Whether you're looking to lose weight, build muscle or increase your stamina, exercising with a rowing machine is great for your fitness. Perfect for when you want to do a quick workout, or bad weather means you can't get outdoors for your usual session, rowers give you a full body workout, pushing your upper and lower body as well as getting your aerobic fitness elevated as well.
Here’s how getting physical with a rowing machine can benefit your workout:
- Great for any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re an exercise newbie or seasoned expert, rowing machines are an easy way to build your aerobic fitness. You’ll use most of the major muscle groups and get a great low-impact cardio workout as well by raising your heart rate and getting your lungs pumping. Plus, the adjustable resistance lets you ramp up or slow down your workout as you need to.
- Lose weight faster. If targeting weight is your goal, a session on the rowing machine will burn around 600 calories an hour – roughly the equivalent to the same amount you'd burn on a stationary bike over 80 minutes. You'll also tone your muscles and increase your energy, giving you more zip during the day (which makes it more likely you'll burn even more calories). Combine this with a balanced diet, and you'll be well on your way to your ideal weight in no time.
- Target your upper body. Professional rowers have enviable upper body strength, including their rhomboids, trapezii and lats – all of which help improve posture and protect you against backache. The motion of rowing will also give your biceps, pecs and abs an excellent work out for a stronger core. Holding the oar also increases the strength of your hands and wrists – a bonus if you like yoga or rock climbing.
- Lower-body bliss. If you thought the upper body workout looks comprehensive, what a rowing machine can do for your lower body ups the ante – and then some. You’ll see it most in your quads (the upper front of your thighs) but don’t be surprised if your calves and glutes feel the burn, too. As a result, you’ll start noticing you have extra flexibility and balance and – even better news – your super lower-body workout will burn calories faster as well.
- A gentler way to get a workout buzz. Unlike weight-bearing fitness routines – think running, hiking, aerobics and some yoga classes – the rowing motion is naturally low impact, however just any equipment if not used correctly you may do more harm than good so be sure to always ask the correct way to use any type of exercise machine. Watch out for back strain though – and as just mentioned, make sure you get some guidance on the proper technique and always start slow if you're worried about your health.
- It’s low-cost. If you don't want to spend a considerable amount on your routine, a rowing machine is your answer. Particularly when you're just starting on your exercise journey, it’s a great way to start strong. Go get em!