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Benefits of Rowing Machines You Probably Didn’t Know About

Most of us have heard of rowing machines. These are the exercise machines that simulate rowing a boat or even rowing as a team sport. Are you aware that there are some unusual ways that a rowing machine might help you in your life?

  • Save you from a life of crime
  • Help you to meet your true love
  • Get a full-body workout in one go
  • Rowing machines are flexible in how to work out
  • Cut costs on ongoing gym membership fees
  • Helps you to lose weight

1. Rowing Machines Can Save You from a Life of Crime

judge's hammer

Well, it is true that most people have never been imprisoned. But if it ever happened to you, using a rowing machine while in jail might just turn your life around. Here is the story: From Robber to Rower, the Journey of a Criminal Turned Athlete.

2. Meet Your True Love

couples hands make a heart

Rowing looks like something you do by yourself. But here is an interesting and fun story about a girl and a guy who worked out at the same gym. Now I work out at a gym, and there are a fair number of nice-looking women there. But if there is a favorite kind of exercise, you can share ideas about it; it might just be the ice breaker you need. Here is the story:

On the rowing machine, I was perfectly positioned to see the entire gym and him. Months passed before I worked up the nerve to say anything. It turns out he had nicknamed me “rowing-machine girl.” Our first date was a workout in a small lifting room.

After a few minutes of awkward squats, we started talking. Hours later, the conversation had turned from physical to mental health, and we were stunned to discover we shared the same therapist. We changed therapists but stuck together. – Clara Green

via Tiny Love Stories: Dog Parades, Rowing-Machine Romance and a Hurricane

While people here at the For-Knees website are especially concerned about their knees, the fact is that just focusing on knee health while neglecting the rest of your body doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Most gym exercises using weights or special machines target specific parts of your body, as well as focusing on either strength or cardio. Rowing machines are an ‘all in one’ way to get stronger muscles as well as exercising your heart.

water rower simulator

Water Rower Simulator: Wikipedia

Even if you’re a little intimidated by complicated-looking rowing machines, there’s no arguing the fact that they provide a full-body workout unlike any other. (1)

4. A Rower Allows Different Kinds of Workouts

What Are The Various Workouts That Can Be Done On A Rowing Machine?

As the following article states, “there are quite a few exercises that can be done on this machine, but the workout that I prefer and usually recommend to my clients is the pyramid. In this, you perform a series of exercises followed by an easy recovery phase.

Each work phase increases in meters, time, and strokes until you meet your maximum, at which point you reverse the work phase back to the beginning. I recommend starting each rowing workout with 5 minutes of easy rowing and finish with 3-5 minutes of easy row to cool down, focusing on slowing down your breathing and heart rate.”

He adds, “Rowing workouts can be measured in terms of meters, time or number of strokes and have a setting between 1-10. Begin with a setting between 3-5.” (2)

5. Working Out at Home Saves Time and Money on Gym Memberships

pocket watch and coins

As the article points out:

Since rowing machines give a full workout with one basic exercise, it saves time, energy, and money going to the gym.

Get a Full-Body Workout

The rowing machine is the ultimate option for a full-body workout because it’s one of the few machines that truly works out every major muscle group. You’ll be feeling it in your back, chest, arms, legs, and glutes – plus, you’ll get your cardio in simultaneously. There’s no need for multiple machines or various classes because a single day’s workout really works you out.

Stay Motivated and Have Fun

Make your workout more interesting and enjoyable with virtual scenery. You can turn your indoor workout into an outdoor adventure with any screen or Roku device using GoActive’s virtual fitness channel. Challenge yourself with different scenes and keep your workout fresh.

Photo Credit: 1 By Waterrower CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL from Wikimedia Commons

Related posts: via Why You Should Cancel Your Gym Membership and Get a Rowing Machine

6. Rowing Machines Can Also Help You to Lose Weight

Can you lose weight with just a rowing machine? Why Row?

Those who row say that it’s a great tool because rowing results in longer, leaner physique while promoting fat loss and increasing muscle mass. In addition to a good cardio workout, it also works your legs, back, and arms, which is something you don’t typically get from other similar cardio machines.

Rowing also increases flexibility and balance and can even be used in rehab for injured shoulder or back. Plus, many athletes using rowing to enhance their performance in other sports because the machines can teach body discipline and help to build a strong core. In particular, rowing is growing among runners who are looking for an effective high-intensity replacement exercise.

If you’re trying rowing out on your own and not at a specialized studio, it’s important to first be comfortable with proper rowing technique so that you avoid injury. The seat moves, and your feet are tied to it, a continuous motion.

7. Rowing Machines Can Give Your Butt a Nice Workout

Rowing exercises can target your stomach and glutes all at the same time. As you row, your core crunches and relaxes almost like you are doing a small sit up. That motion during rowing also works the lower half of your body, which helps give your butt a nice workout along with the rest of your major muscle groups.

8. Rowing Helps Improve Your Posture

Yes. Your posture. If you spend your days hunched over a desk or you find that your upper body is weak, then it may be the result of bad posture. When you row correctly and have the proper form, you will not be slouching or over-compressing. Instead, you will remain upright as you pull during your rowing exercises.

9. Rowing Allows You to Pick Up Some New Skills

Whoever said you are too old to learn a little something new? Surprisingly, when you master the art of rowing, you can become more efficient with it and learn a new skill. There is a lot of technique involved, and it can be fun to learn. Who knows, maybe one day you will take your newfound rowing skills out of your home gym and onto the water.

10. Rowing Exercises Can Be Personalized

If you aren’t really a fan of exercising or you are afraid you will become bored with it quickly, then rowing is definitely up your alley. It is a low-impact exercise that can be completely customized for you. You can play around with the settings to fit your ability and build up the resistance and intensity as you go. This makes for a new challenge every time you sit down to row.


So, there you have it. Ten ways are showing how a rowing machine can simplify your life, save you from a life of crime, find your true love, and save time and money on gym memberships while working out your full body and ensuring a fun time. If you are over 65 and on a budget, check this article, which details 2 of the best inexpensive rowers.

Click here to learn about the most popular rower sold in the world, the Concept 2.

While the initial cost may be a bit pricey, so are gym memberships and all their attendant costs. Now, just get a friend or family member to work out as well, and you’ll meet your fitness goals easily.

Before you sign up for another spin class at your local gym or choose mundane exercises you just aren’t going to be excited about after a week, consider all these unusual benefits of indoor rowing.

You will find it easier to avoid slacking off and have faster results with this workout when compared to others. Indoor rowing gets your heart rate up, allows you to burn more calories, and can even be a part of any high-intensity interval training you may want to participate in.


via Can you lose weight with just a rowing machine?