Many people use rowers to get a good workout. But are rowing machines good for you? There’s conflicting evidence about the benefits of using rowing machines. Some experts say that the cardio workout is great for weight loss and fitness, while others argue that it doesn’t offer a complete aerobic exercise because you’re sitting down. Others say that it can be difficult to maintain an even pace, but with practice this becomes easier.
The best way to find out if a rower is right for you is by trying one out at the gym or asking your doctor what he or she thinks of them. If you’re going to buy one for your home, we’ve included some reviews.
You can burn a lot of calories and fat with rowing machines, but when compared to other cardio exercise equipment it doesn’t come out on top for burning body fat in terms of the number of calories burned per hour. The manufacturers claim that you’ll get the same benefits as you would from running or bicycling, but it’s been argued that the exercise on a rowing machine is not comparable.
However, if you’re looking for equipment that provides an excellent aerobic workout and will help to improve your overall fitness level, then a rowing machine may be just what you need.
What is a Rowing Machine?
A rowing machine (also known as an ergometer or ergo) is very similar to a boat’s oars. It consists of two handles, connected by a chain and encased in a wheel that is connected to foot pedals. The wheel moves in response to your pull on the handles. While rowing, you’ll apply resistance from your legs, core, arms and back.
Most rowing machines you’ll encounter in the gym are Air rowing machines, which use a flywheel that spins through the air to generate resistance. However, with the rise of home workouts, there is a wide range of options available at a range of budgets to suit you. We’ve written an article detailing all of the different types of home rowing machines and their pros and cons – check it out here.
Rowing is a great workout for the whole body, especially for the lower back, legs, glutes and abs. Rowing is also low impact exercise so it’s ideal if you have joint pain or injuries. However, be sure to always check with your doctor first before changing your diet and lifestyle.
Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine
Rowing is a great exercise if you want a full-body workout that will help you to burn calories, tone and build muscle and lose fat. It also works the cardiovascular system and helps you to keep in shape as it raises your heart rate.
Improves Weight Loss – If you work hard at rowing then you may see an improvement in your weight loss program. But keep in mind that you need to watch what you eat (and don’t forget to stay consistent with your exercise).
Improves Cardio – Rowing is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise, which means that it will help improve your overall fitness level and boost your stamina so you’re able to do more during workouts and throughout the day.
Burns Calories – According to the ESHA, a 175-pound person (roughly 12.5 stone) will burn approximately 280 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity rowing. Whilst running does burn slightly more calories than rowing, running has a much greater impact and stress on the joints.
Works Your Core Muscles – Rowing will strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture.
Strengthens Arm Muscles – The biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles are all used during rowing exercises. You’ll also feel the benefits in the forearm flexors.
Stretch Out Your Lower Back – If you have lower back problems then rowing is a great choice as it will give you an all-round stretch that will help prevent any further injury. You’ll also feel the benefits in your abs and hips.
Drawbacks of Using a Rowing Machine
Because rowing works your muscles so well, this can leave you feeling sore in the days following your workout. If you don’t give yourself proper time to recover, then you could actually cause more damage than good. In addition, if you have injuries or joint pain it’s important that you check with your doctor before starting a rowing program to ensure that you don’t cause further damage.
Rowing machines can be daunting if you’re only used to the treadmill or bike, but with practice, they are great for improving your health and fitness levels. If you haven’t tried a rowing workout before, then now may be the time to start! If you’re planning on rowing at a gym, be sure to ask an instructor on how to best use the rowing machine. If you’re planning on rowing at home, there are plenty of YouTube videos that show you how to row with proper form. Rowing could turn out to be your new favorite cardio exercise!
Final Thoughts on Rowing Machines
Rowing machines are becoming popular in most health clubs and gyms. They’re a great way to get a full-body workout that benefits your cardiovascular system and allows you to build muscle at the same time. However, if you have injuries or joint pain then check with your doctor before rowing as the resistance might aggravate these areas causing further damage.
Always start off slow if you’ve never done this before so you can get used to the exercise. Be sure to ask for help when needed, or take a look online for advice on proper form when rowing. When done properly, rowing can be one of the best all-round cardio and resistance exercises in your arsenal, so it’s well worth giving it a go.
We’d love to hear from you to see what you think about rowing machines. Are you just starting out and need a bit of advice? Or perhaps you’ve been rowing at home and have reaped the benefits? Leave a comment below!
Looking to buy a home rowing machine? Check out our definitive guide to the best budget rowing machines.