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How To Get Better At Your Concept 2: 10 Tips and Tricks

How To Get Better At Your Concept 2: 10 Tips and Tricks

Rowing is an exercise that works many muscles in the body, but it’s not always practical to do it on the water.

Indoor rowing is therefore a fantastic way to make use of the benefits of rowing without being outside, and if you have a powerful machine like the Concept2 rower, then you’ll reap its benefits.

What are the health benefits of rowing with Concept2? Since it’s focused on increasing resistance the harder you pull, rowing on the Concept2 helps you to improve your heart health, strength, and endurance.

To become better at rowing, you need to use your rowing machine correctly. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you improve.

Have A Relaxed Grip

Holding Rower Handle

If you’re rowing faster, such as if you’re doing HIIT rowing, it’s tempting to hold the handle really hard.

But this will tire out your hands and forearms, so the important thing is to get into the habit of keeping a relaxed grip that doesn’t get in the way of your workout by bringing you pain or discomfort.

Breathe Correctly

As you probably know, breathing correctly during any kind of workout is essential to having enough energy.

During rowing, you should exhale when you drive back and then inhale as you move forward. This creates a smooth rhythm. If you find yourself out of breath, it’s a sign that you’re not breathing correctly.

Position Your Body Properly

If you use your rowing machine properly by correctly completing strokes, you can target 85 percent of your body’s muscles, as Women’s Health reports.

To achieve this, you need to follow important technique tips, such as using your legs to propel yourself forward and then bringing your glutes and back at the end of the drive for that extra burst of energy.

Make Sure Your Heels Are Down

Holding Heels On Rower

When rowing, it’s important to evenly distribute your weight through your foot, with some weight on the ball of the foot and heel.

This drives your energy through your leg and maintains your balance. Most of the energy you create to row originates in your legs, and lifting your heels prevents that energy from being used so you want to avoid that.

Be Smart About Your Stroke

A stroke is when you slide up and down the monorail. It’s easy to think that the more strokes you make in a minute, the more exercise you’re getting, but this isn’t necessarily true.

You should aim for between 22 and 28 strokes per minute. It’s much better for you to have a controlled stroke that works all your muscles instead of doing faster strokes with poor form.

Make Your Catches Faster

The “catch” is the first part of your stroke and it’s when you need to build energy so that you can unleash it later.

It should be quick and explosive so that you prevent lagging, which slows down the flywheel and makes you use too much energy than you need to.

Basically, the catch ensures that the flywheel has good speed, as that is what will make your stroke so much more powerful. Focus on pushing through with your legs and bracing your core.

Push Instead Of Pull

Man Exercising On Concept 2

When you row faster, you need to push the energy through your legs instead of pulling harder with your arms.

Again, this tip is about maximizing your legs instead of your arms, which aren’t really that responsible for giving you the energy you need to row successfully.

They only count for about 10 percent of your force, while your legs count for 60 percent and your core counts for 30 percent.

Bring The Handle To Your Ribs

One of the mistakes some people make when indoor rowing is to pull the handle to their shoulders or stomach. This should be corrected by pulling it to the sternum or bottom rib instead.

The reason for this is because it makes the stroke much smoother while keeping the Concept2 flywheel moving at a steady pace.

Start With The Right Damper Setting

A higher damper setting lets more air into the flywheel, which means that it takes more work to spin it. A lower setting lets less air into the flywheel, so it’s easier to spin.

You should start out with a damper setting of between three and five. Once you become better at rowing, you might find that you want to decrease your damper setting.

It’s a misconception to think that you should set your damper on a very high setting to make your workout harder. It’s not about resistance!

Make Your Core Stronger

Rowing Technique

It’s not just what you do on the rowing machine that matters but what you do when you’re not in it.

Staying fit and healthy is important so that you can improve your indoor rowing technique, and one of the most important parts of your body to work out is your core.

If you have a strong core, you’ll ensure that your posture is better when you row, which improves your technique, and you’ll have greater endurance for sitting for longer.

To strengthen your core, try to do core workouts such as planks and sit-ups on a regular basis.

Related Questions

What Are The Different Concept 2 Rowing Models?

There’s the Model D, the bestselling rower in the world; the Model E, which has the same features as Model D but more height; and the Dynamic, which feels the most similar to rowing on water.

Can You Row Every Day?

While you’re eager to improve your indoor rowing, make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s always a good idea to stick to the general rule of rowing three times a week, especially if you’re a beginner.

Having a rest day between workouts is important to let your muscles recover.

Conclusion

How to get better at rowing is largely about focusing on using the proper technique.

In this article, we’ve featured some important tips and tricks so you can take your indoor rowing on a Concept2 rower to a higher level.

You’re armed with the best rowing machine in the world, so make sure you use it to its greatest potential!

How To Do HIIT On Your Rower

How To Do HIIT On Your Rower

If you own a rowing machine such as the Concept2 Rower, you probably love how rowing with it feels like you’re out on the water.

But did you know you can also use your rowing machine to make use of HIIT workouts?

You can!

What, exactly, are HIIT workouts?

HIIT workouts – or High Intensity Interval Training – involve alternating between short periods of intense exercise with less intense periods of recovery.

It’s said that HIIT workouts can help to boost the amount of calories you burn because they disturb the body’s homeostasis, or stable internal state, and it takes more oxygen and energy for it to go back to normal, as Vox reports.

They also have other benefits, such as improving your muscles’ oxygen usage and reducing your blood pressure, as Healthline reports.

If you’re interested in rowing and HIIT, then you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got all the best HIIT rowing exercises to boost your workout.

Why Rowing Is Great To Do With HIIT

Concept 2 Rower

You might be wondering why rowing is an exercise that works well with HIIT workouts.

The answer to that comes down to how rowing is already an excellent way to burn calories because it’s an all-body exercise.

When you use a rowing machine, you can also increase your speed in a safe environment and control it easier so it’s perfect for using HIIT.

Five HIIT Rowing Exercises To Try

While the thought of HIIT exercise on your rowing machine might seem intense, the key is to work according to your current fitness level and rowing experience.

Here are HIIT rowing exercises to try your hand at according to your rowing fitness level.

For Beginners: The Explosive Rowing Exercise

Man On The Concept 2 Rower

For this exercise, you’re going to start by rowing at a comfortable speed for about three minutes. This provides you with a good warmup.

  • When the three minutes are up, start to row as fast as you can for 60 seconds. You can pretend to be in the last phase of a rowing race to motivate you to pick up speed.
  • Once your minute is done, slow your pace down for another 60 seconds.
  • When those 60 seconds are done, you should quicken your pace again, rowing faster for 60 seconds.
  • As a beginner, you should do this for three sets. (More advanced rowers can do 10 sets.)

For Beginners: The 30-90 HIIT Rowing Workout

There’s another exercise you can do when it comes to HIIT and rowing. It’s called the 30-90 workout. Here’s how it works.

  • For 30 seconds, do slow rowing – you should aim for about 20 pulling actions in 30 seconds. The key is to make the most of the movements by really pushing and pulling hard so that you work your muscles.
  • Then, slow down even more for 90 seconds. You should take your time on every pull and push in the rowing machine. This part of the HIIT workout is active recovery.
  • For another 30 seconds, go back to doing slow rowing like you did in the first step of this exercise.
  • For another 90 seconds, repeat the really slow movements.
  • For another 30 seconds, increase the slightly faster rowing, focusing on really giving your muscles a workout.
  • You can continue doing this a few more times, but stop when you feel you can’t keep going.

Although this exercise doesn’t seem too strenuous, you’re sure to feel the effects of it in your muscles because you’re concentrating on putting your energy into every movement.

If you want a more intermediate exercise you can increase the amount of rounds that you do.

For Intermediaries: Mix It Up

Woman on Rowing Machine

If you’re comfortable with beginner rowing HIIT workouts, you should add something new and a bit more challenging to them. Here’s an idea: add extra exercises to your workout to really feel the burn in your muscles.

This HIIT workout is also a bit longer, so it’s perfect for intermediaries.

  • Start by rowing at a comfortable pace for a distance of about 200m or 250m.
  • Take a 20-second break.
  • Get off your rowing machine and do 20 pushups.
  • Take a 20-second break.
  • Get back onto your rowing machine and repeat the exercise.

The great thing about this exercise routine is that you can mix it up even more, such as by adding faster rowing sessions if you like. In addition, bringing other exercises into your HIIT will work other muscles in your body.

For Intermediaries: The Distance-Increaser Workout

In this rowing HIIT workout, you will increase your distance slowly over time.

  • Start by rowing 100 meters and then rest for one minute.
  • Row for another 200 meters and then rest for one minute.
  • Row for 300 meters and then rest for one minute.
  • You can continue doing this for 400 and 500 meters, or for however long you can go but the key is to always rest for one minute between them. However, try to stick to doing this within 20 minutes, so see how many rounds you can do within that timeframe.

Start slowly and warm up for the first 100 or even 200 meters of the workout.

If you want to row slowly for every round, you can do that. However, if you’re an intermediate or even an expert, you can increase your speed for every round if you like to really give your body a boost in your workout.

For Experts: Do 30-20-10 Intervals

30 20 10 Intervals

For this HIIT rowing exercise, you should start by rowing slowly for 30 seconds.

Then, increase your speed so that it’s moderate for 20 seconds. Finally, row as fast as you can for 10 seconds.

What makes it hard to do is that you have to do five of these intervals without taking a break. Afterwards, rest for two minutes.

Repeat as many times as you can manage.

Pro tip: To make your HIIT rowing exercises more intense, such as if you’re progressing from beginner to intermediate or expert, you can use the same exercises but just increase the number of rounds you complete or decrease the amount of time in which you rest. For example, instead of rowing for one minute and resting for two, you could row for one minute and then rest for one minute. It’s important to prevent fitness or weight-loss plateau by decreasing the amount of rest.

General Tips For Maximizing Your HIIT Rowing Workouts

To make sure you have enough energy for your workouts, make sure you follow these tips.

  • Eat carbs and protein half an hour before exercising. This will give you the energy you need to ensure you can complete your workout. Great snack ideas include Greek yogurt with almonds in it, or whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and a banana.
  • Don’t skip warming up. Since rowing and HIIT target many muscles in the body, you have to ensure you warm up for between two and five minutes before you start your workout.
  • Don’t make it too easy. If you can sail through your workout, it’s time to give yourself a bigger challenge and make the workout a bit harder because otherwise you won’t reap the benefits of HIIT.

Related Questions

Storing Concept 2

Can You Do HIIT Rowing Every Day?

Although you can do HIIT every day, you should limit yourself to doing it three times a week. This is to ensure you make the most of the workout without making your body too tired.

How Long Should HIIT Rowing Workouts Last?

Generally, HIIT sessions can last between four and 15 minutes, so use that as a guide.

However, you can make them last for longer, but don’t make them longer than 30 minutes as that can lead to overworking your body and could even risk injury.

How Can You Prevent Injuries When Using a Rowing Machine?

Rowing can be stressful on your back so if you feel aches and pains in your back then it’s a good idea to rest for a few days.

To prevent knee problems, make sure you stretch between workouts and add resistance training to your workout to strengthen your joints.

Conclusion

Rowing a fantastic exercise that works various muscles in your body.

You can make it even more effective by incorporating HIIT into your rowing exercises.

In this article, we’ve featured some of the best rowing HIIT rowing exercises to try, whether you’re a beginner or pro.

We’ve also looked at some important tips to follow to make the most of your HIIT rowing workout routine so you can reap the benefits, such as increased calorie burn.

Concept 2 Skierg vs Bikeerg

Concept 2 Skierg vs Bikeerg

When you think of Concept2, you might immediately think of rowing equipment.

That’s understandable because of its success with its rower machines, but the company has launched two interesting pieces of cardio equipment that everyone serious about getting fit should own: the SkiErg and BikeErg.

What are these machines?

The SkiErg is a machine that enables you to engage in Nordic Skiing, but in the comfort of your own home The BikeErg, on the other hand, gives you rowing benefits on a stationary bike.

If that sounds exciting, then chances are you’re interested to know more about these cardio machines. Let’s dive right in, starting with a bit of information pertaining to how they came about in the first place.

A Brief History Of Concept2 Alternative Cardio Machines

Skierg vs Bikeerg

Concept2 was established in 1981, and although the company started out by manufacturing racing oars and rowing machines, they soon moved on to adding other machines to their product line: the SkiErg and BikeErg.

In 2009, the SkiErg was launched to make winter cross-training accessible to anyone.

By 2014, the SkiErg design was updated – it was now black in color, and had an internal drive mechanism to improve cord wear and which enabled double-pole and single-stick techniques, as the Concept2 website explains.

It also boasted a PM5 monitor, which has become a staple in the company’s training equipment, as it allows one to track their progress and connect to fitness apps.

Then, in 2017, the BikeErg was released. The exciting things about this piece of equipment is that it’s loaded with the same performance monitor and flywheel as both the SkiErg and indoor rower, and it brings the best parts of rowing and skiing to the bike, a sure sign of the company’s innovative streak.

Both the SkiErg and BikeErg have amazing attention to detail to make your workouts that much more successful and comfortable. With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the SkiErg and BikeErg. What follows is a review of both.

Detailed Review Of Concept2 SkiErg

Workout Machine

At first glance, the SkiErg looks quite similar to a rowing machine that’s been flipped around.

If that’s how you’d describe it, you’re not far off: the SkiErg is a piece of gym equipment that’s in the shape of a “V” because it’s basically a rowing machine that’s in a standing position.

However, it’s a cardio machine that’s meant to mimic the motion of Nordic skiing, hence its name. While it might sound very easy to use, it’s a machine that can give you a fantastic workout.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at its benefits, extra features, and drawbacks.

Benefits

  • The SkiErg provides you with an excellent workout if you’re looking for low-impact cardio because it targets all the muscles in the body. How it works is that you pull down the handles that are connected to the flywheel.
  • If you want a workout that’s a little more intense, you can increase resistance by pulling the handles harder. What makes the SkiErg so versatile as a cardio machine is that it has a spiral damper that enables you to adjust the airflow into the flywheel. So, you can make the pull feel harder, as if you were climbing uphill, or a little less intense.
  • Since its first SkiErg model, Concept2 has made some positive changes to this cardio machine, which is why the latest model comes with strapless handles. These ensure you can grip them securely without them absorbing your sweat so they stay nice and dry during intense workouts.
  • In addition to being sweat-proof, the handles have also been ergonomically designed to keep your hands free of pain. Best of all, you don’t have to adjust the handles based on your hand size – they’re comfortable for all hand sizes.
  • The SkiErg is a great alternative to gym equipment such as the treadmill or stationary bike because it gives your upper body a workout, which is where some other pieces of gym equipment tend to fall short.
  • It’s also gentler on your joints than activities such as running, so it’s great if you’ve had previous injuries and want to get a workout without risking new ones.

Extra Features

  • As with other Concept2 machines, the SkiErg comes with a performance monitor. What’s so great about this is that it helps you monitor your progress while also connecting to fitness devices and apps, thanks to its ANT+ wireless connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • With some gym equipment, it’s not always easy to control the monitor while exercising, but the SkiErg’s performance monitor doesn’t require you to give it any attention. It’s user-friendly because it switches itself on when you start pulling the handles of the machine and will stay on for some time after you’ve stopped using the machine, so you can get on with your workout while it monitors you, without having to do anything to track your progress.
  • The performance monitor provides you with all the important data you need, such as how many calories you’re burning, what distance you’re covering, and what your pace and speed are.
  • You can easily store the machine without a hassle, thanks to how you can choose between mounting it on the wall or keeping it on a floor stand. The floor stand setup is great if you want to move the machine around, and this is even easier because it’s on caster wheels.
  • Some people who’ve purchased the product claim that it’s not as noisy as other gym equipment, even rowing machines, so it’s great for use if you live in a small apartment or with other people.

Drawbacks

  • Although you have the choice between storing the SkiErg on the wall or floor, when you purchase the SkiErg from Amazon you only receive hardware included in the pack for mounting it to the wall. If you want to use a floor stand, you’ll have to purchase it separately.
  • Some users who have purchased the SkiErg have stated that it offers a strenuous exercise that people shouldn’t take lightly. So, be prepared for using the machine to feel a little uncomfortable until you get used to it. If you’re not the type to commit to a difficult workout, or workouts in general, then it’s worth considering if the SkiErg will really fit into your lifestyle.

Buying Guide

The SkiErg costs $815 on Amazon, so it’s not a gym equipment purchase that will break the bank.

It’s perfect for you if you’re on a budget as it’s less expensive than if you had to purchase some other cardio machines.

One of the best reasons to purchase the SkiErg is that it’s a piece of equipment that you can use in combination with other machines, as it gives you a strong upper back, arm, shoulder, and ab workout.

However, it’s also great if you’re looking for an all-body workout, which makes it versatile.

Detailed Review Of Concept2 BikeErg

Workout Bike

Concept2 has previously released the indoor rower and SkiErg machines, but the BikeErg is its most-recent creation that makes use of the same performance monitor and durability, with some nice extra features.

At first glance it’s clear to see that the Concept 2 BikeErg is a cardio machine that’s built to be strong.

It’s got an aluminium 68-pound frame that’s durable but also easy to move around because it’s set on caster wheels.

Let’s take a look at its features, drawbacks, and benefits in greater detail.

Benefits

  • This cardio machine makes it easy to tailor your workout session to your needs, thanks to its clutched flywheel that continues to rotate when you stop using the pedals. This makes it easy to stop and rest for a few seconds while making you feel like you’re on a real bike riding outdoors.
  • You don’t have to worry about not being at the right height to use this bike as the seat is easy to adjust. You can also change the position of its handlebar.
  • The BikeErg is focused on customization, which is one of its greatest selling points. You can use your own bike parts on the BikeErg, such as your saddle, pedals, and even handlebars. The ability to customize your experience with this bike makes all the difference in ensuring that you can feel comfortable and make the most of your workout.
  • One you purchase your BikeErg, you can quickly start using it, thanks to how you don’t have to spend a lot of time or energy assembling it. The bike comes with tools and clear, picture-based instructions, so you can spend less time tinkering with it and more time enjoying it.

Extra Features

  • One of the most important features you need in a cardio machine is being able to monitor your progress. You can do this easily with the BikeErg’s PM 5 that has a calibration feature so you can compare your results over time. Its LCD display is gentle on the eyes, which makes it perfect for night-time workouts. You can even save your workout progress to a USB flash drive. It also gives you the chance to connect to apps and heart rate belts.
  • If you’ve ever had to deal with a stationary bike that was difficult to move around, you’ll know it can be a hassle. The BikeErg removes that stress because it’s really easy to move, thanks to how it only weighs 68 pounds. This means you don’t have to keep it in the spot where you originally set it up.
  • When you use your stationary bike, you want it to be as noiseless as possible, especially if you’re using it in an area where other people are present. The BikeErg has polygrooved belts that are used instead of a chain and these ensure that the bike is quiet. The bonus of these is that they help to make the bike much easier to maintain.
  • The bike has an impressive weight capacity of 300 pounds, so it’s really versatile for a variety of different users.

Drawbacks

  • One of the drawbacks of this bike is that it’s not easy to change the damper setting on it. The damper setting on a rower refers to the lever on the flywheel that controls the amount of air that flows into the cage. This is similar to the gears on a bike, so a lower damper setting would enable you to have easier gears. It’s a little difficult to tweak this resistance while riding on the BikeErg. It would’ve been easier to use if the damper setting was on the handlebar.
  • Although it’s said to be noiseless because it has those polygrooved belts we mentioned earlier, some people have commented that the BikeErg isn’t as quiet as they would have liked. This is said to be as a result of its fan flywheel that’s noisier than friction resistance, however this might not be a problem for you. If you live in a tiny apartment or are sensitive to noise, you might be more aware of the noise.

Buying Guide

The BikeErg is praised as being just as good as other Concept2 models, namely the Concept2 Rower and SkiErg.

It costs $1040 on Amazon. Whether you’re an elite cyclist or someone who’s never used a stationary bike before, the BikeErg is a wonderful, easy to use, and affordable bike to purchase.

It’s really no surprise why it’s so highly rated and praised!

SkiErg vs BikeErg: How Do They Compare?

Women Using Concept 2 Skierg and Bikeerg

As can be seen from the above reviews, both machines have important features and benefits that make purchasing them worthwhile.

To further help you to choose which one you should buy, let’s take a look at how they fare according to different factors.

While the BikeErg and SkiErg have the same performance monitors and flywheel, there are some interesting differences between them.

Important Features

The SkiErg helps you build greater strength because your entire body gets a workout. Using the SkiErg is a low-impact exercise that also burns lots of calories, while being suitable for people of all ages.

You’re in control of the workout because the harder you pull the handles, the more resistance you can add to your training session.

The BikeErg, on the other hand, is focused on bringing you the best benefits you can gain from cycling.

You’ll feel like you’re riding outdoors, thanks to its clutched flywheel that continues spinning when you take your feet off the pedals.

Muscles They Work Out

The SkiErg works your lats, abdominals, pecs, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back, and calves.

The BikeErg offers a great workout for your glutes, quadriceps, and buttocks.

Cost

While both the SkiErg and BikeErg are valuable machines, the SkiErg is approximately two hundred dollars cheaper, making it a bit more affordable for people who can’t spend a lot of money on expensive gym equipment.

Comparing The SkiErg And BikeErg With The Concept2 Rower

Concept 2 Bikeerg vs Skierg vs Rower

While you might know if you prefer the BikeErg or SkiErg, you might not be sure if they’re better purchases than the Concept2 Rower. Here’s what you need to know.

There are some similarities between the Concept2 Rower and both the SkiErg and BikeErg.

The Rower is an all-round workout that targets a variety of muscles, such as your quads, lats, glutes, abs, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, arms, and obliques, so in this way it’s similar to the SkiErg.

Another similarity between these machines is that they make use of flywheels. The Compact2 Rower Model D, for instance, has a flywheel design that keeps the noise down.

Finally, one of the biggest similarities between all three Compact2 machines is that they come with Performance Monitors to help you track your progress.

Now for the differences. The rowing machine is focused on rowing, with features such as ergonomic rowing handles that ensure your rowing workout feels as close to the real thing as possible.

The Rower is also easy to store away because it comes apart into two pieces.

One of its drawbacks is that you might have to maintain your Rower a bit more than other Compact2 products, as some users have claimed that they need to oil the chain on their Model D Rower to ensure a smooth experience.

When it comes to cost, the Model D is $945 on Amazon, so it’s slightly more expensive than the SkiErg but more budget-friendly than the BikeErg.

Conclusion

Compact2 has released innovative cardio machines, the BikeErg and SkiErg, that are fantastic alternatives to their Rower models such as the Model D Rower which is a fan favorite.

These are worthy machines to purchase if you want to expand your workout and do more than rowing, such as biking and skiing, while still reaping the benefits of the company’s tried-and-tested innovations, such as their performance monitors.

In this article, we’ve featured both the BikeErg and SkiErg in greater detail, looking at their pros and cons, to help you decide which one is right for you so that your average workout can become amazing.

Buying a Refurbished Concept 2: Pros and Cons

Buying a Refurbished Concept 2: Pros and Cons

Concept 2 has to be one of the most revolutionary home cardio machines to ever hit the market.

That being said, it’s also one of the only rowing machines that I would ever say is worth your time to buy refurbished. These are made with such a high level of quality and attention to detail that they live long beyond their warranty’s means.

But it isn’t enough to just say “They last a lifetime.”

I want to go over some of the main features you have to look out for, and the signs of wear and tear that could either point to a well-maintained machine, or something that isn’t worth your money to invest in.

What is the Average Lifetime of a Concept2 Rowing Machine?

What is the Average Lifetime of a Concept2 Rowing Machine?

It all depends on use, but if you get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise every single day, you can usually see a Concept2 rowing machine last for 20 to 30 years.

Obviously, this is insanely longer than the warranty, and you are expected to have to maintain and possibly replace a few parts on your Concept2 over the years as well.

When parts break on one of these machines, they’re usually minor enough that you can purchase a replacement straight from the manufacturer, and do it yourself without spending even 50% of the cost of a new machine.

If you treat them well and ensure everything is running smoothly, you have 20 years on a single machine.

There’s a reason that Concept2 is constantly revered, by both reviewers and individual users, to be the longest-lasting rowing machine that money can buy. Given the longevity, Concept2 is an investment, whether it’s brand new or refurbished.

What Should You Consider When Buying the Actual Rower Machine?

What Should You Consider When Buying the Actual Rower Machine?

There are six main things to look at before really sinking your teeth into a deal on a refurbished Concept2. These are going to be different if you’re buying individually from a user (Craigslists or want ads), versus a workout equipment store that deals in refurbishing them.

Mileage

By going through a few menus here and there, you’re able to find the mileage (sometimes displayed in meters, which you will need to calculate on your own) that displays how much use a rowing machine has gotten.

Now, if it’s in meters, don’t panic when you see it in the millions. You can easily rack up 6,000,000 meters of use in a single year. These don’t work like the mileage on your car.

Anything under 10,000,000 on mileage would be ideal, meaning that it might have been used for two to three years. If you’re getting this from a store, they will have accounted for the cost. If you’re going through an individual owner, you need to bring up the facts and haggle based on the mileage.

Age

If a Concept2 is 10 years old and it’s never been used, it’s basically new.

A little grease here, some dusting there, and you’re good to go. If there’s a moderately-used Concept2 that was purchased five years ago, that’s a lot of time on the total lifespan for things to go wrong. Keep age in mind along with usage.

Wear and Tear

Scratches in the metal, divots in track, things of that nature. You want to inspect the plastic boots on the stands for cracks and splits, the resistance for whirring or stalling, the seat for damages, rowing handles, as well as the general zeal of the entire unit.

While you shouldn’t turn your nose up at a deal over some scratches, the exterior damage (or lack thereof) will tell you a lot about the person who owned this Concept2 rowing machine. It’s indicative of how well they took care of it, or if they beat it up and never cared to maintain it. There’s pride in ownership.

Screen Fade

Screen Fade

LCD and LED screens bleed and fade over time. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just from use. If you’re rowing for 30 minutes a day, then the screen will eventually burn out and slip into a fade.

I will say that Concept2 puts a lot of quality into their screens, but it’s going to happen to every LED/LCD screen eventually, whether it’s a TV or a rowing machine monitor. Just pay attention to its vibrancy and brightness before you commit to a purchase.

Repairs/Warranties

A new Concept2 rowing machine has two years on the parts, and a five-year warranty on the frame. If it’s a refurbished model, I doubt that it only got two weeks of use—you’re going to want to look for a preexisting warranty, but understand that it might not be there.

Check how many repairs were made, when they were made, and what parts were used to replace it. Concept2 sells their own spare parts, but many people tend to cheap-out and use third-party parts, which are not designed to promote the longevity that the Concept2 generally offers.

General Condition

Is it scratched up? What shape is the resistance in? Is the seat damaged or torn-up? Are there any replacement parts currently in this unit that you need to be aware of? General condition refers to the basic state that the Concept2 is in, whether that’s good or bad.

You Can Exercise and Save Money

If the Concept2 that you’re looking at, whether in-person or online, is in good condition, then I say go for it.

I would say to disinfect the hell out of it, because you never know how much someone used it or how much they cleaned it, but if it operates properly, then there’s no reason to let the offer pass you by.

Lose Weight Quickly with Rowing Machine Workouts: Burn off the Fat!

Lose Weight Quickly with Rowing Machine Workouts: Burn off the Fat!

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Rowing Machine Exercise to Lose Weight: Burn Calories

 

Do you want to lose weight? You may be reasonably careful about your diet…..or maybe you don’t watch what you eat at all. Meanwhile that extra layer of fat you seem to have accumulated slowly gets bigger and bigger. So what to do to get your body into weight loss mode? Well, as pretty much everyone knows by now,  there are basically two ways to lose weight:

  1. Pay attention to your food intake, especially Fattening Food (hint: prepared foods have added sugar, fat, and additives, so avoid packaged foods, especially snack foods, like chips.) Cutting your calorie intake is the first rule for losing weight
  2. Exercise More to Burn More Calories, which will result in your losing weight. That’s the second rule of weight loss.

And what is one of the best all around exercises for both strength, stamina, and weight loss, especially if you’re not keen on weight lifing? Rowing machines! workouts with the right rowing machine technique can result in a real calorie burn! Let’s look at how many calories you can burn with an effective rowing plan and the most effective ways to use a rowing machine.

track your weight and diet daily

Get the weight loss you want, and stop being overweight for good!

 

What Are Calories

 

Calories are units of energy. Our bodies need energy to perform day-to-day activities and come from the foods we eat.

 

Our metabolism burns calories by breaking down our food and transporting the nutrients to where they are needed: carbohydrates break down into glucose and sugars, fats into fatty acids and protein into amino acids.

 

Our bodies then make a choice: use the food now for energy or store it to use later on.

 

The average person needs around 2,000 calories a day but this will change based on your height, weight, age and daily physical activity. So, the more you exercise, the more calories you will burn which leads you to lose weight.

 

For reference, one pound of fat equates to 3,500 calories. This means that you can lose one pound of fat (1) a week by burning an extra 500 calories a day.

 

How Many Calories Are Burned on a Rowing Machine?

 

The number of calories that you burn from rowing is based on your diet plan, body weight and how hard you train:

 

  • If you weigh around 125 pounds, you will burn around 420 calories per hour rowing at a moderate pace. At an increased intensity, you will burn around 510 calories per hour.

 

  • If you weigh around 155 pounds, you will burn around 520 calories per hour rowing at a moderate pace. This will increase to around 630 calories per hour at an increased intensity.

 

  • If you weigh around 185 pounds, you will burn around a 620 calorie burn rate per hour rowing at a moderate pace. This will increase to around 750 calories per hour at an increased intensity.

 

  • If you weigh around 240 pounds, you will burn around 650 calories per hour rowing at a moderate pace. At a very vigorous pace, more than 1,000 calories burned per hour.

 

These numbers are from the Harvard Health Site but please note that these are just estimates and will be different based on the factors I mentioned earlier.

 

Rowing For Calories Vs. Rowing For Meters

 

Some people row to burn calories but others row to reach a certain distance. While it may look like we are doing the same thing, there is slight, but key, difference between us.

 

When you row for meters, every time you pull back the handle, your machine will show your distance traveled. When you stop rowing, the display will briefly continue to increase the number of meters you row.

 

On the other hand, when you row for weight loss, you see the number of calories you’ve burned increase. When you stop, the number of calories you burn stops straight away.

 

So, the key to rowing for weight loss is focusing on the stroke. Pull it back hard to burn calories as quickly as possible.

 

Each stroke should equal another calorie burned. This may even go up to two calories burned per stroke – if you can do that, you’re a beast!

 

Aim for around 20-25 strokes per minute for 1,500 calories per hour. This will keep you at the 1 calorie per stroke mark. This explains it a little more.

 

Best Rowing Workouts for Losing Weight

 

Before starting any rowing workout, always warm up to loosen  muscles and increase heart rate. For rowing,  start slowly for around 5 minutes and before starting your workout.  One way to warm up is with a ‘ladder drill’. Here, you row at a certain number of strokes per minute.  At each minute increase your rowing stroke rate, and then after you reach the peak of strokes per minute, slow down again. For example start on your rowing machine at 18 strokes for the first minute, then 20 strokes/1 minute, 22 strokes/1 minute, 24 strokes/1 minute. Then back down to 22 strokes, 20 strokes, 18 strokes at one minute each. (2)

 

Here are a number of ways to use a rowing machine to burn more calories but here are the top 3.

 

Interval Training

 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a series of sprints that are broken up by lower-intensity recovery periods. You will burn a lot of calories during the sprinting phase but continue to burn them when the workout is slower.  The American College of Sports Medicine has pointed out that rowing is a great form of aerobic exercise that fits in to an HIIT program.

 

Sprint for 20-30 seconds followed by a slower resting period for 40-60 seconds. Repeat the sprint/slow/sprint/slow routine for 20-25 minutes. It may not take long but you will burn a hell of a lot of calories. It will also increase your muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism, which also helps lower your fat level.

 

The best thing about HIIT is that you will continue to burn a large number of calories long after finishing the workout. HIIT will also grow your muscles and make you stronger.(3)

It takes a little time to get used to this rowing technique, but you’ll see the benefits as you develop.

 

Endurance Training

 

This is when you row for long periods but at a much lower intensity. Set a low resistance level and row with a steady rhythm. Because the pace is a lot slower, you can continue to row for much longer.

 

Aim to row for around 30 minutes but after a couple of sessions, you can increase this to between 45-60 minutes.

 

Several endurance training sessions a week will improve your overall health and result in a higher calorie burn–up to  thousands of calories. Endurance training also reduces your recovery time which burns more calories in the long run. Plus getting your heart rate up improves your whole cardiovascular system.  Keep your weight loss goals in mind as you fulfill your owing plan, and be sure to weigh yourself every day.

 

 

Power Strokes

 

The final way to burn calories by rowing is using power strokes. After warming up, complete 3 sets of fast, hard strokes that explode you backwards. This is also part of your strength training routine. Notice also how compared with an exercise bike or other exercise machine, that your back muscles just don’t get the the exercise they need.

 

Maintain the same rhythm throughout the routine, pushing hard with your feet and pulling strong with your arms and core.

 

Do 10-20 power strokes at around 22-24 strokes per minute before 10 recovery strokes. In the next set, do 10-20 power strokes at around 24-26 strokes per minute before another 10 recovery strokes. The final set should be between 28-30 strokes per minute.

Conclusion

The next time you wake up, do you want to look in that mirror and feel great? From what you’ve learned about burning calories to lose weight from rowing on a rowing machine, I know you can do it. Plan on rowing at least 2 or better yet, 3. 4. or even 5 times per week. If you’re over 60 and want to know about some of the best rowing machines for seniors, go here.

Go here to see a review of the best home rowing machine .

Sources:

  1. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/calories-burned-rowing-5813.html
  2. https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/2-numbers-that-will-make-you-a-better-rower
  3. https://profitnessreview.com/rowing-machine-calories-burned/
26 DIY Knee Health Secrets to Reduce Pain and Heal Your Knees

26 DIY Knee Health Secrets to Reduce Pain and Heal Your Knees

 

26 DIY Sore Knee Pain Treatments You Can Easily Do at Home

 

Why should you take care of your knees, rather than someone else? Well, first of all, we empower ourselves when we take responsibility for our own well being. The fact is, no one knows better than ourselves what is going on with our bodies second by second and minute by minute than we do. Did you know that there are at least 26 DIY ways to treat your knees at home?

By cultivating mindfulness, we are in a much better position to make adjustments and changed. So these 26 Knee Health Secrets can help you get at least temporary relief if you have a big problem, and possibly a solution for knee pain that you can do yourself.

 

At this moment, what position are you sitting in, slouching our sitting up straight? Or maybe lying down. A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with my left knee aching. It was in a funny half twisted position. That’s an example.

What’s the weather like? Has it changed recently and you are noticing pain in your joints?

Another way too common example of self care is eating. Mindless eating leads to weight gain which leads to more pressure on your joints.

 

Fact is, obese people are much more likely to have knee problems than those of normal weight.  Eating healthy foods in moderation is the first step to better health.  Another example is sports. They always say, “No pain—no gain”, however, such heroics can lead to strains or long term injury. Knowing the difference between safe pain and unsafe pain is the key point.

 

“I have to Treat Pain in My Knees… But How?”

 

Getting down to the issue of taking care of your knees, if there is some problem, what’s interesting is how different people view the problem, and more to the point, the solution.

 

Have you ever heard of the story about the 5 men telling each other what they were holding onto?

 

As reported in Wikipedia:

 

“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”.

 

“For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

5 blind men and the elephant

The 5 Blind Men can’t see the whole picture, so they cannot agree on what an elephant is.

 

People tend to cling to ideas of what something is, and often, they base their solution on their limited idea. In this particular case, the ‘elephant’ is “the cure for knee problems”.

 

In 1982 an MIT professor attributed an instance of the saying to [the famous psychologist] Maslow as reported in the “New York Times”: 13

 

“Abraham Maslow once said that to him who has only a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail,” said Joseph Weizenbaum, a professor of computer science at M.I.T.

 

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/05/08/hammer-nail/

 

So what does this have to do with knee pain and taking care of your knees?

 

The fact is that taking care of your knees can help reduce knee pain. Knees are pretty complex, with different kinds of tissues, such as bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and things can go wrong with any of them. That also means that there are various ways to treat knee problems.

Knee Interior View Showing Cartilage, tendons, ligaments and so on

The Knee is a complex joint

 

But the thing is, that many professionals or companies have one product to sell, which they may well portray as “The Magic Bullet”. Surgeons often see surgery as the solution to knee problems, and yet, studies also show that going to two different physicians will yield two different diagnoses, not to mention cures or solutions.

 

https://qz.com/949860/get-a-second-opinion-doctors-usually-arent-right-the-first-time/

 

Lack of Objective Advice

 

Depending on who you talk to, you may well get totally different advice. Here is my own life experience as an example.

 

The first time I tore my knee cartilage, I was sitting on a bus, the bus lurched, I felt a twinge in my knee, and soon, I was hobbling around, and my knee was swollen. At the time, in 1984, the only solution I knew of was surgery, so the doctor removed a quarter of my meniscus.

 

Thirty years later, I was sitting crosslegged and felt a twinge in my knee, which I probably aggravated by going to a too strenuous yoga class a week later. I was still walking around, but the pain was bad. An MRI revealed that the meniscus had fractured further, and that the cartilage in my knee was frayed. That’s just what it felt like, kind of like gravel or sandpaper in my knee joint, not the nice smooth feeling we should have.

So I got surgery a second time. The doc said, “This will last about 5 years, you won’t need a knee replacement now”. Which sounded like a prediction that I didn’t want fulfilled. Let’s face it. Surgery sucks.

Two years later, I was doing ok, riding my bicycle around town, which is both fun and good exercise for the knee joint.

 

Unless some stupid motorcycle driver rides right into your knee, which is what happened.

 

They took me to the hospital, X-ray showed no broken bones but I couldn’t walk for three weeks, nor put any weight on it. An orthopedist did a check and said he thought it was a pulled ACL, the interior ligament in the knee. Fortunately though, not torn, which would have shown a lot of swelling. Not to mention the possibility of reconstructive surgery.

 

He recommended some medicine that sounded like it had more side effects than I want to risk.

 

What to do? I went to another doctor, and told him I wanted to see the physical therapist on hand at the hospital.

Get a Second Medical Opinion and Trust Your Judgment

 

She gave a completely different diagnosis than the first doctor. Basically a muscle and ligament strain but not so serious. She proceeded to treat me in not one or two, but 4 different ways! Moist heat, cold, Ultrasound, and TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

 

The physical therapist also gave me some specific physical exercises that I could do.

 

The treatments definitely helped, but also opened my eyes to the fact that, to mix metaphors about elephants and hammers, ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat’.

 

So here is a list of different ways of treating sore knees yourself:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Compression
  4.  Elevation
  5. NSAID medicine, prescription or non presciption
  6. Herbal remedies (Eg. Turmeric, Ginger, Pepper)
  7. Exercise/self physical therapy
  • Yoga
  • weight training with machines
  • weight training without machines
  1. Get the right kind of shoes
  2. Maintain healthy weight
  3. Knee braces
  • magnetic tourmaline, copper, bamboo,etc
  1.  Compression Knee sleeves (various types as in knee braces)
  2. Knee straps
  3.  Velcro secured knee wraps
  4. Gel knee braces
  5. Knee pads
  6. Joint supplement tablets/capsules
  • vitamins, minerals, herbs
  1. Pain treatment machines
  • Cold laser
  • heat,
  • infrared heat pad and pen,
  • infrared heat lamp
  • ultrasound therapy
  • TENS, EMS, ICT, PENS
  1. Self Massage
  2. Topical Ointments and salves
  • Tiger Balm
  • Bengay
  • magnesium oil
  1. Analgesic sprays, patches
  2. Foods–proper diet choices
  • adequate fiber
  • anti-inflammatory foods, fruits vegetables
  • avoid sugary, processed junk food, alcohol
  1. Superfoods
  2. Magnetic therapy
  3. Acupressure, self applied
  4. Stop smoking
  5. Reduce daily life stress through relaxation, meditation

 

Making sense of your choices

 

Nowadays, we get thousands of ads of all kinds. However, much of the time, we don’t know where to look. The purpose of this report is to SAVE YOU TIME. Based on my own experience as a knee pain sufferer, I did many hundreds of hours of research of several years and came up with a list of things you yourself can do to treat your knees. As the list above shows, you have a lot of choices!

 

My purpose is not to diagnose. That is the role for a medical professional. But the fact is that there is a lot you can do to help yourself, if you have good information. Not every one of these treatments will work for you, and that is certainly not what I suggest. What this does do, is give you some resources to check on your own.

 

So let’s dive in to this list of things you can do.

 

R.I.C.E.

 

We are not talking about making sushi here. These are the most basic things you can do when you feel soreness or swelling.

 

It may seem obvious, but many of us diehard athletes think we can push through the pain. Trust your body! You are feeling pain, soreness, aching, and so on for a reason. There is a time to be a hero and a time to act wisely. Know when to stop and take a rest, either in a workout, running, or other activity. Or a longer period. Even several days or a week if necessary. If the problem still hasn’t gone away, you probably ought to seek professional help.

 

Soreness, pain and discomfort is often the result of inflammation. The body tissue are reacting to a stressor. Applying ice can reduce inflammation since it is Cold, obviously. You can use ice in a plastic bag, wrapped in cloth.  Or you can get gel wraps that you keep in the freezer.

 

Compress the Knee Using a Bandage or Sleeve. Doing so will help minimize the amount of swelling caused to the knee. You can either use a bandage or sleeve to compress the knee. These are typically sold online and at drug stores. The compression may also help with support and sometimes helps with knee pain and stiffness.

 

  1. Elevation

Elevation can relieve swelling, and allow fluids to drain out of the area, which can then help with circulation

 

Oh, and as a bonus…………………heat. Yup, heat also works to warm up the joint surrounding the sore area, which encourages circulation. So the idea is to alternate cold pack with warm moist heating pad, or warm towel.

 

NSAIDs, either prescription or non prescription

NSAID stands for Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Some examples are Ibuprofen, usually sold by prescription. Common non prescription NSAID’s are aspirin, Aleve, Excedrin. Some of the more powerful ones have potentially serious side effects, such as stroke. So use with caution, and talk to a doctor about them if using for an extended period of time.

If you decide to go the route of taking medicine, the first question to ask yourself is Prescription versus OTC (OTC stands for Over the Counter. These are medicines that are readily available without seeing a doctor first). The difficulty of selection is not simply due to the hassle in comparing medicine features.

Aside from the prescribed medicine for joint pain, there are also effective over-the-counter painkillers that make the selection process quite difficult.  So prescription versus OTC is the issue. Read the labels carefully, evaluate the pros and cons, to make a wise decision. Consider your current health condition and needs. Determine whether the medicine can address your problems or not. Especially if you have allergies. In addition, give consideration to the side effects and reactions.

 

The other factor is simply convenience and cost. Heading down to your local Walgreen’s,  CVS, or local drug store or chemist’s shop (if you live in the UK) is a lot quicker than waiting for a  doctor’s appointment, which may well entail the doctor’s fee, and the getting a prescription which may also cost a lot more and take more time, than just grabbing some aspirin or Tylenol off the shelf.

Prescription Medication to Treat Your Knee Pain

Doctors usually prescribe  prescription medication, in the case of a more serious condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune condition, which results in inflammation, pain and redness.

One of the most common prescribed drugs for knee pain is the disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDS. These drugs decrease inflammation, ease pain and reduce symptoms. Common DMARDs are Trexall, Plaquenil, and Azulfidine.

Prescribed biologics are often used with DMARDs when the latter do not work well for knee pain. The prescribed medication is injectable. It reduces inflammation in patients, except for those with infection or sensitive immunity. Common examples of biologics are Rituxan, Remicade, Orencia and Actemra.  Be sure to thoroughly understand these before signing up to take them, though.

If DMARDs and biologics do not work for you, doctors may prescribe Janus associated kinase inhibitors. The inhibitors work by affecting the immune cell activity and genes. Joint and tissue damage will be halted by these drugs. They also help in avoiding inflammation. Examples of the inhibitors are baricitinib and tofacitinib.

Over-the-Counter Medicines for Arthritis Relief

Pharmacist hands medicine to customerOver-the-counter medicine for knee pain is available in different forms and brands. One of the commonly used OTC medicine for joint pain is Tylenol or Acetaminophen. The treatment can address mild to moderate knee and hip pain. However,  patients with high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes or other medical condition really should consult with their doctor to avoid adverse drug interactions or possible side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are most popular in treating arthritis pain. Most common examples are aspirin, naproxen and Motrin. They promote dual action treatment against joints swelling and pain relief. However, please be aware that sometimes they have dangerous side effects.

Pain relieving rubs are alternatives for people who do not want to take capsules or tablets. They numb the pain by traveling through your skin. However, it should not be taken with oral pain relievers. The question of Prescription versus OTC arises even with medicines for external use.

 The Choice of Knee Pain Treatment Largely Depends on You

The pros and cons of prescription versus OTC medicines take some careful consideration. There are cons in using prescription drugs because of some drug reactions. On the other hand, OTC medications may also have their cons in terms of health risks.  To make the right choice for your knee pain treatment, consider your current condition. Do you have existing health problems? Before you use any prescription or OTC drug, make sure it will not worsen the symptoms.

 

Moreover, before selecting prescription versus OTC drugs, put into consideration the severity of your pain. OTC drugs are often allowable in treating mild pain.  If you really find it difficult to choose, you can consult your doctor. A professional knows the most suitable knee problem drug that will avoid side effects. Alternatively, you can opt for a more natural knee protection, such as ayurvedic remedies, or other natural or home remedies.

Herbal Remedies

 

There are traditional medicinal practices used both in the West and in the East, such as Naturopathy and Homeopathy in the West, and in the East, Indian Ayurvedic medicine, or Chinese Traditional Medicine. These represent up to 5000 years of wisdom passed down through the ages. In fact, many modern medicines are derived from plants.

 

The big drug companies tweak them, patent them and then sell for a huge profit, when herbal remedies may work just as well. Examples are Turmeric, Pepper, Ginger, just to name three. Obviously, a full list and discussion is beyond the scope of this report. But the point is, that there are a lot of choices besides the expensive and possibly dangerous prescription drug route.

 

Exercise and Self Physical Therapy

 

Some people like to work out at home, either with weights or equipment, while others like getting out of the house and going to the gym. There are lots of ways to exercise. Here are some examples.

  • Yoga

Yoga has been used for centuries for developing calmness, flexibility and concentration. It can help relax and strengthen muscles and increase circulation to joints. There are many yoga courses both online and in classes.

 

  • Physical Therapy Exercises

 

If you have joint and specifically knee problems, a physical therapist may be able to help. While they have certain types of machines and other office treatments, a good physical therapist can recommend the right kinds of exercises for you to strengthen and help heal your knee, while avoiding exercises or behaviors which aggravate it.

 

  • Weight Training Exercise at the Gym

    Weight training at gym: Man doing weighted squats

    Weight training at a gym is great. Just be careful not to push so hard as to injure yourself. Use support aids if called for.

If you have some experience working out with weights. you can exercise on your own. although working out with a partner can help you stay safe, and encourage each other. On the other hand, if you have not worked out with weights, and especially so with gym weight machines, it’s a good idea to get familiar with these with the help of a personal trainer. Most gyms have people specially trained to help.

  • Exercise Machines, such as Ellipticals, Stationary Cycles and Rowing Machines.

Going to a gym is a great way to build overall body strength. Gyms have special machines to focus on specific areas, such as your knees.  Rowing machines have 8 benefits, for example.  Plus, they work 5 muscle groups.

You can also use the services of a personal trainer, who may suggest things you can do to help your knees.  Please note, though, that when you work out with weights, there’s a higher risk of injury. So be careful.

 

  • Home exercises with minimal equipment

 

If you don’t want to pay for a gym, you can do many knee strengthening exercises, such as yoga and strength building exercises using simple weights or even just your own body weight and a few homemade items. For example, doing leg raises with a bucket on your ankle adds weight. Even using a wall to do certain kinds of exercises can work. There are many home exercises you can try if you do a little research.

 

Home exercise using stairs to practice a lunge

Even a stairway is useful for doing a lunge to strengthen knees

 

 

Get the Right Kind of Shoes

 

The problem with knees is that if the meniscus and cartilage, the natural shock absorbers, can wear out, meaning there is nothing to absorb the shock of thigh and lower leg bones hitting each other, causing pain. That’s why getting shoes with good shock absorbency can help compensate. Shoes with leather soles generally don’t have that, but there are good comfortable shoes, and even orthopaedic shoes specifically designed to support your knees.

 

Maintain Healthy Weight

 

Did you know that every pound of extra weight you have is equal to 4 pounds on your knees! That’s because the weight of your body is concentrated on the smaller area of your knee joint, unlike joints in your upper body. Weight has become a big problem nowadays.

 

Sugar craving harms your healthWe are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us to eat junk food, fast food, chemically loaded food, with lots of artificial ingredients, and too many carbohydrates, when we should be eating more fruits, vegetables and protein.

If you are seriously overweight, lay off those nice big bowls of spaghetti, mashed potatoes, pizza, cookies, and especially the packaged foods like potato and corn chips. Drastically reduce the starch and increase vegetables to ease hunger.

Stop the fizzy sugary drinks, the white bread, cakes, cookies, and super fatty foods like bacon and hamburgers fried in grease.

 

Knee Braces, Sleeves, Wraps and Straps

 

There are a wide variety of what is broadly called Orthotics. That is, external appliances to wear on the knee. We’ll give a brief overview of what these are, though a detailed explanation goes beyond the report.

 

  • Knee braces with ‘Sticky’ straps

 

These popular knee appliances are worn by covering the knee joint and using Velcro straps to secure it. You can adjust the tightness to a degree and they are adjustable for different size knees. They may have add ons, such as magnets, or occasionally tourmaline that’s been activated to reflect back your body’s natural heat. For the three best knee support braces, read this report.

 

  • Knee Compression Sleeves

 

These are tubular—you pull them on over your foot and slide them up over the knee. They are often made from different types of materials and have specialized features. Some examples include magnetic compression knee sleeves, which incorporate magnets, reputed to have therapeutic properties.

 

Some sleeves are made from neoprene, an artificial rubber, which naturally compresses the joint. Others use latex elastic, along with cotton, for a soft natural feeling the neoprene style, though is also quite comfortable.

 

Variations include copper infused fabric, since some people feel that copper (due to its high electrical conductivity) embedded fabric improves circulation as well as prevents infection. Bamboo based fabric also is said to have soothing properties and nowadays, bamboo is made into very comfortable fiber.

 

  • Knee Straps

 

These are a smaller version of the sleeves and braces. Basically about an inch wide strip that fits around the knee under the joint. These are useful for runners or for alleviating tendon issues.

 

  • Knee Wraps

 

Long strips of fabric which bind the knee by wrapping around the joint. They are some of the oldest knee devices for both protecting the knee during sports, and soothing the joint that has the additional problem of feeling unstable.

 

  • Gel Knee Braces

 

This rather new type brace incorporates gel, to act as a shock absorber, as well relying on the gel, similar to the idea discussed earlier, using cold to help with the inflammation.

 

  • Knee Pad

 

These are worn during sports, since they protect he knee from falls or if you are doing work on your knees, like putting tiles on a floor. That hard surface can get mighty painful, and knee pads can help.

For a more detailed discussion of 12 Different Kinds of Knee Supports for different purposes, go here.

 

Joint Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Nature Based Chemicals

 

There are innumerable products for easing joint pain, or knee pain.

Here is a short list. The main things I look for are the type of ingredients, the number of ingredients in a dose, and cost.  The fact is that there are a lot of good products, however, there is no one product that has ‘all’ the good ingredients. To buy all of them would be crazy expensive, and besides, who wants to eat bowls full of pills and capsules?

 

Here is a partial list of ingredients to look for in supplements:

  • Vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin D
  • Minerals: boron, magnesium, manganese, chromium, copper, zinc
  • Herbal/plant based: Boswellia, Curcumin from Turmeric, Ginger, Piperine from Black Pepper, astaxanthin, pycnogenol, grape seed extract
  • Natural chemicals produced by the body: MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, Cetyl Myristoleate (derived from natural body chemical,) Glucosamine, Chondroitin

One brand I like and use is Joint Regen  It has 12 different ingredients as shown in this infographic. For detailed information on Joint Regen, click here or on the image.

joint regen ingredients infographic

 

Pain Treatment Machines

 

Recently, more and more alternatives to the drug or surgery route are becoming available. Some have more testing behind them than others, however, many people are getting good results with various pain treatment machines that use electricity.

Laser therapy for Rheumatism photo Jonn Leffman

Laser therapy for rheumatism

 

Figure 1 Laser Therapy. Photo courtesy of Jonn Leffman

  • Cold laser, (also known as low-level laser therapy or LLLT)
  • Heating pad
  • Infrared heat pad
  • Infrared Lamp
  • Laser pen
  • ultrasound therapy
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
  • EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation)
  • ICT (Interferential Current Therapy)
  • PENS (Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

 

Topical Ointments, Patches and Sprays

 

Bengay photo by Omer Wazir

Bengay photo by Omer Wazir

Rather than swallowing pills that may affect your whole body, when what you really want is straight relief on the specific joint, there are quite a few choices of topical products. Some are more oriented towards Western medicine, such as Bengay or Aspercreme, while others are like Chinese medicine, the very popular Tiger Balm, which has similar ingredients as Bengay plus a few others.

 

There are sprays you can try, such as Biofreeze, which acts similarly to icing the joint. Aspercreme has a compound with Salicylate, which is related to Aspirin. There is also a product with Lidocaine, a local anaesthetic.

 

In addition, you can use patches. Patches have the advantage of going directly on the affected area, and there is no wastage, which you get when you spray. Likewise, the patches have the medicine directly in contact with your skin, which absorbs it.

 

If you use creams or ointments, some of it might rub off on your clothes, so you lose some and sometimes they may leave a stain on the clothes. So you have a choice of sprays, ointments or patches for immediate topical relief right on the affected joint.

 

Foods-Proper Diet Choices

 

healthy foods for good health and for healthy knees

healthy food for knee pain

 

One of the biggest challenges we face nowadays is food and diet. We are affected in the

following ways:

 

  • Long Distance Between Farm and Table. Nowadays, food is grown far from where we actually eat it. Studies have shown that the average distance between the farm and the table in the USA is 1000 miles. The food is often a week old before we even buy it! So much of the freshness and vitality of the food is lost
  • Widespread use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This also results in the loss of micronutrients that would normally be found in food that is grown in the ‘virtuous circle’ of organic agriculture. When animals and plants interact with each other, they nourish each other. When food is grown using chemicals, nutrition is lost. What’s worse, the food may have toxins from the chemicals themselves.

    pesticide crop duster

    pesticide crop duster

 

Airplane Cropduster—The Poison gets into our food

 

  • GMO’s or Genetically Modified Organisms, that is, foods that have their genetic structure messed with are now being recognized as a source of a variety of health problems, from allergic reactions to infertility. Because they exist outside of real nature, they act as stressors on our bodies, which are stressed out enough as it is.
  • Use of weird additives, such as food coloring, flavor enhancers, stabilizers etc. The best thing we can do to avoid those is to avoid packaged and processed foods when possible. Always read labels for ingredients. If you see some strange words, that means it is some chemical additive that we humans aren’t designed to eat. So don’t eat them, if possible!
  • Too much sugar. Sugar intake is through the roof. Our bodies cannot handle the amount of sugar in foods. That causes fast burning and generally inflammation. Not to mention obesity and ultimately, diabetes where your pancreas simply cannot process the sugar any more.
  • Too much alcohol. Alcohol is a fast burning fuel for the body, and ends up being stored as fat, and stresses out other organs. In particular, drinking beer can increase the likelihood of gout, a very painful joint ailment, by 200% in those who drink two beers a day, vs. non drinkers.
  • Too much food, in general. Fact is, obesity, or being seriously overweight, puts tremendous stress on the joints as well as other organs.

 

Improve Your Food Habits with these tips

  • Eat a lot more fruits and vegetables. Organic if at all possible
  • Try to eat locally grown foods sold at your local farmers’ market
  • Avoid GMO -genetic animal foods. That is hard to do nowadays, but it is possible.
  • Read labels. If it sounds like a weird chemical, think twice before buying and eating.
  • Eat less sugar, in the form of cakes, cookies, candy, soft drinks
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat moderately. Try fasting for at least one half day a week, to give your digestive system a rest. Plus, when you fast on regular basis, your body learns to burn off fat.
  • Consider intermittent fasting, which means not eating for 12-18 hours during a 24 hour cycle

 

Superfoods

 

Superfoods cherries

There has been a lot of discussion Superfoods,  pack more nutrition in them than ordinary foods.  They may have more protein than their normal counterparts, an example being Quinoa versus Rice.

They may have massive amounts of Vitamin C or other vitamins, such as rose hips versus oranges.

Specialty fish oil has high nutritive content, and can aid in healing joints compared with more common oils like corn or soy oils. Fish oil is not something you’d use for cooking but rather, taken as a supplement.

One possible drawback to superfoods is that they are not as readily available as regular foods, and they also may be quite a lot more expensive. Advocates say the price is worth it. For example, wheat grass juice made from freshly grown wheat that has just sprouted and is in its early grassy stage before creating the actual wheat grains, can be very expensive, and has to be used fresh.

You can get wheat grass extract that has been dried, so the growing and processing adds to the cost. This just one example. On the other hand, there is some evidence that these foods are so potent that they can prevent or even cure disease.  For your free report on Superfoods, go here:

 

Stop Smoking

 

This advice to stop smoking has been widespread for several decades, ever since the tobacco industry was finally called to account for the fact that smoking is harmful in many ways. If you smoke, you are increasing your chances of multiple health problems, not just knee or joint pain. So do resolve to stop smoking.

 

Reduce Stress and Pay Attention to Your Emotional Health

 

One of the great advances in the past 40 or so years is the realization that our bodies and minds are a lot more integrated than was previously thought. So if you experience stress in one area of your life, you may well experience symptoms in other areas of your life. Looking at your whole quality of life is a wise approach. Learn relaxation or breathing and meditation techniques to control pain.

Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies

This last section deals with ways to treat pain that are perhaps far afield or in some states, even illegal. Medical marijuana is one example. Here is a list of some methods to consider.

magnetic therapy knee brace

magnetic therapy knee brace

  • Magnetic Therapy uses magnets to reduce pain. There is considerable controversy over whether this type of treatment is pure hype, or actually has a scientific basis.
  • Medical Marijuana. Many people insist that various components of the marijuana plant such as cannabinols can induce relaxation and pain relief. However, in many jurisdictions, it is considered as dangerous as opioids and is strictly illegal
  • Reiki. This form of therapy involves the conscious use of ‘healing energy’ by a trained practitioner, to help heal the body. You can use reiki for self treatment if you know what you are doing.
  • Self applied acupressure. This method originated, as did Reiki according to Oriental forms of medicine. Likewise, if you learn the points of your body that will relieve pain, you can apply this technique yourself, though, like Reiki, it is usually done by a trained practitioner.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine. These include such methods as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Moxibustion. These are generally administered by a doctor practicing Chinese medicine. However, some of the procedures, such as boiling the herbs yourself involves your direct participation in the healing process.

 

We have covered 26 DIY knee pain treatments to take care of your knees by yourself. This report does not include treatments by professionals, such as minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, stem cell and platelet therapy. The most common treatments are those offered by the Medical Establishment, such as shots of steroids, or other fluids that help with joint flexibility or to relieve pain. Surgery of various types, including knee replacement are commonplace and even increasing.  Check here for the six reasons to see a knee doctor.

 

One method of treating pain is the use of opioids that have been prescribed by a physician. That may be because of the inherent tendency for professionals to encourage the use of their services, rather than the simpler and less expensive route of self care.

Opioid use is rampant these days, and, while they do relieve pain, they can lead to serious addiction problems. For that reason alone, self care that is not dependent on prescription drugs or other treatments may be preferable.

Many Choices to Take Care of Your Knees without Spending a Fortune

 

However, there is a whole other realm of treatments now becoming available that are less well known, and may or may not be recognized by most physicians or for that matter, many insurance companies. These may provide answers to the problem of knee rehabilitation, with less risk than that of surgery or use of addictive pain relieving drugs.

 

In a future report, the range of services offered by professionals of all kinds will be explored.

 

These will be revealed in another report specifically about treatments by others. So before, or in addition to professional medical treatment, you can try some of the self care methods presented here. Some of these may entail purchases. Some you can do easily at home, and even incorporate into your own cooking, at little or no cost.

 

I hope you find the information in this report useful and that it will expand your range of possibilities.

 

Legal Disclaimer

 

The information in this document is not intended to replace medical advice. All the information provided here is offered on a best efforts basis, but should be accepted ‘as is’, with no warranty whatsoever as to whether any of the information offered has efficacy or not.

 

If you have knee problems, it is highly advisable that you consult with at least one physician or other medical profession before proceeding with any means to deal with your knee issue. Before engaging in any regimen, discuss with your medical professional whether it is appropriate for you or not.

 

These 26 Self Care Secrets for Knees representing the opinions here are believed to be accurate, based on the judgment of the author. Readers assume all risk in their own treatment, and by accepting this report, you are agreeing to release the author from any liability whatsoever.