Rowing Machine

Rearview shot of a young woman working out on the rowing machine

The Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine

The rowing machine is an often overlooked, but excellent addition to a workout routine. Forget about the spinning bike or treadmill for a while and get a great workout from a rowing machine. There are many well-researched benefits to rowing. Some on this list might just surprise you.

Rowing Machine

Two Workouts in One 

The number one reason why working out on a rowing machine is a great idea is because you will be getting two workouts in one. Usually, gym equipment will either give you a strength workout (like weights) or a cardio workout (like a treadmill). A rowing machine will give you both types of workouts all in one machine.

The cardio workout will give you endurance. Your heart and lung fitness will increase and you will get a higher fitness level overall. The strength part of the workout will strengthen all major muscle groups and give you a better muscle tone. Due to this two-in-one nature of rowing, it is time very well spent. Improving strength and cardio at the same time means that it is hard to beat when you are pressed for time.

No / Low Impact

Different from pounding away on the treadmill, a rowing machine has low or no impact. It has been shown to improve joint functionality and strength. This is also why rowing, like swimming, is often used as a tool for rehabilitation after injuries.

Affordable and Convenient

A rowing machine is usually a lot less expensive than for instance a treadmill or spinning bicycle. They also weigh less, are easier to move around, and a lot of models can fold easily. These characteristics of a rowing machine make it a great addition to a home gym. To see different styles of rowing machines read more here. You can easily find a space for one even in a smaller home.

No Skills Required

Although you will have to focus on the correct technique rowing machines are suited to all skill levels. It is very uncommon to pick up an injury from a rowing machine. A lot of other gym equipment will need you to have an instructor to make sure you are getting the correct technique to not get injured.

Improves Posture

This is a great benefit for people who sit for extended periods. The muscles that are strengthened during rowing will help improve your posture. It is a great core workout.

Fast Results

Most people are used to walking, cycling, and running. Doing an exercise that is very different from these will make sure you are getting faster results. You will be training different muscles as well as strain muscles in a new way that they are not used to.

Full-Body Workout

Rowing is a full-body workout. You will be working your back, pecs, arms, abs, obliques, quads, calves, and glutes. Although looking at rowing might seem like mostly an arm workout the biggest benefit is actually to the legs. The second focus area is core. The arms are the last focus area for rowing workouts. Rowing will also improve grip strength.

Burns Fat

Rowing workouts are a great way to burn fat with a low-impact exercise routine. You can burn 250 to 400 calories in just 30 minutes depending on your workout and weight. It is possible to do low intensity as well as high-intensity workouts on a rowing machine.

Stress Release

The repetitive nature of rowing forces you to also get into a regular breathing rhythm. This repetition and regular breathing as well as getting a cardio workout will relieve stress. This is the perfect workout after a long and stressful workday.

Faster Recovery

You will recover faster from a rowing workout than from many other workouts. The rowing workout is based on muscles contracting, and not lengthening. Doing pushups, squats, and many other exercises is the opposite. The contraction is easier for muscles to recover from. It is also a great exercise to do the day after another type of workout as active recovery.

All Fitness Levels

People of all fitness levels can benefit from doing regular rowing workouts. Whether you are a runner, cyclist, or just starting to get fit a rowing machine will be a great addition to your fitness routine.


Online Classes, Workouts, and Apps

There are many online video classes, live group workouts, and even apps available for rowing machine workouts. You can challenge yourself or join a group class. Some of these workouts are structured similarly to spinning classes and are a great way to keep fit. It is worth looking at subscribing to one of these new services to get the full benefit of a rowing workout.


It should be clear by now that a rowing machine is an amazing and often forgotten piece of fitness equipment. Did any of the above benefits surprise you? Remember the above benefits when you are planning your next workout.


Do Not Sell My Personal Information