If you're a regular at the gym, chances are you've probably seen a rowing machine. But have you ever used one before? If you're not sure what you're doing, approaching an unfamiliar piece of fitness equipment can be a daunting prospect.
What you may not know is that rowing is actually one of the most approachable and adaptable workouts there is. Not only does rowing target your whole body, including important muscle groups like your abs, legs, and glutes, but it also provides great cardio exercise, strengthening your heart and lungs and improving your power and endurance.
Rowing is safe and beneficial for people of all fitness levels, making a rowing machine a great piece of equipment to have in any home or family gym.
When used properly, rowing machines (also called ergometers) provide a highly effective full-body workout that can propel you toward achieving your fitness and healthful weight loss goals.
Still not convinced? This article will discuss more of the benefits of using a rowing machine regularly or even every day and how to use an ergometer properly for the best results.
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Is Rowing a Good Workout?
Want a full body cardio exercise that will engage all of your desired muscle groups while also improving your endurance, power, and overall physical and mental health? Look no further than your nearest ergometer. You'll be amazed at how much your physical performance improves when you start using a rowing machine every day.
Cardio exercise is very important for maintaining a healthy heart and good circulation, but it can be overwhelming trying to decide between the many different types of cardio workouts available. Besides, what about building muscle tone and strength? There are only so many minutes in a day, so having an exercise routine that works out all of the desired areas of your body as efficiently as possible is essential.
That's where rowing comes in. In addition to their cardiovascular benefits, here are some of the major muscle groups ergometers are designed to work out:
Compared to most other forms of cardio, rowing does a lot more for your legs, abs, glutes, and other muscles after a relatively short amount of exercise. For instance, running can help strengthen your legs and glutes but doesn't do as much for your abs or arms. The ergometer might be your new best friend if your goal is to strengthen your heart while also toning your legs, bum, and abs.
Is Rowing for Weight Loss and Belly Fat Reduction?
Weight loss is one of the most sought-after benefits of rowing machines. We all want to look and feel our best, after all. If you're looking for an exercise routine to help meet your weight loss goals, a rowing machine might be your new best friend.
Rowing is an efficient way to burn calories without putting unnecessary strain on your body. A study by Harvard found that a 155-pound person can burn over 250 calories in just half an hour of moderately strenuous rowing, while a 185-pound person can burn nearly 300 calories. Spending just thirty minutes on an ergometer every day will help you reach your target caloric deficit safely and healthily.
You might be wondering, “Will rowing help me get rid of belly fat?” The answer is complicated. Targeting specific areas of the body for fat loss is not possible through exercise. Whether or not you have belly fat is a matter of genetics, not what type of exercise you're doing.
Still, rowing does burn lots of calories, which can contribute to weight loss. Rowing also engages your core, which helps to build strong abs. So even if it doesn't completely eliminate your belly fat, using a rowing machine will definitely help strengthen and define your stomach muscles!
Worried About Injuries?
Exercise-related injuries are common, especially in high-impact sports such as running. When you exercise, the most important thing is to be aware of your body and your personal limits. Studies have found that overexertion is the leading cause of injury at the gym, covering nearly one-third of all reported gym injuries.
Since rowing is such a low-impact exercise, the risk of injury is relatively minor compared to many other forms of cardio. Additionally, using an ergometer gives you power over how vigorous or relaxed you want your workout to be. This means you'll be in control of your workout at all times, lessening the risk of overexerting yourself in the process.
Is Rowing Good For Knees?
Wondering whether rowing is good for knees? If you have arthritis or are worried about the health of your joints, choosing low-impact exercise is very important. Rowing is good for the knees and other joints because it avoids putting any undue pressure on these sensitive areas. When you row, you're engaging the big and powerful muscles in your legs, arms, abs, and bum without forcing your knees or ankles to absorb any shock or strain.
How Do You Use a Rowing Machine Properly?
It's important to make sure you're using it correctly to make sure you're getting the most out of your time on the rowing machine. One of the most common mistakes rowers make is not engaging their abs while they row. This can lead to lower back strain, and it prevents you from getting the full benefits of your rowing machine.
Here are the three steps to the basic rowing stroke:
1. Push out with your legs
2. Lean back, keeping your abs tight
3. Pull your arms back toward your chest
While you're rowing, make sure to maintain good posture and technique to avoid injury. It's a good idea when you're first starting to avoid pushing yourself since exhaustion can quickly lead to poor form. You'll see results and notice improvement even if you only row for five minutes every day at first, so feel free to start slow and build your way up to a more vigorous routine.
What's the Difference Between a Rowing Machine versus a Treadmill?
If you're curious about how rowing machines perform versus treadmills, the answer may surprise you. While treadmills do provide cardio exercise, they don't work out nearly as many different muscle groups as rowing machines do. They also aren't as good for knees or other joints as ergometers. In fact, studies suggest that as many as 79% of runners will develop running-related injuries at some point in their lives.
Additionally, treadmills can be very noisy and disruptive. If you live in an apartment building or with people who are sensitive to sound, you will find that a rowing machine will be a much quieter addition to your home gym than a treadmill. This means you can row at any time of day or night without worrying about disturbing your neighbors or loved ones.
For night owls, early birds, and those with unusual or irregular schedules, the freedom to work out whenever you have the time and energy to do so is an incentive too good to pass up.
Finally, rowing machines tend to be more affordable than treadmills. This makes sense when you think about it; treadmills are complicated machines with many moving pieces that require costly repairs and maintenance. The ergometer is much simpler equipment, and a high-quality model costs almost half as much as a decent-quality treadmill. There are tons of great ergometers on the market with different features and specifications to suit your needs.
Given all of these comparisons, there's no question that in the rowing machine versus treadmill debate, the rowing machine comes out on top.
Are Rowing Machines Good for Warming Up?
Are you looking for a rewarding new way of warming up your body before moving on to your favorite fitness routine? Rowing is excellent for warming up since it engages and activates lots of different muscle groups and gets your heart pumping. You'll find you have a ton of freedom and flexibility with regard to how fast or how strenuous you want your warm up to be.
After an invigorating, endorphin-releasing warm-up session on the ergometer, you'll feel energized and excited to tackle the rest of your work out.
The Bottom Line
Considering all the tremendous benefits of rowing machines, it comes as no surprise that they have been steadily increasing in popularity in the United States since 2006. Whether your goal is weight loss, fitness, or both, you'll find the ergometer to be unbeatable when it comes to creating cardio routines that burn serious calories while also working out your entire body.
You can use rowing machines for warming up or do your entire workout as you row. With just thirty minutes of rowing every day added to your schedule, you'll be amazed at the difference you feel in your endurance, muscle strength, and overall physical and mental well-being.
The next time you're at the gym, don't walk past the ergometers without a second glance! Try a quick rowing session and see what this energizing full-body workout can do for you. As always, before starting a new exercise routine, make sure you check in with your doctor or physical trainer first.