Why is Rowing Such a Good Workout?

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Rowing has been around for quite a lot time, though has rapidly risen in popularity in recent years due to the development of rowing machines. Not only is it a unique and fun workout – it comes with a whole array of different fitness benefits.

If you’re wondering why rowing is such a good workout then stay right here because we’re about to tell you all about it! We know you’re eager to get started so let’s get started!

1. Full-Body

Let’s start off with quite possibly the biggest benefit for most people: the fact that rowing machines offer a full-body workout. While it may appear that rowing only offers an upper body workout, all it takes is 30 minutes on the machine for you to find out that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Sure, rowing does work the arms, back, chest, and core. However, it also works the legs as well. According to the American Fitness Professionals Association, rowing is approximated to consist of 65-75% legs and 25 – 35% upper body. Of course, this depends on the individual’s rowing form.

2. Great for All Fitness Levels

Let’s face it: there are tons of cardio machines that are suited more towards those already in great shape. Rowing machines on the other hand, are perfect, no matter what kind of physical fitness you possess. If you haven’t sweat from exercise in years, then it’s a machine that can help improve your strength, muscle tone, and stamina.

If you’re a triathlete, you’ll also find use out of it too, as magnetic rowing machines can get up to pretty high levels of resistance. Thanks to the easy and varied resistance settings, you will also be able to use it for years upon years without the risk of plateauing or becoming bored.

If you are hard of hearing or have low vision/are blind, then you’ll also be able to stay in shape with rowing machines! They don’t require the balance that other machines which require you to stand up do, as you are sitting the entire time.

3. It’s Low Impact

Low impact exercise is great for those in particular with joint issues or who are in rehab. Even many who are now in their elderly years love rowing machines as they don’t mess with their ankles, knees, and hips like high impact forms of cardio do. There have been multiple studies which show that while running on pavement or at the gym could cause more damage to delicate joints, rowing machines have actually been proven to help improve joint rotations in the elbow, shoulder, knee, and lumbar spine.

4. Clears the Mind

We all know that the mind and body are not only connected, but completely intertwined. If one of them isn’t performing well, it affects the other and vice versa. While all exercise should help us clear our mind a bit, certain types require more of our mental presence than others.

As rowing machines require you to sit down and repeat movement without thinking all that much about proprioception, it really allows that mind-body connection to grow. If you’ve ever been rowing on the water, then you’ll recognize this sense of calmness. Many who are used to rowing outside worry that they won’t get this benefit from rowing machines but don’t worry – it’s there!

The smooth, repetitive motions help to create this. It’s kind of like when you’re vacuuming the house – who knew that cleaning would give you so much time to think and sort your thoughts? Now pair that clearing of the mind along with the endorphins produced while rowing and you’re going to start feeling better inside and out.

5. Convenience

Rowing machines are incredibly convenient pieces of equipment if you want to get in a full-body workout that just about anyone can do. Not only that, but rowing machines can oftentimes be stored easily as they’re so narrow. They are relatively long, yes, but they will take up much less space than a treadmill or full home gym.

If you’re really tight on space, then you can even select a folding rowing machine. They’re slightly shorter than “regular” models but will still provide a great workout and are typically more lightweight so they’re easy to move around.

Moreover, rowing machines are incredibly quiet. While the user may hear water sloshing around in water rowing machines, even those are hard to detect from a room over. However, if you want something virtually silent, then all you have to do is get yourself a magnetic rowing machine which produces practically no sound at all.

6. Durable & Space Saving

Rowing machines are one of the easier cardio machines to maintain and the components are very straightforward. Cleaning them is relatively simple too, and the build quality is typically very sturdy, even without paying much money towards it. However, the different build types will vary, from simple and lightweight to heavy wood.

If you don’t want to pay a lot of money or don’t mind paying a good sum of cash for a machine that will last for many years to come, then you should really consider adding a rowing machine to your home.

Not only can you plan on your rowing machine lasting a long time, the newest rowing machines are foldable! You can then push it over to a corner or a closet to get it out of the way if you are short on space.


Now that you’ve had the chance to read all about why rowing is such a great workout, have you decided if rowing is for you? Even if you have zero experience rowing, we have a feeling you’re going to fall in love with it, just like countless others around the globe. We hope our guide has been helpful to you, and that you have a better idea of what these machines can offer. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again shortly!


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Shayanne Weeks

Shayanne is a freelance writer and personal trainer based in LA, California. Describing herself as a nomad, she has lived in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. As an extremely active person, she loves to train people, teach yoga, and ski. She enjoys sharing her love for teaching others through her “how to” fitness guides and workout equipment reviews. Shayanne is addicted to surfing and yoga and practices both everyday.
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