are rowing machines good exercise

Are Rowing Machines Good Exercise?

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Hi there friends, it’s Kathleen.

If you’re interested in getting the best possible workout, burning more calories than you ever thought possible, without doing a longer workout, then join the club!

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Hydrow Interactive Rower
  • Full-Body Workout
  • Award-Winning Design
  • Live On-Demand Classes
  • 22″ Touchscreen
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NordicTrack X32i Incline Treadmill
NordicTrack Commercial X32i Treadmill
  • 16,000+ On-Demand Workouts 
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Teeter FreeStep – Recumbent Elliptical
  • Zero Impact Exercise
  • Dual Power Motion
  •  Works Both Upper & Lower Body Muscles
  • Whisper-Quiet Performance
Check Price

Chances are that you are like me – you like to exercise, knowing that it’s good for you, but it’s hard to find time to do an hour or more of exercise every day. What if there was a way to exercise without spending hours every single day? In fact, there is, with the right fitness equipment, which brings us to the rowing machine.

Are rowing machines good exercise? Yes, you bet, a rowing machine provides one of the best ways to exercise, working 86 percent of the muscles in the body in a single rowing workout and burning as many as 900 calories an hour.

How many calories again? I know that 900 number got your attention, right?!

It’s true! Give me 5 minutes, and you will discover the amazing fitness secret that I use to keep my weight under control while never exercising for more than 30 minutes per day.

are rowers good for exercise and weight loss

I used to do all kinds of other workouts and fitness routines. I even did cardio workouts that were recommended by my physical therapist after I injured my back. Even after all those, I found that I didn’t really hit the fitness goals I had in mind.

Then someone told me that working out for only about 30 minutes a day on a rowing machine offered a terrific cardio and full-body workout and could help me build strength and tone my muscles!

I didn’t believe at first, not knowing how a rowing machine works, but I had to give it a try!

Can You Get in Shape Just with Rowing Machine Workouts?

I am living proof that one can get in shape just with rowing, so you sure can!

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy doing other types of exercise. I love walking my dog and dancing around while I’m cleaning the house, but the point is that I really don’t have to do anything else if I didn’t want to.

are rowing machines a good workout

Rowing is a full-body workout that engages nearly every muscle in the body. OK, maybe your toes don’t get to do much, but everything else does!

I used to go all out on the spin bike or treadmill at the gym, but I didn’t realize that these exercise machines only work the lower half of my body. If I wanted to work my upper body, I had to spend even more time doing different machines.

I just want to mention, in case you’re feeling the same, that the spin bike made my back hurt because of the way I was bent over the handlebars, and do I need to mention the words treadmill and knee pain in the same sentence? Ugh.

I found the perfect answer for me with an indoor rowing machine.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine?

are rowers good exercise

There are multiple benefits when it comes to exercising in general, but there are rowing machine benefits that you won’t find in other fitness equipment. I’ve listed the highlights below:

  • It’s good for everyone, regardless of the age and current fitness levels of the users. It’s even recommended as an active recovery workout for people who were injured in accidents or have early-stage osteoarthritis
  • It offers a low-impact workout that won’t hurt your joints, with unlimited opportunities to do high-intensity rowing workouts to build strength and endurance, do cardio training, and attain ideal body weight
  • It’s a great workout for the heart and lungs, helping you boost your aerobic capacity
  • You build muscle and get a cardio workout simultaneously, so there’s no need to buy another machine especially if your garage or home gym space can’t accommodate another equipment
  • It can be meditative. The soothing sound of swooshing water (if you have a water rower) and the repetitive motion of the stroke have a calming effect
  • It’s known to improve your mood because it stimulates your body to release endorphins, which are hormones responsible for reducing stress and making you feel good
  • A rowing workout is a terrific alternative to an elliptical for cross training; athletes and people who want variety choose machines that incorporate different workouts, including off-the-rower workouts like yoga and Pilates
  • The rowing workout involves concentric muscle movement, which is central in muscle growth and development
  • You can burn as many as 900 calories an hour, depending on your age, weight, sex, and how hard you work out
  • Oh yes, and as I mentioned, you work 86 percent of the muscles in the entire body, not just the lower body like treadmills or stair climbers do. By performing the strokes properly, you’re improving your posture, engaging your legs, quads, hamstrings, glutes, arms, shoulders, chest, core, and all your major muscle groups at the same time, and strengthening them without causing injury

Best of all, you can reap all these even as a beginner doing as short as 10-15 minutes a day. The thing is to make a habit of improving each day, be it in the length of your session or the intensity of your workout, or both.

I get a great workout in 30 minutes a day, and I have fun doing it!

Which Is Better, a Treadmill or Rowing Machine?

are rowing machines good for you and are they better than treadmills?

If I haven’t given myself away already, a rowing machine is far, far better than a treadmill.

I used to be a serious treadmill junkie. I could walk for 90 minutes or more (and I was always being reminded of the 30 minute limit at the gym- so annoying) but I had zero upper body strength.

This is because while a treadmill offers a great cardio workout, it does zero for the upper body. This meant that I would need to use dumbbells or resistance bands, or use another machine to get any strength or muscle building.

I spent all my time on the treadmill! Don’t tell me that I had to spend more time doing something else!

In order to up my game, I knew I had to find something different, but it wasn’t until I injured my back that I found a new fitness routine- a rowing machine.

Treadmills are great at what they do, but why do more than you need to? A rowing machine will give you all the benefits of a treadmill, combined with the benefits of rowing!

Are Rowing Machines Good for Weight Loss?

are magnetic rowing machines any good

As my mama used to say, “You bet your booties!”

Rowing machines are excellent for losing weight and maintaining your idea body weight. To do that, you need to create a calorie deficit. Most people do this by cutting out about 250 or so calories from their diet (cutting out one soda a day is about 200 calories right there!) and then doing some exercise to burn another 200-500 calories.

Of course, you still need to eat a healthy diet, but you know that, right? You can’t live on cake and ice cream and think that your poochie belly is going to disappear!

You also should get in some strength training and aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise will keep your heart healthy and cause your body to burn more fat than diet alone.

If you have ever lost weight, you know that flabby skin and not-so-sleek-looking muscles are the result of dieting with no exercise.

When you use a rowing machine, you get a complete body workout that will help you build new muscle and give you that tight, toned look everyone wants.

Is Rowing Better Than Running?

is a rowing machine better than running

Yep, rowing is most definitely better than running because it is a low-impact, full-body workout. Running is no different from walking on a treadmill. You will get a good cardio workout, but your upper body doesn’t get any of the benefits that a rowing machine workout will give you.

To top it all, running is a real killer when it comes to your joints. Have you ever met a runner over 21 years old who didn’t have knee, hip, back, or ankle problems? Yeah, me neither.

Try a high-intensity workout on the rowing machine, and you will find that the benefits are nothing short of amazing.

The Final Takeaway

Cross-training is great and it keeps your body from plateauing while you lose weight. So if you love walking, dancing, playing basketball, or whatever, don’t stop doing what you’re doing!

However, when you want a killer workout that will kick those extra pounds to the curb while taking your fitness level to a new height, you simply cannot beat a rowing machine.

Try a rowing workout today and feel better about yourself tomorrow!