When working out, it’s a challenge to decide which machines or accessories offer the most versatility. In this debate, rowing machines are often cited as the best cardio workout. But why is this, and how do you get the best out of your rowing machine workout?

The Benefits of Rowing

The rowing machine is excellent for improving fitness and strength. Here are a few key benefits of using one.

Total Body Workout

You may think that rowing uses only your arms, but that is a common misconception. In fact, rowing is a superb total body workout. According to American Fitness Professionals Association, rowing strokes on an indoor rower are 65–75% leg work and 25–35% upper body work, targeting muscle groups including:

  • quadriceps
  • calves
  • glutes
  • pecs
  • arms
  • abdominal muscles
  • obliques

Low Impact

When rowing, you burn calories quickly with little impact on your joints due to the smooth flow of movement through a rowing stroke. For this reason, it’s often recommended as an exercise for those suffering early stages of osteoarthritis.

Increase Your Endurance

As rowing is a cardio exercise that also works your muscles hard, it’s superb for improving your power and endurance. When using your rowing machine correctly, you will develop your power over steadily increasing periods of time, constantly building your endurance.

Rowing Machine FAQs

How many calories can you burn on a rowing machine?

Studies at Harvard Health have found that, during a 30 minutes vigorous rowing workout, a 125-pound person can burn 255 calories. A 155-pound person will burn 369 calories in the same workout, and a 185-pound person will burn 440.

What is the best rowing machine for a gym or home gym?

There are many rowing machines now available on the market from brands like Life Fitness, Concept 2, Echelon and Octane Fitness, among others. You should choose one that works for your comfort and goals. The brands listed above represent company’s that manufacturer high quality models.  Inexpensive machines will not be as robust, won’t come with as many additional features and might not be engineered and designed as well.  Better manufactures tend to have much better customer support and long-term parts availability.   Echelon is a company that makes interactive rowers.  Interactive rowers, with large viewing monitors, can make a significant difference with regard to motivation as you can challenge yourself and others and row dozens of different lakes throughout the world.

The Bottom Line

Rowing machines are an excellent workout for your entire body, whether you’re using them at home or in your gym. As well as being a superb cardio workout, using a rowing machine will boost the strength of muscles throughout your body. Find one that suits you by visiting our showroom today to test some of our many quality models.