The erg has its advantages.
Credit: Photograph by John Loomis

Unless you belong to a rowing club and have time in the mornings or afternoons – not to mention a crew of other rowers – your rowing workouts are most likely going to end up on the erg most of the time. It may not offer as much fresh air and scenery as rowing on water, but the controlled environment of a fixed device in an indoor space does a big plus. "People tend to say the rowing machine is just for strength and not technique and that's not true," says Steve Kasprzyk, a 30-year-old former swimmer who switched to rowing while studying at Drexel University and tends to hit the erg five times a week when he's training. "Practicing your technique on a rowing machine is a better place to work on the simple aspects of the stroke, because when you're out on the boat, a million things are happening at once – you're trying to follow the guy in front of you and the boat's flopping all over the place."

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