Whilst the treadmills and bikes are old favourites of many gym users, an often forgotten piece of cardiovascular equipment is the rowing machine. This adds great variety to a workout, plus is a great piece of kit for improving fitness.

If you are new to the rowing machine, or even an experienced user, British Rowing has produced the RowActiv app with many great features.

The app is simply designed, with 5 key sub-menus at the touch of a finger.

The video classroom features three main topics; about the equipment, the warm-up phase of training and the correct rowing technique. These videos are excellent at allowing you to learn about the rowing machine itself and more importantly showing you how to row. It is very common in the gym to see people adopting the wrong technique, which puts unnecessary pressure on the lower back, or effort being put into pulling to hard as opposed to using the legs. With the assistance of this app, you can see how the pro’s do it and copy it for yourself.

Training sessions are included, divided into health, fitness, cross training and fitness tests. There is even a separate option for Facebook competitions where you can complete a challenge and then compare your results to others. The sessions provide a good variety of training options for all levels. Whilst you do have to complete one in order to progress to the next, this does provide and incentive to complete these.

Rowing club finder is a nice addition if you want to take your new found enjoyment of rowing a step further.

News & Events features information about outdoor and indoor rowing events. Whilst this is largely focused on the more keen and knowledgeable rower, it is nice that this has been included on the app as a reference point for those who are interested.

Finally a RowLog provides your own online log of your rowing performance. You do need to sign up and register, but as with all fitness training, recording and logging your workouts is a key means to track improvement, so is still highly recommended.

Overall the app is an excellent insight into rowing and provides anyone, no matter what level they are at with an insight into what rowing is, how to do it, challenges and means by which they can track this.

Remember though if you are ever unsure about any aspect of using any piece of gym equipment to contact a member of the fitness team for further advice.