Is Rowing Enough of a Physical Workout?

Rowing machines have always been on the market, almost as much as treadmills and stationary bikes. Unfortunately, when it comes to gyms, there was a time when rowing machines were not visible, and there were no users. That was in the past, as recently there has been a wind of change with gym rats taking a good hard look at rowing.

Time at the rowing machine has given fitness enthusiasts a new boost in their workout. It has long been determined that rowing gives a whole body workout. It was just not popular, or as popular as spinning classes, or other aerobic classes in the gym. As a whole body workout, rowing gives the following benefits:

  • Upper body workout. Rowing takes more than just a vigorous upper body workout, it stretches the arms and the chest as you pull the oars in close to your chest, and then back again. You can go as fast as you want, or as heavy as the rowing machine will allow. Unlike weight training, this is not a matter of pulling a very heavy weight. It is pulling a weight, and then repeating it for 15 minutes or more.
  • Aerobic exercise. It gets the heart pumping and can be a strenuous exercise on its own. This is just like resistance band training, only it gets the whole body involved. It is akin to swimming or running, and helps develop endurance. It may not be as intense as skipping rope, but it does burn calories at least on par with an intense run or several laps in the pool.
  • Low impact leg workout. If you take a look at the way the knees flex, as well as the way the legs push off when you pull the oar, you would notice that these are more like squats on the weight machine. You push off against the board in a repeated manner, while pulling the weight on the oar handles. The weight is not as heavy as the weight machine, however, you would be repeating the action more than you would do squats. For those who don’t like doing squats, this is a good alternative because they are not doing squats per se, but the muscles are going through the motions of squats.
  • Abdominal and back muscle development. It is not a secret that you would be bending at your abs a lot on the rowing machine. You are actually doing a lot of crunches. Along with the crunches, you would be pulling a weight as you stretch your back. This not only develops the abdominals when you move forward, but you also develop your back muscles when you move the other way.

When working out with the rowing machine, don’t forget to drink enough water. It is easy to forget to drink water when you are in a fast and heavy workout on the rowing machine. Try to get the best straw water bottle you can find, one that would allow you to sip water while still rowing. This is not an easy trick to do.

Rowing machines promise a lot of improvement over your old workout. There are only a few other exercises that offer a whole body endurance exercise.

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