Top 10 Benefits of Rowing

Indoor Rowing at Gravity Laboratory

1. Effective Cardiovascular (Aerobic) Exercise

No matter what your age is, a fitness plan that includes cardio (or aerobic exercise) is an important contributor to your overall health. The benefits of regular aerobic exercise include weight loss, increased stamina, and a stronger immune system. Endorphins released while you work out can also help improve your mood and sleep quality. Because it requires the use of so many major muscle groups, a rowing machine is an effective way to raise your heart rate and increase your oxygen intake for an effective cardio workout. Adjusting intensity and stroke rates enables those wanting to train within target heart rate zones to do so effectively..


2. Weight Loss

Only a few exercises burn calories the way rowing machines do. Regular workouts on a rower can help you burn calories, tone muscles, and give you increased energy. Yes! It burns fat and builds muscles at the same time!


3. Upper-Body Workout

As you might expect, rowing machines provide a stellar upper-body workout. Rowers exercise the rhomboids in the shoulders, trapezii in the upper back, and lats in the lower back. The benefits of a stronger back and shoulders include improved posture as well as a reduction in back pain. In addition to your backside, rowing machines also provide a nice workout for your biceps, pecs, and abs, which helps you develop a stronger core. Because you need to maintain a grip on the handle, you’ll also develop stronger hands and wrists, which is a big plus for anyone who enjoys activities such as climbing or yoga.


4. Lower-Body Workout

Perhaps one of the best rowing machine benefits is the workout they give the lower body. The main leg muscles are all involved - the quads in the upper front of the thighs, glutes (buttocks), calves and hamstrings all feel the burn. Building strong legs and glutes will help you look amazing and working out the lower body actually burns calories at a faster rate. In addition to improved muscle strength and tone, resistance training on a row machine is a great way to maintain flexibility and balance.


5. Low-Impact Cardio

A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing or higher joint impact exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery. Good rowing leverage natural body posture and lets your legs do the work, taking the pressure off your back. Check out #9 for more details on proper rowing technique.


6. Increased Endurance

If you feel like your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone, chances are you may not be getting enough physical activity. Rowing machine workouts may feel exhausting at first, but the long-term benefits of regular exercise will increase your endurance and give you more energy. Because rowing exercise is cardiovascular and works out all your major muscle groups, it’s a step above many other types of workout equipment. With repeated use, you will gain increased stamina and boost your metabolism. More energy means more drive to do the things you love!


7. Convenient

Just because you don’t live on the water with a rowing boat sitting at the dock doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same physical benefits from rowing. Sometimes getting motivated to work out is more challenging than the exercise itself. Uncomplicated and accessible workouts, like rowing, are much more appealing. It’s also great, because you can recruit a workout buddy to join you for added encouragement. At Gravity, we also use technology / gamification to keep things interesting!


8. Social/Teamwork

Due to its interval training nature, there is time to socialize and engage with your cohort when off the rower (mat work/flexibility). The rowers can also be connected to make doubles and quads and we can link up several rowers via sport projection technology for racing in teams or as individuals. Sundays at Gravity is racing day, where participants can enter one or more race categories including the fun family relay event. Not ready to participate, do come and watch – cheering acceptable!


9. Easy to Use

Exercising on a rowing machine is relatively simple to learn and ideal for all ages and abilities. It’s important to make sure you use proper rowing technique when you exercise. It will help to both maximize your workout and minimize the potential for injury. It also aids with mobility and flexibility as it provides broader range of motion. Keep your back straight, your core engaged, and row in a smooth, fluid motion. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!


10. It’s Fun!

If exercising is something you dread, it is a lot harder to motivate yourself to do it. Making a fitness plan that you enjoy is your key to success. Because rowing works out your entire body, it’s easier to stay engaged while doing it. Plus, you can challenge yourself by increasing the intensity and type of workout as you become a more seasoned rower. Crank up the speakers and row to the beat of your favorite tracks or recruit a workout buddy for extra encouragement. Gravity will be fielding a team in the BC indoor rowing championships in Vancouver February 2020 – plenty of time to get you to place if the thought of some fun and healthy competition is appealing!


2018 Indoor Rowing Championships, Vancouver, BC Canada

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