Rowing is a fantastic form of exercise that has numerous health benefits, from increased strength and endurance to dozens of calories. Also known as an exercise bike, the rowing machine is a standard in most gyms and offers a killer workout that will make you look lean and mean in the blink of an eye.
What is the rowing machine?
The rowing machine or ergometer is essentially a fitness machine that mimics the rowing of a boat, canoe, or a clam (as in the Olympics). This device has multiple purposes that can be used for a variety of workouts, from low-impact, low-intensity endurance development to high-intensity sprint intervals, full-body strength training, core training, and posture control.
How do you use a rowing machine?
A rowing machine mimics the movements used when rowing a small boat by using the arms, legs, and core of the body. An easy way to row is to use this simple formula: push, core, pull, relax, and repeat. The rowing movement begins at the bottom of the stroke in the catch position with knees bent and arms holding the handles in front of the body.
Then the legs are extended, pushing the quad muscles away from the base of the machine, while at the same time articulating the core and pulling the handle toward the chest with the arms. Once your legs are straight, bend your knees again and move back to the starting position. Repeat the movement. The majority of the rowing movement is in the legs and, if done correctly, consists of 60% legs, 30% torso and 10% arms.
To get the maximum benefit from your rowing workout, the core needs to be activated and properly articulated – like the deadlift. The core must be activated at all times during your rowing training and the abdominal muscles must be activated dynamically.
1. Burns calories
Rowing combines cardiovascular and strength training and, depending on body weight and exertion, burns large amounts of calories. Rowing can burn between 400 and 500 calories in an hour. Competitive rowers burn almost twice as many calories over 2,000 meters as runners over 3,000 meters.
2. Reduces stress
Physical activity like rowing helps produce endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Endorphins help with insomnia and help you sleep better; they act as natural relaxants and pain relievers; and in general you feel great! Regular workouts on your rowing machine lift your mood, reduce stress and strengthen your self-esteem.
3. Improves cardiovascular fitness
Rowing is a cardiovascular exercise that uses your arms and legs, as well as your core and back, to bring the body forward. It tones the lower and upper body as well as the core and creates better overall muscle definition than other cardio activities like running. Rowing regularly can help increase your endurance and endurance, as well as overall aerobic and cardiovascular fitness.
4. Healthy heart
Rowing is a cardiovascular exercise and one of the best exercises for keeping your heart happy and healthy. Cardiovascular exercise helps get the heart pumping, muscles working and sweating, and strengthening the heart. The heart is the body’s engine and the heart of the complex and hard-working cardiovascular system, which also includes the vast network of arteries, veins, and other blood vessels that run through the body, supplying oxygen-rich blood to every cell.
5. Tones muscles
Rowing works the muscles in your arms, legs, back, and torso, builds lean muscles, and tones and tones slack muscles, making the body look lean and mean. Rowing builds and strengthens muscles without stressing the musculoskeletal system, and helps target muscle groups that would normally not be used in other exercises. It also helps flex and stretch the muscles, which is great for people of all ages, for warding off the stiffening effects of aging.
6. Strengthens your core
Rowing strengthens your core by exercising the neutralization and stabilization muscles, which are the same muscles that balance the body and prevent you from injuring your back when you pick up something heavy.
7. Improves flexibility and mobility
A 20 to 30 minute session of moderate rowing relaxes joints and muscles and increases flexibility. The repetitive stretches while rowing help keep the body flexible and also help reduce post-workout stiffness.
8. Low impact on the joints
Rowing should be gentle, with fluid movements that do not strain the joints and tendons.
9. Good cross training exercise for other sports
Rowing is a great cross-training exercise that benefits a number of other sports including swimming, running, tennis, and squash. Because it works so many muscle groups in the body, rowing strengthens and tones the arms, legs, and core, and helps with most other forms of exercise.
10. Rowing machines are easy to use
Have you ever gone to a gym and felt overwhelmed by all the different machines? Or worse, started on a machine only to find out halfway through that you are standing with your back forward and upside down? A rowing machine is easy to use, from setting it up for your body and training needs, to using the machine.
11. Good for arthritis and osteoarthritis
For anyone with osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis, rowing is a great way to stay in shape. It’s also a good form of exercise when you’re recovering from an injury or battling other pain. A rowing machine will help you strengthen your joints and increase mobility without causing any more damage.
12. Rowing is beginner friendly
Rowing is an easy way to start exercising at the gym or at home because it is easy to perform and can be built up to different resistance levels. Rowing can show results in a short amount of time for both beginners and advanced riders, so stick with it and you will see the results.
13. Improves posture
Rowing is an excellent form of exercise for improving posture when done correctly without leaning back or compressing too much as you pull back. It requires a straight, strong back and trunk, which over time can lead to a significant improvement in posture.
14. Rowing is versatile
Rowing is a very versatile form of training that combines cardiovascular, strength and fat burning training. Rowing at lower intensity for long periods of time can build endurance and endurance, while rowing at high intensity for short periods of time at set intervals is great for building speed, increasing heart rate, and improving overall fitness.
15. Improves blood circulation
Rowing improves blood circulation and helps the heart pump oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, transporting nutrients for cell repair, and removing cell waste quickly and efficiently. A healthy circulatory system reduces the risk of embolism, blockage from blood clots that typically form in the veins in the legs and travel to the heart and lungs, which can be fatal. Improved blood circulation can also reduce the risk of stroke and other circulatory problems.
16. Helps with brain function
Regular exercise like rowing improves cognitive function, memory, and thinking skills. Rowing increases heart rate, which increases blood flow to the brain and reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which helps new brain cells grow.
17. Quick and easy
No more long hours in the gym … Rowing is a quick and easy form of exercise that allows you to get a full body workout in just 15 minutes!
18. Easy on the wallet
Rowing is an inexpensive form of exercise whose only cost is a gym membership (if you don’t already have one) or the cost of a rowing machine to take home. No special training equipment is required – you can just wear shorts and a t-shirt and trainers and there are no additional costs.
19. Challenging and motivating
Rowing machines can be set at different levels as a challenge, which is also a good motivator to train hard. It’s a form of training that you see quick results, which is also a great motivator to train harder.
20. Good practice for rowing outdoors
Rowing in the gym can also inspire you to try it out outdoors. You can join a rowing club and meet new like-minded people while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery that surround most rowing locations.
Can rowing be my entire workout every time?
Rowing can definitely be used as a one-on-one workout as it provides excellent full body workout and trains the cardiovascular, respiratory and circulatory systems. The intensity of the workouts can be increased as you get fitter, stronger and tailored to your body’s specific needs.
Rowing is a fantastic form of exercise that is easy, versatile, and inexpensive for all levels. It has a plethora of benefits from improving heart health, circulation, lung capacity, and posture to reducing stress, helping with flexibility, increasing strength and endurance, and more. Have fun rowing!