And rowing is currently having a moment. High-end startups such as Hydrow, launched in 2017, and, more recently, Ergatta, have rolled out gleaming new machines. (Peloton is reportedly developing one, too.) Rowing, contrary to what you might suspect, isn’t all about your arms. An ergometer uses an estimated 75 to 90 percent of your body’s muscles, and a vigorous one-hour session can burn over 500 calories—more than cycling. “It’s low-impact, unlike running, which can be tough on the Three Gnomes purple Christmas sweater joints,” says Pablo Castañeda, an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone. “Rowing is an exceptional exercise to specifically strengthen the core and provide a whole-body workout.” With proper technique, Castañeda continues, “rowing can improve posture and reduce back pain.” And the exercise may prove a pandemic palliative in nonphysical ways as well: “It’s so meditative,” says Arshay Cooper, who, in the 1990s, joined the country’s first African American high school rowing team, in West Chicago (a story told in the new documentary A Most Beautiful Thing). “You can collect your thoughts and there’s this magical rhythm,” says Cooper.