Top 10 Benefits of Using a Rowing Ergometer

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Top 10 Benefits of Using a Rowing Ergometer

While rowing machines (rowing ergometers) are used by competitive rowers for training, they’re also found in many commercial gyms and can be a part of any cardio and strength training regimen. Unfortunately, the rowing ergometer is often one of the most neglected pieces of equipment in a gym’s cardio area. A main reason could be that people just don’t know how to use it properly.

What is a rowing machine (rowing ergometer)?

A rowing ergometer is essentially a piece of exercise equipment that mimics the motion of rowing a boat in water, making it a full body workout! If you are looking for a new cardio workout, using a rowing ergometer is the best possible solution.

Benefits of Using a Rowing Ergometer

Types of rowing machines

There are many types of rowing machines on the market. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The best rowing machine is one with variable resistance and the ability to regulate rowing rate.

Furthermore, pick a rower with a seat that moves back and forth freely. Fixed seat rowers are much more difficult to use and can also be much more stressful on the lower back.

The different indoor rowing machines provide resistance using 4 different resistance types:  air, hydraulic-piston, magnetic, and water.

Benefits of using a rowing ergometer

The following are the key benefits of rowing and may provide just that impetus you need to add the activity to your overall exercise regimen—whether on or off the water!

1# Full body conditioning (lower plus upper body)

The muscles that are trained when using a rowing machine are primarily the muscles in the legs and the back. They include the glutes, quads, hamstrings, tibialis anterior, hip flexor, lower back, lats, rear delts, rhomboids, traps (middle), biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis, and forearm flexors. The only main muscle groups neglected by this piece of equipment are the pushing muscles—the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

rowing ergometer muscles worked

2# Effective aerobic exercise

Because it requires the use of so many major muscle groups, a rowing machine is an effective way to raise your heart rate and increase your oxygen intake for an effective cardio workout.

3# Burn more calories & tone muscles

Depending on your weight and the intensity of your workout, you can burn an average of about 200-300 calories in 30 minutes. That’s more efficient than many other home gym machines on the market. On a stationary bike without arm involvement, you’d need to ride about 78 minutes to equal a 60 minute workout on a rowing machine.

4# Low-Impact Cardio

For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises.  There is minimal stress applied to any part of the body.

5# Improving flexibility of the joints

Rowing machines cause a different range of motion than other machines, which can help improve and maintain flexibility of the joints. The wider movement can also give the rower more of a sense of working out than the smaller movements used on other equipment, leading to more satisfaction with their workout.

6# Perfectly mimic the motion of rowing on a boat

A good rowing machine will perfectly mimic the motion of rowing on a boat. So if you choose to, the switch back and forth should be easy. This is great if you decide to take your exercise outdoors during nicer weather and have access to a boat and a lake. Or conversely, if you row for a team, a rowing machine can help you keep your training up even in inclement weather.

7# Suitable for people of any ages & body types

Once the movement of a rowing machine has been mastered, the equipment can be used by people of any ages. Since it is fun, it may be a good way for your kids to get some exercise, though they should always be supervised to avoid injury. Since it is low impact, even the elderly or those with joint problems can use the machine. Always check with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

The rowing machine is one piece of cardio where being heavier is an advantage because the larger body mass gives more power and momentum to the pull. Furthermore, long arms and legs are also a distinct advantage.

8# Rowing helps make you more explosive

Rowing is an excellent preparation for sport disciplines that require you to be explosive.

9# Rowing adds variation to your workout

If you’re a cardio fan, rowing is the perfect alternative or companion to running or biking. For example, If you want to substitute your normal treadmill routine, rowing helps change up the scenery—with less stress on your joints.

10# Rowing is a great warm-up

No matter what kind of workout you’re going to do, rowing to warm up is a smart choice.

How to properly use a rowing machine (proper technique)

The most important thing to remember about rowing on an ergometer is your form. If you’re unsure as to how to row or operate the machine, ask a trainer at your gym. If you use improper form, you can strain muscles. We strongly advice you to read our post about the correct indoor rowing technique.

Closing thoughts

Rowing machines rank among the most effective devices for the attainment of aerobic and muscular fitness. It helps to exercise all of the major muscle groups. A 20-minute to half-hour workout every other day on a rowing ergometer will strengthen and tone virtually every muscle in your body while improving the performance of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Before starting your workout, however, be sure to take a stress test to rule out health problems that could put you at risk. Of course, you should also master the proper rowing technique to avoid any side effects.

There are very few aerobic exercises that can strengthen your back, and rowing is one of them. When performed correctly, your legs provide most of the strength needed for the stroke. You upper body finishes off the movement. Furthermore, rowing machine preserves your joints by providing a high-intensity, low-impact and non-weight bearing cardio workout.

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