The old rowing machine that has been sitting in the corner of the gym for decades got a much needed makeover and is now the in-demand workout. Why? You can burn an average of 600 calories per hour. It’s both a great cardio workout and a total body strength training program. Even Spinning diehards are abandoning their bikes for rowing, which has made its way into group fitness studios and gyms.
- Effective cardio workout. Rowing requires the use of every major muscle group, which means the heart and lungs have to work harder to provide nutrients to the muscles. Most machines have adjustable resistance so you can push yourself at your own level.
- Upper Body Conditioning. Rowing uses pretty much every muscle in the upper body, including the shoulders, upper back, and lower back. You also work your biceps, triceps, and abdominals and improve your grip strength, which benefits you in other sports.
- Lower Body Conditioning. If you’re rowing with good form, the majority of the work is in the lower body. The calves, glutes, quads, and thighs are all working hard as you press your seat back and forth on the rower.
- Low risk of injury. Rowing is low impact and puts minimal stress on the joints, making it a good cross-training activity for runners. The only concern is the risk of back strain because of incorrect form (using your back instead of your legs). Remember to let your legs do the work.
- Mental clarity. The rhythmic nature can create almost a hypnotic effect allowing you to clear your mind and let go of the stress of the day.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.