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What You Should Know About Rowing Machines Workouts

concept 2 rower

For many people that are considering getting in better shape with exercise, there are many machines and options to choose from, whether you are at the gym or looking for equipment for your home. One machine that can provide you many benefits is the rowing machine, but before you get to rowing, there are a few things you should inform yourself about to understand if it is right for you.

High-Calorie Burn

Rowing machines fall under the classification of cardio exercises, as they are usually meant to benefit your cardiovascular system, lungs, heart, and muscles with increased oxygen flow. They won’t necessarily be used for building large muscles. What this means is that this is a great exercise for anyone that is looking to either lose weight, or build stamina. Depending on the intensity of your workouts, there is a potential for large amounts of calorie burn, which according to Start Rowing, compares very favorably to all other forms of cardio.


One great thing about rowing machines is the fact that they are one of the more accessible ways to workout, especially at the gym. There is a technique that needs to be followed in order to get the most benefit and ensure that you are exercising in an efficient and safe manner, but you aren’t worried about other things that you might be doing with other workouts and equipment. As inclusive as people want to say the gym environment is, there are groups and individuals that won’t always be friendly or inviting when it comes to aspects like weightlifting.

There isn’t a negative stigma associated with anyone that is focusing on rowing machines or the image associated with them. There is less intimidation and that allows you to feel comfortable to get your workout. Additionally, because it is a workout that incorporates so many muscle groups, you don’t have to worry about which areas to focus on, what day of the week should prioritize this machine, just get your sets and routine in.

Low Impact

Unlike heavy weights and workouts that focus on lifting, aerobics, or even running, rowing machines are low impact workouts. They focus on muscle movement and gradual strength training. There is no sudden impact with rowing machines as there are with weights, and no physical contact running and jumping, or even with other people if you play sports. Rowing is about extension and increasing muscle strength through the use of a full range of motion. This ease of impact is perfect for people that have weak joints, whether that is from lack of exercise and movement to age to other issues.

Rowing focuses on strengthening your joints and muscles, as advised and identified by the experts behind For Knees, as a way to improve your knee strength. Additionally, this low impact exercise makes rowing machines easier to use for those looking to lose weight and might have problems with their weights on their joints. Similarly, this is also great

Generate Own Force

This means that you are taking a more active role in the workouts or exercises you are doing. Unlike other machines, like a treadmill for example, where you can press a button and the workout puts you through the exercise. You have to become engaged in the workout because, with rowing machines, the intensity you apply to the machine translates to your workout. If you are not engaged, the results will not translate as well despite what the numbers might show. The resistance shown on the displays may suggest your calories burned. But won’t be completely accurate if you are not putting in the effort that impacts your muscles.

Keeping Effort And Interest

One important factor to note about rowing machines is that the results you get out of these workouts to depend on the amount of effort you put into them. This is a cardio type of exercise, and with many cardio workouts, it can be mundane and boring at times, similar to running on a treadmill or exercising on a stationary bike. However, the challenge with a rowing machine is in the form and technical movements of your body. You have to watch your posture and the matter in which your body performs these exercises. Unlike walking, jogging or cycling, you cannot always put something on in the background like watching a television show to get the same results. You need to ensure that you stay focused, and that will allow you to focus on your workouts, getting the most benefit out of it.

Rowing involves movements that incorporate different muscle groups, as working out and activating joints with your range of motion. Rowing is a great way to involve many people, especially beginners, without excluding those serious about their fitness and cardio. Like many workout methods, you will get as much benefit as you are willing to work at it.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.