“The rowing machine is one of the best exercise equipment for your home gym.”
You probably here because you have recently read an article or a friend told you that phrase.
And it is true – rowing motion works out your legs, your lower back, your core, upper back and your arms.
On a positive note is that you considered indoor rowing as an activity to add into your fitness regimen.
#Why rowing machines aren’t so popular as treadmills at commercial gyms?
A common concern is that they are rarely used at commercial gyms. This leads many to assume they aren’t as good as other types of equipment.
This is an unfortunate side effect of focusing on “fun” workouts by these organizations.
It can certainly be enjoyable to use a rowing machine. They provide a complete workout and can be very tiring, which is not ideal business sense for a commercial gym.
All in all, rowing machine is underrated in the gym.
#Is it useful? Has it tested time?
The answer is a big YES. It is tried & true. This machine has been around forever in one form or another.
According to Wikipedia, the first rowing machines as supplemental military training devices. “To train inexperienced oarsmen, Chabrias built wooden rowing frames onshore where beginners could learn technique and timing before they went on board ship.”
The history of the rowing machine goes back to the 13th century. It’s where the first recorded race boat was found.
It is from the 1900s that the story of rowing machines finally takes huge steps. Not lie to you – there was a rowing machine on the Titanic.
Rowing machine used in military testing
This machine is useful and effective and trainers and coaches around the world have relied upon this machine for a long time. More than that, rowing machine is starting to show up in military physical testing standards.
Obviously, rowing machine wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has and gained the military’s favor if it weren’t useful.
To be honest, they are fantastic pieces of cardio equipment. They are more than worth the investment to include them in any home gym.
#Benefits of Rowing Machine vs. Other Workouts
|Full Comparison||low impact||upper body||lower body||core||range of motion||mental wellbeing|
Also, for all machines, proper technique is required. The relative simplicity of the actions on a treadmill (walking) or a stationary bike (cycling) often leads people to neglect this. Even though the improper technique may lead to dangerous results, causing excessive stress on the user’s joints which can lead to irreversible damage.
#Should I buy a new rower when I already have other aerobic exercise equipment?
I wish I could say that rowing was the end-all, be-all. Honestly, it’s not.
This machine is often touted as a complete workout. The statistic was thrown around that rowing uses 86% of the body, but there’s not much foundation in that.
Unlike a bike or an elliptical, the way that the machine is situated doesn’t guide you through the movement.
You actually have to learn how to move on this machine. It really is complete as you push with your legs, you’re swinging your hips open. Next, pulling and pushing with the arms, then closing the hips.
All of these things that the body has to do to create work on the machine. The more you focus on the mechanics, the better workout your body gets.
Just say YES. It works a lot for your body. All the important things that need to be strengthened are worked by this machine because you use everything.
Rowing machine vs treadmill
When comparing the rowing machine and treadmill for a better overall workout, we touched on which machine was best for fat burning, muscle strength and cardiovascular.
First, we will now talk about which exercise, running or rowing, is better for your body.
Both running and rowing are in fact fantastic cardio workouts.
All the cardio benefits you associate with running you can apply to row. Most of the muscles you use in running, however, are in your lower body: your quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves.
Your abs and biceps serve as supporting muscles and are strengthened to a lesser degree. Meanwhile, rowing requires a bit more core strength than running.
The end of each rowing stroke works similarly to a sit-up; it’s the same forward and back motion, with the core driving the whole move.
If you’re an outdoor runner, you know how much things like weather and traffic can impact your ability to run effectively.
But chances are you’d rather take that risk than deal with the monotony of the treadmill.
Properly performed rowing gives a runner a solid blast of cardio work. It works the abs, core and lower back, and even develops flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.
Rowing is a great activity because you can do it indoors. And what’s better is that rowing machines require a lot less maintenance than other exercise machines.
Rowing machine vs elliptical trainer
It’s a good idea to look at the pros and cons of each, along with which one you enjoy using the most.
Both machines offer a whole-body workout with low impact. The main differences appear in posture and practicality.
The elliptical and rowing machine does take some getting used to. There is definitely more of a technique involved with rowing machine than with the elliptical trainer. The rowing machine can be feel off for the first little while. But most people will quickly adapt through watching rowing technique videos.
Weight-bearing activity improves your bones/skeletal system
In terms of suffering from osteoporosis, exercising on the elliptical machine is a light, weight-bearing activity that can really benefit your bones/skeletal system.
Why not Rowing machine?
The first time it may be hard to grasp, but after a few sessions you easily pick up the knack. With an elliptical trainer, you stride while being erect. It’s essentially running with more resistance and a fixed range of motion – unlike the treadmill – working your body with more emphasis.
Rowing machine does have various training programs, but it essentially offered these by changing the resistance level. On the other side, with an elliptical trainer, not only you can change the resistance level, but you can also change the incline with which you are working.
If you hate using an elliptical machine (or cross-trainer) and are constantly finding reasons to skip your sessions, then likely, rowing machine is going to be a solid choice for you.
Rowing machine is excellent equipment. For instance, it heavily trains the back and arms which tend to be weak areas for many people while the elliptical doesn’t provide.
Rowing motion is low-impact
They offer more benefits to the musculature. Correct rowing technique involves a five strep process while maintaining natural movement:
- Pushing with your legs
- Swinging your hips open
- Pulling with your arms and back
- Relaxing the arms and back to reset the position
- Pulling the legs to bring you back to the starting position
After you learning the proper technique, the rowing machine can provide many advantages that are not included with exercise on the elliptical machine.
The calorie burn of rowing
As we spend a lot of time hunched over the desk, kept a very curved posture then caused us to suffer from a tight chest and weak back – the rowing machine will be the best cure.
As I mentioned before, running is gain an upper hand in calories burning in the same workout intensity compare to rowing.
But the tide may now be turning when it comes to the efficiency of calorie-burning between rowing machines and elliptical trainers.
Burning 200 calories, for instance, is not nearly as beneficial as burning 600 calories, so this can have a huge bearing on which you choose.
Luckily, when comparing the rowing machine and elliptical, the calorie burn, assuming you are going at the same relative intensity level, is almost the same.
According to the study by the Harvard School of Public Health, for a person weighing 155lbs, an elliptical could burn 670 calories per hour.
Due to the amount of work that your upper and lower body must do while rowing. It typically burns about 630 calories per hour in moderate intensity. That means you burned a quarter of a 14-inch regular-crust pepperoni pizza out of your body.
Rowing machine can be a solid choice
Regardless of strengthening your upper body and lower body (both of them work well), rowing machine does win out to some degree: technically, it better suited to strengthening your core, which is responsible for holding your torso straight throughout each stroke than the elliptical trainer.
Furthermore, because the horizontal position on the rowing machine does reduce the pressure on your knees. The gravity that driving you down is spread out to your feet and femur.
In particular, foldable rowers or others that could be stored in an upright position are way suitable for your home gym, since it won’t take up a lot of space while elliptical doesn’t do so as much.
Generally speaking, rowing machines and elliptical trainers are both terrific exercise tools. As you can see, these stacks up well against each other. Both machines provide a low-impact experience that reduces joint injury as compared to other cardio exercise machines.
Rowing machine vs stationary bike
By now we know that rowing allows almost all of your muscles to shine.
Stationary bikes just work the lower body.
The muscles used while cycling includes the quads, hamstrings, groin and glutes.
Unlike the rowing machine, elliptical and treadmill, the passive sitting position used on an exercise bike means that your core is not working. The winner here is clearly the rowing machine.
In a nutshell, a rowing machine works pretty much every single part of your body. You get to improve all of the internal stuff – your cardiovascular health, resting metabolic rate, also your sensitivity to insulin and even your strength endurance.
While bikes, treadmill or elliptical trainers don’t move you through the motion, a huge advantage of rowing machine is that you have to learn where you are on it, helps improve kinesthetic awareness which is your understanding of where your body is in space and time because you have to learn about this during rowing.
Low-impact cardio exercise
High-impact exercises can be more dangerous than benefits for those who are overweight or have existing joint problems.
You hear this all the time from anybody who’s suggesting rowing – is that rowing is low impact, and it’s true.
It’s not the only low-impact exercise that exists. However, it inherently does reduce the impact on the body.
If you have arthritis or achy joints, guess what? This is a really fantastic option for you to consider using this machine.
Horizontal versus vertical
By sitting on the seat, you don’t have the same effects of gravity. You are having it be more of horizontal force production. The gravity can’t drive you down as much as when you work in a vertical pattern. While trying to against that, exercising may result in the high-impact on your bones.
What can you do to reduce the risk
For those who can’t carry out weight-bearing workouts, a rowing machine is a great alternative for exercises such as running, jogging and climbing stairs.
You can reduce your risk by using the right rowing form while the back strain is a concern. A healthy rowing posture helps your legs to do the work, taking the pressure off your back.
The rowing movement is natural, which leaves the joints under minimum tension. Like stationary bikes, rowers are also an outstanding way to improve the knees after surgery.
#Is rowing machine worth it?
The reason for the craze is manifold and varied, but the one that dominates is the user will get a unique experience through rowing machine.
You often hear this statistic thrown around – that rowing gives you a full-body workout. And very few pieces of exercise equipment can make that claim, let alone one that is primarily intended to build one’s cardio system, rather than one’s muscles.
So this machine is often touted as a complete workout and low-impact. I’m sure it does have a lot of benefits. But what exactly it stands for? What will it bring to you?
While rowing machines aren’t cheap (at least those good ones aren’t), they will save you money in the long run.
#Rowing machine could save your money
Compare that to personal training sessions, which can start at $50 for a half-hour session. Or a regular gym membership, which often costs upwards of $100 a month.
There are several concerns that people often have when considering purchasing a rowing machine that lead them to worry that it’s not a safe investment; however, these are often unfounded.
A common misconception is, they are “properly” hard to use and are thus insecure.
While it is true that when one is being used, proper form is important. It is not nearly the impossible beast that many people fear it to be. Watching a training video with a professional trainer like Dark Horse Rowing and Training Tall Youtube channel, or perhaps you prefer to read blogs on BritishRowing, is more than enough to get the technique locked down.
#The rowing machine craze is overwhelming
The indoor rowing machine is initially associated with those who ply their trade on the water. Recent years have seen its popularity is on a tear as an alternative to treadmills and static bikes in gyms.
Research conducted by British Rowing has revealed. A huge increase in the demand for indoor rowing group exercise classes (an estimated 1.3 million indoor rowers in England). Following in the footsteps of the fitness craze that has swept across New York.
And with the benefits including a full-body workout at low impact, weight loss and improved muscle and joint mobility, the popularity of the sport is expected to take off even further over the coming months.
#Get ready to devote yourself to the ergometer
Rowing is unique hybrid of high cardiovascular output coupled with full-body strength training can get you into the best shape of your life!
In a sense, with those great benefits, rowing machine can be your entire workout.
I believe rowing macihne is a solid choice for everyone that meets multiple goals.
I’ve curated the best rowing machines for an at-home, full-body cardio and strength workout below:
- Best water rowing machines for meditative exercise.
- Best magnetic rowing machines for silent workout.
- Top air rowing machines for vivid on-the-water-experience.
- Rowing machines around $500
- Rowing machines around $1000
Hopefully this can help you get a better understanding of the rowing machine and if it is worth buying!