Why Rowing Machines Are Good

Rowing machines, often overlooked in the realm of fitness equipment, are emerging as a compelling option for individuals seeking a full-body workout. They provide a unique blend of cardio and strength training, delivering benefits that extend beyond the obvious physical enhancements. Rowing machines are not only effective but also efficient, offering a high-intensity workout in a relatively short amount of time. This article delves into the myriad advantages of rowing machines, shedding light on why they deserve a spot in your fitness routine. From enhancing cardiovascular health to promoting weight loss and improving muscle strength, we’ll explore the wide-ranging benefits that these powerful machines confer.

Exploring the Benefits of Rowing Machines for Exercise

rowing machines
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Rowing machines are an excellent choice for exercise, offering many different health benefits. They provide an effective low-impact workout that engages all the major muscle groups of the body, including the legs, arms, back, and core. This makes them an ideal choice for individuals looking to achieve a total body workout with a single piece of equipment. Unlike many other forms of cardio exercise, rowing is also a great strength-building activity. It demands powerful contractions from your muscles, leading to increased muscle mass and tone over time.

Beyond physical strength and endurance, rowing machines also contribute significantly to cardiovascular health. The rhythmic nature of rowing gets your heart rate up, improving cardiovascular fitness and lung capacity. Regular use of a rowing machine can lead to improved heart health, reduced risk of heart disease, and enhanced stamina. Moreover, it’s an excellent tool for weight loss. As a high-intensity workout, rowing burns calories at a high rate, aiding in weight management and fat reduction. The combined benefits of strength training and cardio make rowing machines a comprehensive, efficient, and effective choice for exercise.

A Look at the Different Types of Rowing Machines Available

Rowing machines come in a variety of types, each offering a unique form of resistance to provide a challenging workout. The first type is the air resistance rowing machine, which uses a flywheel to create resistance. The harder you pull, the more resistance you feel, closely simulating the feeling of rowing on water. Water rowers, on the other hand, use a tank of water and a paddle to create resistance. Like air rowers, the resistance increases with the speed of your rowing, but these machines also provide a soothing water sound that many users enjoy.

Magnetic rowing machines use magnetic force to create resistance. They offer a smooth, quiet operation and the resistance level can be easily adjusted, making them a popular choice for home gyms. Hydraulic rowing machines use cylinders filled with oil to create resistance. They are typically smaller and more affordable than other types, but they do not simulate the rowing motion as accurately. Finally, there are hybrid rowing machines that combine different types of resistance. These can provide more precise resistance levels for a highly customizable workout. Each type of rowing machine has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing one.

How a Rowing Machine Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

A rowing machine can be a powerful tool in achieving your fitness goals, whether you’re aiming for weight loss, muscle toning, or improved cardiovascular health. For those looking to shed unwanted pounds, a rowing machine provides a high-intensity workout that burns calories efficiently. In fact, rowing workouts can burn up to 600-800 calories an hour, depending on the intensity of your workout. This makes it one of the most effective exercises for weight loss. Additionally, because it’s a full-body workout, it helps tone and strengthen all the major muscle groups in your body, contributing to a leaner, more muscular physique.

For individuals seeking to improve their cardiovascular health, the rowing machine is an excellent option. It offers a low-impact form of cardio that is easier on the joints than running or jumping, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels. The rhythmic nature of rowing gets your heart rate up and improves lung capacity, leading to better cardiovascular fitness over time. Furthermore, using a rowing machine regularly can help enhance endurance and stamina, making daily activities easier and improving the overall quality of life. So, whether your goal is to lose weight, get stronger, or simply become healthier, a rowing machine can help you get there.

Exercises That Can Be Done with a Rowing Machine

A rowing machine is a versatile piece of fitness equipment that allows for a variety of exercises beyond the standard rowing motion. One such exercise is the bicep curl. To perform this, you can stand facing the rower with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp the handle with an underhand grip and, keeping your elbows close to your body, pull the handle towards your chest. This movement targets the biceps and can be a great addition to your upper-body workout.

Another exercise you can do on a rowing machine is the leg press. For this, you start in the catch position (the start of the rowing motion where knees are bent and chest is close to thighs) and push back using only your legs, while keeping your arms and back stationary. This isolates your leg muscles, giving them a more targeted workout.

You can also perform seated Russian twists. In this exercise, you sit on the rower without strapping your feet, hold the handle with both hands and twist your torso from side to side. This helps work your core muscles, particularly the obliques. These exercises showcase the versatility of the rowing machine and how it can be used to target specific muscle groups.

Improving Cardiovascular Health with Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are an excellent tool for improving cardiovascular health. They provide a full-body, low-impact workout that engages the heart and lungs, helping to strengthen the cardiovascular system over time. The consistent, rhythmic motion of rowing increases heart rate and oxygen consumption, promoting better circulation and lung capacity. Regular use of a rowing machine can lead to a lower resting heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and improved efficiency of the heart and lungs in delivering oxygen to the body.

Also, because rowing is an endurance exercise, it helps to boost the body’s aerobic capacity. This means that with regular training, your body becomes better at using oxygen to produce energy for sustained periods of physical activity. This increased aerobic fitness not only improves your performance in other cardio-based activities but also makes everyday tasks easier, leading to overall improved health and well-being. So whether you’re looking to enhance your athletic performance or simply improve your heart health, incorporating a rowing machine into your fitness routine can yield significant benefits.

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Rowing Machine Workout

To get the most out of your rowing machine workout, it’s essential to focus on technique and form. Begin your workout by properly strapping in your feet and checking the resistance. Too much resistance can lead to poor form and potential injury, while too little might not give you the workout intensity you desire. Drive with your legs as they are the powerhouse of your rowing stroke, and avoid gripping the handle too hard as this can cause unnecessary strain on your arms and shoulders. Remember the sequence: legs, body, arms, then reverse it to arms, body, legs. This ensures you’re engaging all the necessary muscle groups effectively.

Interval workouts can also maximize the benefits of your rowing session. Start with a gentle warm-up, rowing about 500m. Then alternate between 30 seconds of high-intensity rowing and 30 seconds of low-intensity. This not only improves cardiovascular fitness but also boosts metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned even after your workout. If you’re rowing for longer than 30 minutes, it’s beneficial to break it up. Go for 20 minutes, then stand up, walk around and stretch for five minutes before resuming. This prevents fatigue and keeps you energized throughout your workout. Remember, the key to an effective rowing workout is consistency, proper form, and a balanced approach between intensity and recovery.

Harnessing the full potential of a rowing machine can undoubtedly lead to substantial health and fitness benefits. It offers an effective way to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen numerous muscle groups, and boost overall aerobic capacity. By focusing on proper technique and incorporating interval training into your rowing sessions, you can maximize these benefits and make your workouts more efficient. Furthermore, the versatility of the rowing machine allows for a variety of exercises that can target specific areas of the body, making it an invaluable tool in any fitness regimen. Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance performance or someone seeking a healthier lifestyle, the rowing machine is a worthy investment for your fitness journey.


Q: Can a rowing machine really improve cardiovascular health?

A: Yes, a rowing machine provides a full-body, low-impact workout that engages the heart and lungs. Regular use can lead to a lower resting heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and improved efficiency of the heart and lungs.

Q: What is the proper technique to use when working out on a rowing machine?

A: Start by strapping in your feet and setting an appropriate resistance level. Then, remember the sequence: legs, hips, arms for the drive phase and reverse it to arms, hips, legs for the recovery phase. This ensures you’re engaging all the necessary muscle groups effectively.

Q: How can I make my rowing machine workouts more effective?

A: Incorporating interval training into your sessions can make your workouts more efficient. This involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity periods of rowing. Also, if you’re rowing for longer than 30 minutes, breaking it up with brief periods of rest and stretching can help prevent fatigue and keep you energized.