Treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines – these are classic options for those who work out, whether it be at home or at the fitness center. But sometimes it seems that rowing machines are overshadowed by the first two because most people who just want to get in shape use exactly a treadmill or a stationary bike. However, those who want to get the most out of their workout and step up their fitness routine prefer using rowing machines. Why? Well, you’re about to find that out so don’t go anywhere. These rowing machine benefits will make you think about using or even buying an indoor rowing machine and jump on the bandwagon.
What is a rowing machine?
Before we start talking about rowing machine benefits, let’s first talk about a rowing machine. What is it anyway? This workout machine is designed to simulate rowing a boat in the water. Using this machine is hard but that’s what makes it a worthy addition to your day. When you put in work and effort, the results will follow up.
A rowing machine is built with a sturdy and durable frame that is close to the ground. The machine features a flywheel and a handlebar attached to it by a chain, rope, or strap. To do a row, the user pulls back the handle and slide with a seat away and in the direction of the flywheel. This motion allows the user to engage both the lower and upper body.
There are different types of rowing machines – air, magnetic, hydraulic, and water. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, and you can read about them in our guide. Of course, we all have different preferences, goals, and budgets, so which type we opt for depends on these.
Rowing machine benefits
Now let’s talk about why rowing is good for you and why it should become part of your workout.
Great cardio exercise
Including cardio (aerobic) exercises in your workout routine is very important. Some of the benefits of cardio activities are burning fat, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the heart and respiratory system. Cardio exercises are the ones that pump your heart rate and increase breath volume. Great examples of this are running, cycling, and of course rowing. Since rowing engages large group muscles, your body has to work harder to keep it up and push the limits. Over time, your body becomes stronger and your muscles leaner.
One of the most important benefits of rowing is that you need to use your whole body in order to perform the rowing motion correctly and safely. Even though the focus is on the lower body, other major muscle groups are also involved. A rowing motion consists of four phases – the catch, drive, finish, and recovery. The first phase – catch, is when you use your legs to push off. Here you use quads, buttocks, hamstrings, and calves. Of course, you’re gripping the handlebar all the time which activates your hands, forearms, and shoulders and back.
In the drive position, you’re using legs, core, arms, and shoulders and back, activating all major muscles in your body. The third phase is “the finish”, where your core is actively engaged. In the last phase, you’re returning to the first position and preparing yourself to start the rowing motion all over again. In this phase, your core and stabilizer muscles are involved so that you can slide back to the front.
Rowing works your whole body, improving your muscular endurance and strength over time.
No pressure on the joints
Another benefit of using a rowing machine is very little to no impact on the hips, ankles, knees, elbows, and shoulders – and we all know that these parts are susceptible to injuries. Because of this, people who cannot perform weight-bearing exercises such as jogging, yoga, or cycling can add rowing to their daily exercise routine.
When you’re using a rowing machine, your feet are placed in the foot pedals all the time whereas your hands are in contact with the handlebar, minimizing the pressure on the above-mentioned parts of your body.
Since your entire body is involved when using a rower machine, lots of calories are being burned! Of course, this is great, especially if you want to lose weight. Regular rower workouts can help you tone muscles and burn calories like crazy. A rowing machine workout can burn approximately 600 calories per hour, which is what you get with 80-minutes cycling.
One of the best rowing machine benefits is that you can save a great deal of time, and still do a full-body workout. So, if you’re short on time, but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your workouts, a rowing machine will do the trick. As mentioned above, you get both a cardio and full-body workout with a rowing machine, in a much shorter time than you would with working out each group of muscles separately and then doing cardio.
Instead of spending lots of money on the gym and losing time to go there every day, you can buy a rowing machine. When compared to buying a treadmill or a stationary bike, a rowing machine is much cheaper. So, it indeed is a wise investment and will pay off in the long run. There are even some models including the ProGear 750 rowing machine, that offer additional exercises such as abs workout, shoulder presses, pulldowns, etc. These are even more convenient to use.
Not only will you save time and money, but you will also be able to work out any tim