Indo-Row, which is best described as a spinning class on rowing machines instead of exercise bikes, has arrived in the UAE at the Hilton Abu Dhabi hotel.
The sport was created by the Americans Josh Crosby, a former rowing champion, and Jay Blahnik, a fitness expert. Back in their home country, it’s the favoured activity of celebrities wanting to maintain their svelte physiques.
With the Hilton Abu Dhabi starting classes, Crosby explained why he’s expecting it to become a hit in this country.
Water way to have fun
Crosby acknowledges that ploughing away on an indoor rowing machine can be incredibly tedious. So, in 2004, he came up with a way to motivate people to persist with their exercise.
The classes take place on WaterRower GX, a state-of-the-art rowing machine. Instead of a giant air fan at the front, it has a bowl of water.
As well as simulating the feel of a real oars on water more authentically, each time you pull, you hear the sound of water rushing.
“The water resistance creates a soothing ‘rush’ of water with each pull,” says Crosby.
“In the group environment, the sound of rushing water provides an added element to the experience, both motivational and inspiring.”
In the same boat
In an Indo-Row class, people compete against each other in a series of different races.
The class attendees are set up in teams, which Crosby says creates camaraderie among them.
“Strangers become teammates and instructors become coaches,” he claims.
“The unique format of Indo-Row captures all the elements of competitive on-water rowing, creating a class that is fast-paced and engaging from the first minute,” enthuses Crosby.
“We have classes such as Skills and Drills, moving on to Waves and Recoveries and then a friendly but competitive race.”
Shock and oar
As people are competing against each other in teams, Crosby believes this spurs them on to work harder.
“I learnt from my rowing career that working together as a team will get you stronger and faster mentally and physically,” he says.
“The more energy you give, the more you get back from your teammates. They inspire you to go beyond what you think is possible. You leave obliterated, yet exhilarated.”
He says that rowing works nine major muscle groups and “torches calories”.
With obesity, heart disease and other health issues being so prevalent in the UAE, Crosby believes Indo-Row will be a hit here.
“I do know that cardiovascular disease is the lead cause of death in the UAE. Rowing is an amazing tool in its prevention as it can strengthen the cardiovascular system,” he explains.
“Weight-loss, flexibility gains and even improved self-esteem have been other positives I have seen from my Indo-Row clients.”
Aim for the stars
Crosby claims that numerous A-listers attend Indo-Row classes in the US. These include the actors Bradley Cooper, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman and Kevin Bacon.
“It’s popular with these guys for the same reason non-stars like it. It delivers results,” he claims.
• Indo-Row classes take place at the Hilton Abu Dhabi on the Corniche on Tuesdays at 7.15pm. For more information, call 02 681 1900. Visit www.indorow.com for more information