Rowing Machine Benefits

In today's fast-paced and health-conscious world, people are continually seeking effective and efficient exercise options to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Among the cardio machines available, the rowing machine stands out as one of the most versatile and highly effective pieces of equipment you can use.


What is a Rowing Machine?

Just in case you aren't 100% sure what a rowing machine is, here is quick summary.

You might have heard it called an 'ergometer' or just 'erg,' but it's commonly known as a rowing machine.

This machine is designed to mimic the action of rowing a boat and is a fantastic tool for both heart-pumping cardio and muscle-building strength exercises.

There are lots of rowing machines on the market, and if you're thinking of getting one for your home gym, no problem. We have a list of top rowing machines to help you pick the one that suits you best.

But lets breakdown the benefits of rowing and see if it will be your machine of choice on your fitness journey.


17 Benefits of Rowing

1. Low-Impact

Low-Impact, High-Intensity WorkoutRowing machines are loved by many because they provide a powerful workout without putting too much stress on your body.

When you run or jog, your joints can take a beating, but rowing is different. It's a low-impact exercise, meaning it's easier on your joints. That's why it's perfect for anyone, even those with injuries or joint pain.

The way you row involves smooth and controlled movement, which not only gives you a great workout but also helps your joints stay flexible and mobile without feeling uncomfortable.

Related: Tips for Maintaining your Rowing Machine


2. Full-Body Workout

Rowing is a special kind of cardiovascular exercise that engages a variety of  major muscle groups all at once in a coordinated movement.

First, you push with your legs, giving a strong start to the movement. Then, your core muscles help keep your body steady and balanced. Finally, your back, shoulders, and arms finish the pulling motion.

This way, rowing involves lots of different muscles, giving you a complete workout for your whole body. It's a great way to stay fit and strong!


3. High Calorie Burn Exercise

As a result of rowing being a total body workout, it an awesome way to lose weight because it burns a lot of calories.

If you row at a good pace for about 30 minutes, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories.

What's even better is that rowing can help speed up your metabolism, which means your body keeps burning calories even after you've finished rowing.

If you combine rowing with a healthy diet and exercise plan, you can create a calorie deficit. Which simply means you're burning more calories than you eat, and that's the secret to successful and lasting weight loss.

So, rowing can really help you reach your weight loss goals!


4. Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular Health

While this benefit applies to all cardiovascular exercise, regular rowing sessions provide an exceptional cardiovascular workout that strengthens the heart and lungs. It elevates your heart rate, increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body.

The consistent aerobic exercise helps improve cardiovascular endurance, reducing the risk of heart diseases and promoting overall heart health.

By incorporating rowing into your fitness routine, you can boost your cardiovascular health while avoiding the high-impact stress associated with certain other cardiovascular exercises.


5. Strength and Muscle Toning

While rowing is an exceptional cardiovascular exercise, it also offers significant strength-building benefits.

The continuous resistance provided by the rowing machine works multiple muscle groups, leading to improved muscle tone and strength.

The primary muscle groups worked during rowing include the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, back muscles, biceps, triceps, and the core. As you progress and increase the resistance, you'll experience greater gains in strength and muscle definition.

For more workout ideas see our example rowing machine workouts.

6. Improves Posture

Improves Posture

The rowing motion involves a controlled and fluid movement that requires proper form and posture.

As a result, rowing helps improve posture by strengthening the muscles responsible for maintaining an upright position.

A strong core and back muscles contribute to better posture, reducing the risk of back pain and promoting a healthy alignment of the spine.

Rowing can be incredibly helpful, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, which can lead to poor posture. But here's the good news: rowing can actually help improve your posture!

When you row, your back muscles get a great workout, and this strengthens your back.

As your back becomes stronger, it can help correct your posture, making you stand taller and feel better overall.

So, rowing is a fantastic way to counteract the effects of poor posture and promote a healthier, more upright stance.


7. Enhances Flexibility

Enhances Flexibility

Rowing is a fantastic exercise that involves a wide range of motion and uses your enitre body. So, rowing regularly can make you more flexible, which means less stiffness and better movement in your joints.

When you become more flexible, you not only row better, but you also find it easier to do other activities in your daily life.

Plus, it lowers the chances of getting injured during everyday tasks and other exercises.

So, rowing is not only great for your workout but also for making your body more agile and less prone to injury in your everyday life.

We also recommend that you stretch at the end of your rowing workouts to cool down which with further have improve your flexibility.


8. Stress Relief

Like any exercise, rowing promotes the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Therefore, engaging in regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment.

The rhythmic and repetitive motion of rowing can have a calming effect on the mind, making it an excellent form of stress relief after a long day or during challenging times.

Not every rowing session needs to be at your maximum intensity. It is important to get the body moving regularly to help your mental health.


9. Suitable for All Fitness Levels

Rowing machines are fantastic because they can fit anyone's fitness level and goals.

No matter if you're just getting started or if you're already a fitness pro, you can change your intensity or resistance level on the rower.

This means you can start easy and gradually make it more challenging as you get stronger and fitter.


10. Time-Efficient Workouts

Time-Efficient Workouts

In today's busy world, finding time for exercise can be challenging. As we saw earlier, rowing machines offer an efficient way to burn a high number of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Consistency is key to a successful fitness regime and not everyone has time to dedicate hours per day to working out.

So, it is important to maximise the time you workout, even if it is a short 20 minute rowing session can provide an effective full-body workout, saving you valuable time while still reaping numerous health benefits.


11. Improved Coordination

Rowing requires a certain level of concentration and coordination to maintain proper form and execute the movements correctly.

As you row, you must synchronize the movements of your legs, core, and arms to achieve optimal results.

This mental focus not only enhances the effectiveness of your workout but also improves your overall coordination and mind-body connection.

The mental aspect of rowing can be a refreshing change from mundane workouts and can help keep your mind engaged during exercise.


12. Cross-Training Benefits

Rowing is an excellent cross-training activity for athletes engaged in other sports or fitness routines. It complements various activities such as running, cycling, weightlifting, and yoga, providing a well-rounded fitness regimen.

The full-body nature of rowing helps address muscle imbalances that may occur in other sports, reducing the risk of overuse injuries and enhancing overall athletic performance.


Fun and Engaging13. Accessibility and Convenience

With the popularity of rowing machines, they are now widely available in gyms, fitness centers, and can be quite affordable making them a good choice for home use.

This accessibility makes it easy for individuals to incorporate rowing into their fitness routines conveniently.

Having a rowing machine at home eliminates the need to travel to a gym, saving time and making it easier to stick to your exercise plan consistently.


14. Fun and Engaging

Rowing can be a fun and engaging exercise, especially when using rowing machines equipped with interactive displays or virtual reality programs.

These features can turn your workout into an immersive experience, keeping you motivated and entertained.

Furthermore, the versatility of rowing workouts allows you to mix up your routine with different challenges and rowing programs, preventing boredom and helping to keep you consistent on fitness journey.

For example, there are rowers available with games built in where you try to beat the computer or you can choose to race your friends in a virtual setting.


15. Group Rowing Classes

Group Rowing Classes

Many fitness facilities offer group rowing classes, creating a supportive and motivating environment for individuals looking to join a community of like-minded individuals.

Group rowing workouts can add a social element to your workout, making it more enjoyable and increasing adherence to your exercise routine.

The camaraderie and encouragement from fellow participants can push you to reach new fitness levels and provide valuable support in achieving your health goals.

If you find yourself truly enjoying rowing with your friends, you might want to consider entering the indoor rowing championship!


16. Monitoring Progress

Monitoring Progress

Modern rowing machines come equipped with various tracking features that allow you to monitor your progress, such as distance rowed, strokes per minute, and calories burned.

Tracking your data can be highly motivating as it lets you see your improvements over time and set new fitness goals.

Whether you aim to row longer distances, increase your stroke rate, or beat your previous records, monitoring your progress adds a sense of accomplishment and accountability to your workouts.

For example a common benchmark rowing test is to row 2000m as fast as you can. Then once you have completed a training block, you can come back a repeat the test and see if you have improved.


17. No Weather Constraints

Unlike outdoor activities such as running or cycling, rowing on a machine eliminates the impact of weather conditions. You can row indoors regardless of rain, snow, or extreme heat, ensuring consistent exercise year-round.

This makes rowing machines an excellent investment for those living in areas with unpredictable weather or extreme climates.


Embrace the Power of Rowing for a Fitter, Healthier You

The benefits of using a rowing machine are vast and encompass both physical and mental aspects of fitness.

From offering a full-body workout to being low-impact and accessible for all fitness levels, rowing provides an exceptional option for achieving total body fitness.

Whether you are aiming for weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, build endurance, increased strength, better posture, or simply seeking a fun and efficient exercise routine, incorporating rowing into your fitness regimen can yield impressive results.

So, grab a rowing machine, learn proper rowing technique, and embark on a journey towards a healthier and fitter you.

With consistent effort and dedication, you can harness the power of rowing to transform your body and improve your overall well-being.

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Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.