Illustration of a man on a rowing machine

4 Rowing Machine Benefits for Cardiovascular Fitness

If you’re getting bored of running on a treadmill for cardio, considering adding a rowing machine to your home gym lineup. The benefits of rowing are amazing. You get a total body workout that will get your heart pumping without straining your joints.

Benefits of Rowing

The great thing about rowing is it can benefit a variety of people. Whether your goal is to lose weight, cross-train for another sport, compete on the water, or rehabilitate from injury or surgery, rowing is a total body exercise that accomplishes all of these.

The benefits of rowing machines include strengthening and conditioning most major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. And as a bonus, rowing is virtually impact-free.

1. Cardiovascular and Aerobic Training

The rowing machine is an activity that gets your heart rate up and can burn up to 600-800 calories per hour. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This can be achieved through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (5 days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (3 days per week). A rowing machine can keep your heart rate well within both a moderate intensity and a vigorous intensity range. Many indoor rowing machines have heart monitoring capabilities with sensors built into the handles. You could also use a heart rate monitor.

2. Total-Body Conditioning

Rowing gives the upper and lower back and the shoulder muscles an excellent workout. Plus, the sliding seat provides a lower body workout too. Every stroke engages the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques, pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, upper back, and lats. Rowing also boosts your wrist strength because of the grip required for the rower handles. It’s also said that rowing can help improve posture by strengthening your back.

3. Low-Impact Activity of Rowing

The motion of a rowing machine is a low-impact, natural movement. The user sits close to the floor in a comfortable position – there is minimal stress required to hold yourself up onto the machine. If you compare this with running or some other cardio machines, you can see why many people favor the rower.

4. Versatility of Rowing

Rowing is different from running in that it allows you to perform both HIIT and LISS training. Meaning you can switch from intense intervals to steady-state cardio by altering the level of resistance.

Building a home gym doesn’t have to be hard. Once you determine your budget, available space and fitness goals, you can find equipment that works for you. For more tips on how to create a healthier lifestyle, visit our blog.

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11 Responses

  1. Air rowing machines are one of the most popular selling resistance types for home rowers. The resistance is strong, smooth, and very closely resembles rowing on water. The quality of air rowing machines is usually higher, due to there being less moving parts, and the price is often lower, due to resistance being controlled by a plastic fan. Can you suggest me a good air rowing machine brand?

  2. I been rowing for 30 min away for 2 month now at 33 Stoke a min easy I 57 years old love it easy work out

    1. Have you noticed any physical changes since you’ve started – weight loss, toning, muscle gain, etc?

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