Do Rowing Machines Give You a Good Workout?

If you’re wondering whether rowing machines give you a good workout, the answer is yes! Rowing machines are a great way to get your heart rate up and work your muscles, and they’re low impact so they’re easy on your joints. Plus, they’re a lot of fun!


Rowing machines are without a doubt one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment found in gyms and homes around the world. The reason they’re so popular is that they provide a low-impact, full-body workout that can be individually adapted to your level of fitness. But do rowing machines actually give you a good workout?

The answer is yes. Rowing machines use all the major muscle groups and can provide an intense workout if desired. A rowing machine is ideal for both cardio and strength training because it combines aerobic exercise with resistance training. It moves your body through a natural range of motion that challenges your muscles while burning calories and building stamina, strength and endurance.

Different levels of resistance also allow for tailored workouts that work specific muscle groups or to improve overall fitness levels; users can increase their speed for a more intense calorie-burn or slow down to target certain muscles and work on their form. Rowing machine workouts can give you excellent results if used regularly — boosting your heart health, toning muscles and helping to build core strength all at the same time!

Benefits of Rowing Machines

Rowing machines can provide a great full-body workout, engaging your arms, legs, core, and back muscles. Working out on a rowing machine can also strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve your endurance and help you lose weight. It’s a low impact, low strain exercise that can provide a great workout for any age and level of fitness. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of training on a rowing machine.

Low Impact

Rowing machines provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints. Unlike running or other forms of physical exercise that depend heavily on impact and weight bearing movement, rowing machines allow users to work the large muscles of the upper body without putting too much strain on their joints. This makes it suitable for use by people who may be suffering from joint pain or simply looking for an exercise alternative that doesn’t cause intense impact.
In addition, unlike other types of exercise equipment, rowing machines have adjustable levels of intensity and resistance, allowing users to control their workout according to their individual needs and preferences. By controlling the amount of resistance used in a given session, users can customize their routine to best suit their fitness level and goals.
The low-impact nature of rowing machine workouts allows users to build strength and endurance without worrying about the potential strain caused by high-impact exercises. By easing any potential joint pain issues, it opens up new possibilities for maintaining fitness levels safely and comfortably over time.

Full Body Workout

Rowing machines are renowned for providing an intense, full-body workout. By using all of your major muscle groups in a low impact way, they give you an effective and efficient way to burn calories and build strength. Your arms, legs and core muscles will all be engaged throughout the rowing motion, providing you with a great mix of cardiovascular and strength training.

The combination of aerobic exercise and strengthening moves helps increase your overall fitness level while challenging your different muscle groups in different ways. It tones and strengthens your arms, legs and core while improving the flexibility of your back, shoulders and arms. As you become more experienced using the rowing machine, you can increase resistance by adding weights or increasing speed to push yourself even further.

Being able to control the force of each stroke will also help you regulate your breathing as well as body temperature. This makes it a great choice for those with limited range of motion or physical disabilities who still want a good intensity workout without causing any impact to their body motioning capabilities. Rowing machines can also be beneficial when it comes to rehabilitation or sports specific training since they promote increased coordination between body and engine as well as improved technique practice.

Cardio and Strength Training

Rowing machines are a great choice for both cardio and strength training. Not only do they raise your heart rate, they also target all the major muscle groups in your body. Plus, the adjustable resistance level means you can further customize your workout intensity—making it a good tool for beginners and advanced athletes alike.

By getting your blood flowing, rowing machines are an efficient way to build aerobic fitness. And by recruiting all the major muscle groups, from your legs to your arms and shoulders, you’ll be working on strength building as well. Alternating between low intensity periods and more intense ones keeps things challenging—especially when users adjust their resistance levels even higher. This can help those who want to break through plateaus in their regular routine.

For those who are serious about getting in shape, rowing machines are a great option for adding variety to any workout regimen. They work well as a supplement to running or weight training; as part of an interval training program; or even as a stand-alone complete body workout.

Types of Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are becoming increasingly popular pieces of fitness equipment. They are designed to provide an effective full-body workout, targeting major muscle groups and providing a great cardiovascular workout. But did you know there are several types of rowing machines available? Understanding the different types of machines, their features, and how they work can help you decide which one is best for your fitness goals.

Water Rowing Machines

Water rowing machines provide the most realistic and effective form of indoor rowing, allowing users to mimic real-world rowing. Featuring adjustable resistance and a flywheel that produces a smooth, resistance-free ride, water rowers offer unique workout experiences. The resistance of the water creates a fluid motion that is similar to using an oar in an actual boat, providing you an exhilirating alternative to traditional gym equipment.

The intensity and number of calories burned can vary depending on how much resistance is selected, as well as user weight and fitness level. Operating these machines also requires coordination which activates muscles from head to toe for full body workouts. Apart from being a robust cardiovascular machine, water rowers also strengthen muscles in your arms, legs, back and abdominal core — all at once! Pros often recommend this type of rowing machine for those looking for high-intensity training that allows low impact exercising.

Air Rowing Machines

Air rowing machines provide great workout value with their low-impact resistance. As you pull the handle, a fan blade connected to the flywheel is engaged and creates an air resistance against the flywheel. Air rowers are usually the most economical type of machine and can be adjusted for a range of user weights, or for users of different heights. The air rowing experience is said to replicate rowing on open water and because of the variable nature of their resistance, they are considered to provide an intense workout.

Common features on air rowers include adjustable footrests that can be tailored comfortably to your height, a monitor which displays fitness readouts like time, speed, pace and calories burned, as well as adjustable flywheels that let you choose your desired intensity level. Air rowing machines are often considered an ideal choice for those seeking aerobic conditioning, core strength training and weight loss goals.

Magnetic Rowing Machines

Magnetic rowing machines use the principles of magnetic resistance to create a smooth, quiet and efficient workout. These machines are often considered more advanced than other types of rowers, as they offer more precise variables for adjusting resistance. The user can easily increase or decrease the tension level of their workout with just one simple adjustment. Magnetic rowing machines usually have digital displays that show time, distance, speed and calories burned during a rowing session. They may also have additional features such as pre-programmed workouts and heart rate monitors. Many trainers believe magnetic rowers are better suited to serious fitness enthusiasts because they facilitate more complex workouts with adjustable intensity levels. They’re also generally quieter and offer a smoother rowing motion than other types of rowers.

Safety Tips

Rowing machines are fantastic pieces of equipment for working out. They offer a great aerobic workout and can help strengthen muscles throughout your body. However, it is important to remember to always use the machine safely and to follow specific guidelines for rowing. Let’s take a look at some safety tips to keep in mind when using a rowing machine.

Proper Form

Proper form is essential for getting the most out of your rowing machine workout and for avoiding injury. It begins with maintaining an upright position – try to keep your back as straight as possible throughout the entire movement. Keep in mind that you should avoid leaning too far back or slouching at any time. You should also keep your shoulders relaxed, and make sure that your arms remain slightly bent as you row, so that you don’t strain them.

In terms of foot placement, first make sure that the straps are positioned correctly for your feet; then look to place both heels flat on the heel rests with your toes pointed up towards the ceiling. Once comfortable, place both hands securely on the handles to spread and even out tension while completing each stroke. As you row forward and pull yourself closer to the flywheel, practice squeezing with both arms evenly while keeping a firm grip on each handlebar without locking your elbows or wrists out at any point during this phase of movement – it’s also important to relax forward when transitioning from pull to push.

It’s important not to overdo it; start off slow and gradually increase speed and intensity as you become more comfortable with proper form. Make sure you listen to what feels comfortable for your body—if it hurts or if something begins to feel off, don’t push yourself beyond what feels good or safe. Lastly remember that warming up beforehand helps increase flexibility and reduces potential risk of injury so be sure do dynamic stretches or can foam roll before hopping up onto a rowing machine!


Stretching before and after working out on a rowing machine is an important step to take in order to ensure your safety and maximize the efficacy of your workout. A dynamic warm-up that includes light cardiovascular activity as well as stretches for the major muscle groups used in rowing can help ensure that your muscles are properly prepared for exercise. Focus on dynamic movements that increase circulation, such as lunges, butt kickers and arm circles.

Stretching afterwards allows your muscles to gradually cool down while they adjust back to their resting state. Stretches should focus on the primary muscle groups used in rowing – quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, latissimus dorsi and trapezius. Dynamic stretches such as leg swings and arm crosses may be beneficial after intense bouts of rowing if time allows. Make sure to hold each stretch for a minimum of forty-five seconds, stopping if any pain or soreness becomes evident at any point during the stretch.

Adjusting the Resistance

Adjusting the resistance on a rowing machine is important to get the best workout and maintain safety when using the equipment. Most machines will have adjustable levels of resistance that can allow you to select how much energy you use and how hard each workout will be. To properly adjust the resistance, sit in the rower and ensure that your feet are securely in the stirrup straps. Place your hands on the oar handles, lower yourself slowly into position and adjust the handle arms if necessary. Adjusting the seat height is also a good idea, as it affects your overall posture while rowing. Finally, start slowly by increasing rowing speed slowly and steadily increase resistance as you progress through your workout. Making sure that you are in correct form is key not only to getting an effective workout, but also ensuring that movements are performed safely.


In conclusion, rowing machines offer an effective full body workout. Compared with other types of cardiovascular exercise, such as running or cycling, it is relatively low impact, so it can be a great option for those who are prone to injury or have joint pain. It can also provide significant benefits to muscular endurance and overall fitness.

Rowing machines challenge the body in a variety of ways and can easily be tracked and adjusted to provide an appropriate level of intensity for every user. It is important to choose the correct machine and spend time learning the correct technique in order to get the most out of each rowing session.

Overall they are a great tool that can help achieve effective workouts with minimal stress on your joints, creating the ideal environment for anyone looking to tone up or gain muscle mass. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to take up rowing for improved fitness levels or an elite athlete training for competition – giving rowing machines a go is definitely worth considering!

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