Top 10 Benefits Of Rowing Machines For Full Body Workout!

When we make a conscious decision to exercise, picking the right equipment to get the best results can be confusing. Research has shown the huge fitness benefits that can be achieved by using a rowing machine, regardless of your current body weight, size or fitness level.

Rowing is regarded as a low impact exercise, easy on joints and muscles, with little chance of injury (and it’s suitable for all ages). When we use a rowing machine we practically engage our entire body, (the back, hips, quads, legs, arms and glutes), making it a very versatile piece of equipment.

Once the correct technique is mastered, the rower is a complete fitness game changer.

So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of rowing:

Effective Aerobic Workout

Almost everyone knows (from fitness magazines, videos, work-out manuals) that fitness plans must include aerobic and cardio workouts to achieve over-all good health. The benefits of consistent effective aerobic workouts immensely aid weight loss, build stamina (staying power), and strengthen immune systems.

Endorphins released during exercise help reduce mental stress (improve mood) and can make for greater sleeping patterns, as rowing requires the engagement of your entire body.

Because so many muscle groups are actively engaged during rowing work-outs, it increases heart rate and improves your cardiovascular system,  with better oxygen intake so you achieve a more effective aerobic workout.

Weight Loss

One of the benefits of rowing is that it’s a great exercise to burn up calories and gain good muscle toning at the same time. The harder the resistance and the faster you row the better the results. Its estimated you can burn around 600-700 calories in around an hour, rowing. Compared to a bicycle you would have to do closer to an extra 20 mins to achieve the same calorie burn rate. If you combine regular rowing work-outs with good healthy eating, you can achieve your fitness goals.

Upper Body Workout

As you might already know, rowing provides an awesome upper body workout. It targets the rhomboids muscles in shoulders, trapezii muscles in the upper back and lats muscle group in the lower back. Strong shoulders and back mean better posture and less chance of back pain. Along with effective benefits for the glutes, the rowing machine also targets your biceps, pecs and arms (for a stronger core). Strong gripping of oars, gives your hands and wrists more strength.

Lower Body Workout

It can be argued that rowing provides one of the best lower body workout of all the exercise machines. Major muscle groups are targeted, including the legs (quads), the calves and glutes. Building strong legs and glutes also equals faster calorie burn rate and of course toned muscles look good too! As you increase resistance this will also help with balance, agility and flexibility.

Low Impact Cardio

Rowing is known to be an effective low impact cardio workout. That means it’s easier on muscles and joints than a machine like a treadmill. This can help people who are elderly, carry excessive weight or suffer from joint pains. A rowing machine workout can be (depending on the resistance level) much easier to get started with than lifting weights to get fit, running, or riding bicycles (e.g. high-intensity spin classes). The movements are controlled and smooth, and keeping the back straight when you are pulling through on the oars ensures less chance of back injury too. Ultimately good rowing techniques equal less chance of injury.

Increased Endurance

Sometimes when we feel sluggish, low in energy, or tired it can be attributed to lack of exercise (the human body needs exercise). For those who may not be used to exercising regularly, at first rowing may feel tiring. As you persevere and build up more sessions that will change and you will feel increased endurance levels and greater energy. Rowing works the entire body (if done right) so that in time will give more strength, more energy, and increased endurance to do more of the things we love in life!


Not all of us live close to a large body of water or own boats to go rowing in, but owning a rowing machine can give us the same level of exercise. You can choose to buy an affordable rowing machine and operate from the convenience of your home. or you can just head to the gym and use the rowers there. Whether you decide to row at home or at the gym this is an easy and convenient machine to use if you want to get fit.


Everyone has different financial situations. The good news is that you can buy a good rowing machine to suit your budget! Most rowing machines have high-quality features built in, so cheap does not equal substandard. Although the top of the range rower on the market is nearly $1000, you can get just as effective a workout with a lesser priced model costing around $200-$300. You might be missing a few of the “bells and whistles” but you’ll still get a good physical workout.

Easy to Use

Unlike other more complex fitness machines, the use of a rowing machine is quite easy to learn. This is where technique comes into play. We all know that the wrong technique can cause strain and sometimes unwanted injuries. Fasten feet securely in the stirrups. Ideally, shins should be close to a 90-degree angle to the floor. Keep the back straight (not hunched forward) engage the core and using the quads and legs pull back in a smooth motion.

Here’s a video that shows you how to use proper form on the rower:

Rowing is fun!

It’s always best to find an exercise that you will actually enjoy doing. Otherwise, your motivation might suffer, and your exercise routine will be difficult to sustain. Most people, once they get started with rowing, find it to be an enjoyable form of exercise. Rowing benefits the entire body so when you keep doing it you will appreciate the benefits more and more. If motivation is an issue put on your favorite beats while rowing, or put on you motivational videos. If it starts to get too easy switch up resistance so it becomes more challenging (this will stop you from getting bored or plateauing out).

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are numerous benefits of rowing that make the rower a very versatile and useful machine.  Rowing is for everyone – all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels can engage in this excellent form of exercise. Whether you opt for a home rower or prefer to row at the gym, this one piece of equipment is the best for getting a full body workout as it uses virtually every muscle in the body.


About the author

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith is a husband, dad, fitness enthusiast and personal trainer who has been working out since he was 18 years old. He enjoys the gym as well as exercising at home, and loves testing new fitness equipment and gadgets that aid in fitness and recovery.

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