Why Rowing Is The Best Cardio Workout Of All

February 6, 2024 – 3 min read

Would you like to lose weight, tone up or simply make good on your get-fit goals? Installing a rowing machine in your home gym could be the perfect place to start. Suitable for all fitness levels, rowers (as the pros call them) build both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, burn a lot of calories and tone muscles, all at the same time. Here’s why rowing could just be the best cardio workout of all:

Man enjoying a home workout on his rowing machine

1. Rowing Machines Provide A Full-Body Workout

When you’re using a rowing machine, you activate your lower body, upper body and core muscles all at once, providing you with a full-body workout. “You’re working your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, back muscles, shoulders, abs and arms,” says Eric Schenoni, personal and group trainer at Body Fit Training. “You get a lot of return on investment when using the rower.”

“You’re working your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, back muscles, shoulders, abs and arms... You get a lot of return on investment when using the rower.” Eric Schenoni, personal trainer

2. Rowing Machines Burn Calories

Exercising on a rowing machine will allow you to burn more calories per workout because you are working more muscles. Each stroke (going back and forth) on a rower works both your upper and lower body, increasing overall calorie burn.

After exercise, your body continues to burn calories during recovery. “When you’re recovering from a big rowing session, your whole body is recovering. That means the demand on rebuilding your body is higher so, post-workout, you could be burning more calories, too,” explains Eric.

3. Rowing Machines Tone Muscles

Rowing works your legs muscles, including your calves, hamstrings and quads. It targets your glutes and your core. And it exercises your shoulders and arms. In fact, each stroke on a rowing machine keeps your whole body working hard, keeping you strong and toned.

4. Rowing Machines Get Results

Rowing machines are versatile. You can vary the way you use them based on how you want to train and how much time you have. Mix longer, slower rows on some days with shorter, high-intensity rows on others. You don’t need to exercise for hours on end.

5. Rowing Machines Are For Everyone

Anyone can row. You don’t need to be super fit; in fact, you can start off by using your rowing machine for 5-10 minutes per day, increasing your time as you build your fitness.

Aerial view of woman working out on a rowing machine

6. Rowing Machines Can Track Your Progress

Rowing machines feature a built-in screen to provide you with details on distance, time, speed and calories burned, so you can track your progress. You can increase or decrease speed and adjust distance as required. Or set yourself challenges.

“You can do things like a one-minute row and see how far you can go, or how long it takes you to do a 500m row, for example. Then repeat the challenge as often as you’d like, to see how you’re progressing,” suggests Eric.

7. Rowing Machines Are Easy On Joints

Because you’re seated during exercise, rowing is much kinder to your joints. It’s low impact, which means there’s less wear and tear on knees and ankles. In fact, rowing is the perfect exercise to build and maintain your fitness without risking injury.

Rowing machines are good for active recovery, too. Low-intensity rowing after a big workout will help to get blood flowing to sore muscles, promoting faster recovery. 

8. What To Look For In A Rowing Machine

A built-in LCD screen is essential for giving you all the information you need to build your fitness – distance covered, speed, time, heart rate, calories burned and strokes per minute. Also look for program options and number of intensity levels to help ramp up your training.

Inspired to take your health and fitness to the next level? Visit The Good Guys in- store or online to shop our great range of fitness equipment and get a step closer to reaching your goals.

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