Thinking about taking up a new activity and want to start rowing? Well rowing is an accessible and enjoyable sport and if you get the chance to row on a river, the environment is calm and the air is generally clean. It’s a great sport for the soul as well as the body, and one big advantage is that rowing machines offer an experience very close to that of rowing on water.
The sport delivers a huge range of benefits for your health and body and give you an effective total body workout. Like all physical activity it will burn fat, build muscle and release endorphins. But there are many more benefits that are very specific to the sport, so read on to find out!
1. Rowing is High Intensity but Low Impact
Although the legs play an important part in rowing the feet are constantly connected as you boost the body by bending and extending the knees. This compares favourably with road running as there’s zero impact and is better than running and cycling as the range of motion of the legs is greater.
Of course you could row at a leisurely pace but if you push yourself to a proper level of intensity you’ll really elevate your heart rate and in so doing accelerate the calories you consume.
2. Start Rowing for a complete body workout
For every action in rowing there is a counteraction – meaning no one muscle, movement or action dominate. The action of the legs, arms and torso as you row engages muscles everywhere crafting toned legs, a lean torso and awesome arms.
3. Rowing has a reduced injury risk
Because the impact is low in rowing the joints don’t have to cope with impact.
In addition, every muscle’s movement is mirrored – the legs extend then bend, the torso leans back then forward, the arms pull then push. In other words, every muscle and its partner in the body takes turns in being the agonist and antagonist. No other single sport is able to deliver the same blend and balance of exercise.
The resulting balance in the body helps maintain alignment and ensures no muscle or muscle group dominates, as happens with so many other sports which can lead to imbalance, weakness and strain.
So start rowing for less stress, better posture, and a reduced risk of injury.
4. Rowing improves stability
Boats wobble in even the calmest of waters, so staying upright in a boat engages the core. In addition, the action of the torso while rowing builds the same muscle group as it continues to keep you sitting safely as well as rowing effectively.
As a consequence, stabilising muscles strengthen, balance gets better and the overall efficiency of the body while rowing and undertaking other physical activities improves too.
5. Rowing promotes flexibility
As well as keeping the body balanced the range of motion when rowing is greater than in other sports and also those weight bearing exercises that mimic some of the individual actions of rowing.
This applies to the legs which bend more than they do when squatting as you’re sitting and so get greater flexion from the hips. It also applies to the arms and chest as the elbows pull behind the body before they extend to the front which is a fuller movement than the exercise alternatives like a press up or a reverse fly.
As you start rowing and improve, restrictions your body may have in these regards will generally lessen and so your flexibility advances.
A more flexible body enjoys better posture, better balance and less injuries than an inflexible one.
6. Rowing machines get you very close to the water
While the instability of the water cannot be recreated on a rowing machine, the physical actions of the body can, so time on a rowing machine is closer to the real thing than some other cardio machines, especially on these fantastic WaterRower models.
As well as being an ‘any weather, any place, any time’ alternative the rowing machine is a great training tool as you can up the resistance to build power or race against the timer to build speed.
In addition, smart rowing machines include footplates to enable you to use them for resistance training to concentrate on strength training to address any personal shortfalls that are holding back your rowing. These include deadlifts for the back and hamstrings, upright rows for the chest and shoulders and leg presses for the glutes and quads.
So now you know, it’s time to row!
Check out our guide to rowing machines here to find out all you need to know when considering purchasing one.
Then head to the rowing machines department in our online store here to browse the range of quality machines we sell and start rowing!