Not many people are familiar with the joy that is the rowing machine. Many see it as a training tool for those who are on sculling and rowing teams, but this popular piece of gym equipment has a number of incredible benefits for both cardiovascular training and functional strength.
Cardio and Weight Loss
We understand that many of you are looking for a good cardio workout and that’s just what the rowing machine gives you. The movements and muscle groups help you to build endurance, which also translates to increased heart function. The trick to getting a good cardiovascular workout is to keep the resistance on the rowing machine low so that you can maintain a pace that allows you to reach an aerobic state. This is where the benefits to your circulatory system, heart, and lungs occur.
Weight loss is, of course, another incredible benefit.
A 185 individual who uses a rowing machine for 30 minutes can burn up to 377 calories – a significantly higher number than other pieces of cardio equipment. The higher your body weight, the more you may burn. Results vary from person to person, but there is no doubt that regular use of the rowing machine can help you create the calorie deficit you need to lose weight.
Strength and Cross Training
Athletes of all kinds find the rowing machine to be an excellent cross training tool. Many athletes, especially runners, find that the rowing machine helps them to strengthen the muscle groups they use for running, including the core. There’s a lower impact on the joints, which also makes it a great recovery exercise when a lower-impact workout is needed.
Every stroke of the rowing machine pulls a series of major muscle groups into play – your arms, back, abdominal core, arms, and shoulders each take a turn with a more balanced ratio of about 60% leg work and 40% upper body work throughout each phase of the stroke. This is a full-body exercise that gives you the combined benefit of cardio and strength training at the same time.
Not sure how to get started? Talk to your personal trainer for some great rowing machine workout ideas. Even a 20-30 minute interval session can scorch calories and leave you walking away feeling as though you’ve done an hour or more of hard work. You’ll love the way the rowing machine makes you feel!