison to actually rowing. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that weights were added to increase resistance and improve machine training effectiveness. You’d think someone would have thought to do that sooner, but so it goes. This simple addition transformed rowing machines into something much more recognizable to modern audiences and athletes.
Developments and advances continued with lighter, more efficient designs to make them more affordable and available. By the 1990’s, it wasn’t just colleges and gyms with rowing machines, as not regular folks to could afford them and safely have them delivered to their home. As the world entered the digital age, rowing machines followed with digital tracking and gauging equipment replacing analog features, though that can depend on the machine itself.
Concept2 Rower History
The first to get into the home rowing machine game, Concept2’s website explains it best when they say that “Concept2 began in 1976 in the back of a bread truck when Dick and Pete Dreissigacker, fresh from Olympic training, started making composite racing oars. Concept2 oars have since gone on to become the oar of choice among the world’s rowers, and innovations continue right to the present-day.”
Now, as their website proudly declares, “Every machine and oar we produce comes from a background of over forty years of excellence. We strive to design, manufacture, sell and service unique products of the highest quality and value for the benefit of the Concept2 community—our customers, employees, suppliers and neighbors.”
Though they are not a large company, Concept2 is dedicated to engineering and manufacturing the best rowing machines at reasonable prices. This makes their products highly sought after not only when they are brand new, but also used.
Used exercise equipment might seem kind of icky to some, but if the machines are well maintained then they should be perfectly fine to use. Obviously exercise equipment can see a lot of use and abuse, but not always. Plenty of people buy a treadmill and end up using it to hang clothes, after all. The same can be true of rowing machines. Whether they were used or not, buying used rowing machines is a great way to get reliable, quality products at a reduced price.