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Rowing speed and lifting strength go hand in hand, say researchers in New Zealand. Elite rowers who logged the fastest 500-metre times on a rowing machine were also strongest in lifts like the power clean and the supported barbell row. “Similar to the power clean, rowing power starts in the legs and core and explodes through all the major muscle groups with each stroke,” says Topher Bordeau, rowing coach. “And because that heavy motion is repeated as often as 40 times a minute, the metabolic demands of rowing are huge.” To test your strength and endurance on an indoor rower, try timing yourself by rowing as hard as you can for 500 metres. Don’t hold back. If you finish the test in under 1:30, then you’re Men’s Health fit.

But don’t just sit down and start rowing. Follow the link to know the Perfect Form for the rowing machine.