If you’ve ever been to the gym recently, you might have noticed a new piece of exercise equipment that many people are gravitating towards. It’s the rowing machine, and it’s the hottest new thing in the fitness world these days.
But like many overhyped items, we have to know. Does the indoor rower really live up to all the hype surrounding it? Or will it eventually lose steam once the furor dies away?
Well, we can only hope that the rowing machine continues to enjoy its newfound place of elevation at fitness centers because it is by far one of the best pieces of fitness equipment anybody can possibly invest in.
If you haven’t tried going on the indoor rower yet, I suggest you go to your favorite gym and get on one. The almost meditative back-and-forth movements you make may fool you into thinking rowing is a walk in the park, but it’s not. Rowing gives your body one of the best workouts you can ever get. Once you try it, you might just easily fall in love with it.
Check out the reasons why I recommend getting on the indoor rower.
1. Full-body workout
There are very few exercises that can work out as many muscles as indoor rowing. Did you know that when you row, you exercise every single major muscle group in your body? That’s right. From the legs to your core, to your lower and upper back, and then to your arms, rowing hits around 80% of all your muscles, way more than plenty of other exercises out there.
2. Low-impact and injury-free
Unlike running where you’re hitting the ground, or kickboxing where you’re jumping around and hitting something with your hands or feet, rowing leaves practically zero impact on your joints. Because your feet are on the foot rests and your hands are holding the handle, there is no impact on your knees, hips, and shoulders. This makes rowing a great exercise for people with joint problems or are recovering from injury.
3. Extreme calorie burner
Because you are working practically your entire body on the rowing machine, you get to burn so much more calories than, say, running on the treadmill or spinning. In fact, rowing for 2 miles will burn around twice as many calories as you can burn by jogging on a treadmill. If you want fast results, it’s better to hit the indoor rower than any other exercise machine at the gym.
4. Builds stronger muscles
Rowing is a one-two punch. It helps you burn fat faster while building stronger muscles, which in turn will make you torch off the calories even more quickly. This works through the built-in resistance that rowing machines have. When you row, your body works against the machine to perform the exercise. This develops strength in the muscles, giving you a strong, lean look and a powerful physique.
5. Good for the heart
As if burning more fat and building muscles isn’t enough. Rowing is also a great cardio exercise. Since you’re working so many muscles, your heart is forced to work harder to pump more blood so it can deliver oxygen and nutrients to every muscle. Many rowing machines also help you monitor your heart health by giving you the option to track your heart rate before, during, and after you exercise.
6. Increases muscular endurance
Essentially, rowing has you pushing back and pulling forward all the time. This repeated action of moving back and forward greatly improves your muscle endurance. There are many benefits to this. For one thing, muscle endurance lets you last longer during taxing physical activities, including your workouts. It also improves posture by working on your balance and stability.
7. Strengthens your bones
It has been proven again and again that any type of exercise improves bone strength. When you work your muscles, you’re also making the tendons that attach to the bones work. This produces new bone tissues that make your bones grow stronger and help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis. But because rowing exercises so many muscles in your body, you can expect its effect on bone health to be that much greater.
8. Heightens your sense of well-being
Because technique is so crucial in rowing, it is important that you stay calm and focus on your every move. Proper breathing is key. Don’t be like the meatheads at the gym panting and grunting with every stroke. The right way to breathe while rowing is to breathe deeply yet gently. This keeps your heart rate steady even when it’s going off the charts. The combination of concentrating and proper breathing makes rowing a Zen-like experience that gives positive benefits for the mind.
9. Easy to learn
If you think you’re too uncoordinated to exercise, think again. Do not let the emphasis on proper form fool you into believing you won’t be able to row properly. Rowing is actually a very simple workout that anyone can learn to do in a matter of minutes. Once you get the hang of it, rowing becomes as natural as breathing itself.
10. Appropriate for everybody
Rowing is for everybody, and I mean everybody. If the only workout you’ve gotten your entire life was get off the couch to pick up the remote, rowing is for you. If you’re an Olympic gold medalist training for your next competition, rowing is for you as well. Rowing is an exercise for all people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels. Wherever you are in that spectrum, you will certainly benefit a lot from working out on a rowing machine.
Andy Atari is a fitness writer, researcher, and enthusiast. She writes for the every guy and every girl who’s not training to win a competition or run a marathon tomorrow. To learn more about her top choices for the best rowing machines, check out her articles on FitnessAtrium.com.