‘House of Cards’ Spurs Interest in Rowing Machines, Studios

The popularity of rowing workouts has surged since Netflix’s hit House of Cards debuted, featuring star Kevin Spacey rowing while contemplating his next ruthless move, observes SneakerReport.com. The site says Manhattanites are now “flocking” to trendy new “rowing studios.”

Spacey’s Congressman Frank Underwood was less than thrilled by a gift of a rowing machine from his wife in the first season, to be set up in his man cave in the basement.

“It looks positively medieval, doesn’t it?” says Underwood. “To turn my only sanctuary into a fitness dungeon, I won’t have it.”

But then the rowing machine became sort of a character in its own right. Underwood uses it to work out not only his body, but his demons.

Underwood’s rowing machine of choice is the WaterRower Classic, a pricey and popular home gym machine that starts at around $1,100. Amazon has a dedicated WaterRower page.

“A degree of cool cred”

Anna Magee writes at Healthista.com about how House of Cards nudged her toward the rowing workout: “In my shallow little mind, Kevin Spacey doing late night workouts on a rowing machine in the basement of his Washington DC brownstone between meetings with heads of state managed to lend the idea of rowing workouts a degree of cool cred.”


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