This is a reader supported Website. By clicking on product links, you help us keep producing independent objective analysis at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Why Should You Consider Exercise on a Rowing Machine?

If you are interested in staying in shape, and have spent any time reading about it, or talking with friends, you know there are dozens of approaches to staying fit or getting in shape.

At a typical gym, you may find various cardio machines that exercise your heart and help burn fat, as well as weight lifting machines, not to mention dumbbells, barbells, chin up and pullup bars, and so on. One of the best, most versatile ways to exercise, either at the gym or at home, is with a rowing machine. Let’s look at the benefits of using a rowing machine.

But First, Why Exercise at All?

There Are Many Reasons for Exercise.  One study by Psychology Today listed a full 19 reasons to exercise, which are outlined as follows:



    1. Builds aerobic power. …
  1. Reduces blood pressure. …
  2. Lowers Type 2 diabetes risk. …
  3. Maintains immune functioning. …
  4. Reduces body fat. …
  5. Keeps bones strong. …
  6. Builds muscle mass. …
  7. Improves breathing…
  8. Boosts your energy
  9. Reduces the risk of arthritis
  10. Improves sex life.
  11. Brings about better sleep
  12.  Improves mood.
  13. Lowers anxiety.
  14. Feels like fun.
  15. Reduces absenteeism.
  16.  Boosts memory.
  17. Builds intelligence.
  18.  Lowers dementia risk


Finding Time to Exercisefinding precious time

Since most of us lead busy lives, juggling job, family, and at least some recovery time, we also need to find time to exercise, and to do it as efficiently as possible. So picking the best exercise routine can make a big difference in keeping our live in balance.


So Why Exercise on a Rowing Machine?


Here are the reasons why you should seriously consider using a rowing machine for at least some, if not all of your exercise.

  1. It’s flexible–you can go as hard or as easy as suits your situation.
  2. Good for both strength training and cardio
  3. For strength, it uses up to 85% of your bodies muscles at once
  4. For Cardio, you can go fast or slow to work up to a stronger heart
  5. Easy on the joints. Injuries can happen in the gym, but rowing machines don’t involve jumping, twisting or impact that can affect knees and other joints
  6. It’s meditative. You can just get into the rhythm of it, and let your mind sink into the breath and motion, giving yourself a mental rest
  7. It’s great aerobic exercise
  8. Weight loss. If you work hard and generate body heat, you’ll be burning calories to lose weight

Let’s look at this in more detail.


Low-impact cardio and strength training

Unlike exercises like aerobics classes or dumbbell and barbell training, rowing machines incorporate both cardio and strength, depending on how you use the machine.


Rowing Machines actually use 85% of your muscles. Plus it can be meditative.


“You actually use about 85% of your muscles on a rowing machine.Your legs, arms, and core are all utilized, making it a great way to tone all of those areas at once! 3. It Can Be Meditative” (1)

Low impact on your joints


How good are your joints? At least 25% of people over 50 have joint issues, and even younger athletes can have minor joint problems or injuries. Why give up your training when you can still get great workout using a rowing machine.

“Rowing machines are intense pieces of cardio equipment that work your upper and lower body at the same time…Impact is a force at which a body part contacts the ground during exercise. If you have joint problems or are obese, high-impact exercise can be contraindicated, putting you at risk of doing more harm than good. Low-impact exercise machines, on the other hand, can give you a safe and functional (2)


Rowing as aerobic exercise


You can use your rowing time to emphasize building your lung capacity and stamina, by engaging in longer periods of rowing but not rowing so intensely. Likewise, you can also incorporate anaerobic exercise, whic performs a different physiological funcion. But are great ways to stay fit and complement each other in your workout. The difference may be compared with doing a lot of lightweight strength training reps vs. few heavy weight reps.


Aerobic Rowing Workout


Aerobic rowing workouts consist of prolonged periods of rowing at low to moderate intensities. Rowing at submaximal levels will give your body ample time to take in oxygen, break down carbs and fat and produce energy to continuously fuel your workout. Submaximal aerobic workouts derive a large portion of energy from fats, gradually shifting to higher use of carbohydrates if your intensity increases.


Anaerobic Rowing Workout


Anaerobic rowing workouts consist of high-intensity, intermittent bouts of exercise; for example, rowing with maximum effort for one minute and then resting for three minutes, repeating the work-rest cycle several times. To keep it anaerobic, you have to keep the working time short and the recovery time longer to give your body ample time to replenish energy stores. Longer work periods and shorter rest times will create an environment for an aerobic workout. Anaerobic workouts depend almost entirely upon carbohydrates for energy and, because of the high intensity, burn a substantial amount of calories.(3)



Rowing machine workouts for weight loss


Lots of people are worried about their appearance due to excessive weight. Of course, there is the health dimension as well. Losing weight is one of the main reasons why people embark on an exercise program.  Again, the good news is that rowing machines are great for weight loss, because it’s a way to get your body moving, you building heat from movement and effort. This naturally burns fat.



Conclusion–A word about form


While rowing machines have a lot of advantages as we have seen, it is also true that correct form does matter. If you exert yourself too hard, and especially if you don’t sit and keep your back in the right position, you may experience back pain or back strain. That’s not a fun thing because it cannot just disrupt your exercise routine; it can disrupt your whole life. If you have ever thrown your back out, you will understand what’s meant here.

So when you use a rowing machine, be sure to warm up first, as you would with every exercise period, pay close attention to your body sensations. If you feel pain, note it carefully and if it doesn’t feel right, either stop, or pay close attention to whether your form is correct or not.

Rowing machines are only one component of your overall health, If you’d like to get my free ebook, 26 DIY Knee Health Secrets, just click on this link, and we’ll send it right out to you.

If you feel inspired about rowing machines, be sure to see my full review of the top rowing machine for home use.

If you’re over 60, check out the 3 best rowing machines for seniors.

Thanks for reading!



  1. https://gethealthyu.com/the-kick-butt-workout-you-arent-doing/
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/84020-low-impact-exercise-machines/
  3. https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/rowing-aerobic-anaerobic-workout-18866.html
  4. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201205/18-reasons-exercise