The article is written by Nick Benhoff, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
When you think of Concept 2, your mind almost immediately goes to the Concept 2 Rower. However, the Concept 2 SkiErg may be the piece of equipment that perfects your home-based gym.
Many people haven’t heard of the SkiErg, and when approaching it at one of the few gyms that have it, you may be lost on its use and purpose.
In today’s article, we will take an in-depth look at everything the Concept 2 SkiErg offers and why it’s worth having in your home-gym.
The Concept 2 SkiErg Benefits
- The SkiErg is a fantastic tool for cardio and upper/lower body strength.
- The SkiErg is joint-friendly and won’t cause irritation or pain.
- The machine itself doesn’t take up much room in your gym and also has the option to mount on the wall (see details below).
- Accessibility is easier than a rower or assault
bikebecause you simply walk up to the machine and start using it.
- Proper form can be challenging to learn, and without it, you will not reap all of the benefits.
- The machine is tall, so shorter people may have difficulty reaching for the handles.
Dimensions, Weight, Materials, and Assembly
There are two different dimensions of the Concept 2 SkiErg, being that you can mount it on a wall or use the platform they provide.
- Bottom width = 19 in
- Width at top = 20.5 in
- Depth = 16 in
- Height = 85 in
Mounted using the floor stand:
- Width = 23.5 in
- Depth = 50 in
- Height = 85in
The SkiErg without the wall mount weighs about 46 lbs but being as tall as the SkiErg is, it’s somewhat difficult to move around. The weight of the floor stand comes in at 35 lbs making the entire product 81 lbs.
Assembly of the Concept 2 SkiErg is straightforward. The tools and necessary parts will come in the packaging and total in 5 pieces with the floor stand, and its components come in a separate package.
If you’re having difficulty putting together your SkiErg, watch this video.
My Review After Testing the Skierg
The Concept 2 SkiErg, although new, is making its place at home and commercial gyms. With its national coverage in the 2016 CrossFit Games, more people have started to see the benefits and fun from their SkiErgs.
Standing at just about 7 feet, the Concept 2 SkiErg has two main parts: the handle rigs and the base, which houses the Performance Monitor. The newer models come with Concept 2’s PM5 monitor with Bluetooth and ANT wireless connectivity, allowing you to connect your heart rate monitors and smartphone to the device.
If you’re familiar with the Concept 2 line, the monitor will compare to the Concept 2 Rower. It will track your progress, allow you to compare scores to others, and will keep you honest with the effort you put into your workout.
The base uses flywheel technology, putting you in control of the resistance levels. What that means is the more effort you put into it, the more challenging your workout. You can also control the resistance levels by adjusting the spiral damper. Do you want your training to feel like an uphill climb, or are you going long distances on flat terrain? Concept 2 has provided you with the choice of your workouts!
Although somewhat of a reach for shorter people, the strapless handles fit well in most hands. Concept 2 claims that the handles won’t absorb sweat, keeping them dry for prolonged use. I’ve felt the handles get a bit slick in my extended use, but nothing to worry about.
When using the handles properly, I’ve found that the only long-term damage that may occur is to the ropes that attach to the handles. The ropes are made of a high-strength cord, so this shouldn’t be an issue in a home gym. There could be some long-term wear and tear as your hand push down on the handle causing it to rub on the connecting rope, but this would only happen from extended foot traffic on the machine.
As I said before, the SkiErg can be wall-mounted or attached to the floor stand. The wall mounts are very secure and provide more space in your gym as the machine does not have a large footprint.
The floor stand has a wooden base and steel support making it very durable. Although it will take up more space, the floor stand allows for easy movement of the machine with its caster wheels.
One of my favorite aspects of the floor stand is the larger base, making this machine suitable for most wheelchairs.
- Two set-up options are wall-mounted for a smaller footprint or the floor stand with easy movement.
- The platform provides access to most wheelchairs.
- Durable frame that will last consumers many years.
- The backlit monitor tracks workouts, progress, and effort. The monitor uses batteries that can be extended with the use of the machine.
- The monitor provides connectivity to different devices through Bluetooth, ANT wireless, and a USB port.
- The rotating pulley system allows multiple ranges of motion, giving you different ranges of motion and decreasing the strain on shoulder and elbow joints.
- Flywheel technology gives you control of the resistance level and effort.
- Total body workout – cardio and muscular strength/endurance.
- The SkiErg, like most cardio machines, only has one use.
- If you cannot wall, mount the platform will take up more room in a smaller gym.
- No customization is available.
Overall, suppose you’re looking for a machine that will provide you with cardio and muscular endurance benefits, or you happen to be a cross-country skier training in the warmer months. In that case, this is one of the best products on the market to do so.
The Concept 2 SkiErg has a sleek design and the durability to last. Any gym will benefit from having one or a few of these in them!
The SkiErg, as previously mentioned, provides you with a full-body workout. If you’ve ever watched the Olympic event Nordic Skiing, the SkiErg will give you a similar workout.
The muscles engaged in this exercise include the quads, glutes, back, calves, shoulders, abdominals, and arms.
If doing the movement correctly (see images below), your entire body will feel the burn! If you do the movement incorrectly often, you’ll feel the exercise more in your lower back and shoulders, which can cause discomfort and possibly pain.
Be sure to see the video below on what proper form looks like.
Concept 2 Rower vs. Concept 2 SkiErg
Both the Concept 2 Rower and SkiErg are fantastic pieces of equipment to keep in your home gym.
While both are great, if you can only choose one, I would pick the SkiErg.
There are a few great benefits that the SkiErg offers. You can just jump on whenever you need it is attractive to me. If you’re in the middle of a timed circuit, you don’t want to have to strap yourself in to get going. That’s an issue with the rower.
Another benefit is there’s no really need to store it. If you decide to mount it on your wall, it’s always ready and not taking up valuable space. The rower, although thin, will take p more floor space and possible storage.
Both machines are very joint-friendly and low impact, but I will have to go with the SkiErg again because of the slight movement that will occur in your knees. If you’re rehabbing a knee injury or don’t have the flexion abilities to use the rower, the SkiErg solves that problem.
If I were looking to update my home gym with a new piece of cardio equipment, I would highly consider the SkiErg over the Rower, based on its size, full-body capabilities, and ease on your joints.
SkiErg Technique: 3 Tips to Improve Performance
1. The most important tip for performance on the SkiErg is understanding how to hinge your lower body properly. Most people I see attempting the SkiErg try to muscle through the movement, making it more challenging but limiting the benefits.
- The second tip for improved performance on the SkiErg is to notice when you’re tired and breaking form on the machine. The SkiErg will kick your butt quickly, and when we’re tired, our form is the first thing to go. Work your way up the cardio ladder, and don’t push yourself to complete fatigue your first few times on this machine.
- The third tip for improved performance is to work in short intervals. To see your best cardiovascular results, quick 10-15 second sprints will almost always beat long, drawn-out cardio sessions on the SkiErg. Not only will you keep better form but your
Should You Buy?
If you’re in the market for a piece of cardio equipment, you’d be out of your mind not to consider the Concept 2 SkiErg.
A rower will work your upper back and some legs, but the SkiErg offers a full-body element that not many cardio machines can. If your joints have become a bit sensitive, this will decrease the impact even more. The rotating pulley system is better for your shoulders and elbows, and the motion of skiing won’t trouble your knees.
In the end, I would almost always take the Concept 2 SkiErg over the rower!
- Is the SkiErg a good tool for weight loss?
The SkiErg is a great tool for endurance exercise. Like most tools for weight loss, the SkiErg can burn calories but will be most effective when paired with a proper diet and strength training routine.
- How many calories do you burn on a SkiErg?
Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately track the number of calories burned on the SkiErg. However, like most cardio exercises, the SkiErg is easy to burn a few more calories than strength training alone. Your best bet is to combine the SkiErg with a healthy diet and exercise routine for the best results.
- Is the SkiErg good for cardio?
The SkiErg is a great piece of equipment for cardio. Unlike running, the SkiErg is low impact and joint-friendly making it easy to get a sweat going without the potential of injury.