Are you tired of spending countless hours exercising without any real results? Also, are you tired of having to perform various different exercises just to get some minimal results? Well, the solution for you might the classic rowing machine. This is an awesome piece of stationary exercise equipment that will put virtually every aspect of your fitness to the test. Let’s not waste any more time and get right into the rowing machine benefits that you need to take advantage of.
What Is A Rowing Machine?
If you are not sure what a rowing machine is, it is a stationary cardiovascular exercise machine, one that actually serves the purpose of resistance and strength training at the same time. It is meant to mimic row boats and more specifically, those rowboats that you see with a bunch of guys sitting in them, most often racing against each other. This has been a popular sport and form of exercise for hundreds of years now, and the reason is not only because it is extremely fun, but also because it is one of the best and most efficient forms of exercise around.
How To Use A Rowing Machine
In case you don’t know how to use a rowing machine, let us explain it to you. However, instead of trying to use words, why don’t we just show you with a simple instructional video.
Perhaps the biggest benefit that you are going to get from using a rowing machine on a regular basis is that it will strengthen your muscles. This is actually true for virtually every muscle in your body. Before we get into it, let’s just say that we would assume it obvious that everybody wants stronger muscles. After all, they make us look better, they make us feel better, and they make any kind of physical activity much easier.
Anyway, the first type of strength that you will build from using a rowing machine is grip strength. It takes a whole lot of finger, wrist, and forearm strength to hold onto the oars, especially when rowing at high resistance level for a prolonged period of time. This will in turn strengthen all of those muscles, and at the end of the day, it leads to much better grip strength. This can come in quite handy in a number of situations including weight lifting, playing baseball, and even washing those slippery dishes.
Moreover, rowing gives you an amazing upper body workout, and the higher the intensity, the bigger the muscle-building benefits are. Rowing is very strenuous on your upper arms, shoulders, chest, and back as well, thus strengthening all of them. Rowing also involves a lot of core power because you are supposed to flex your abs when rowing, thus helping you achieve those six-pack abs you have always wanted. If you want those big biceps, those shredded washboard abs, and those Popeye forearms, rowing is definitely the way to go.
Even better is that rowing will also work out the muscles in your lower body. Your glutes, hamstrings, thighs, and calves are all utilized during a rowing exercise. Those tight buns and those muscular legs are totally achievable with just a little bit of rowing every day. The result here is that you will be able to run faster, jump higher, and lift more too.
The bottom line is that rowing is amazing for virtually every muscle in your body. Just for the record, this is called a compound exercise because it works out several major muscle groups at once. In other words, rowing is more efficient at muscle building when compared to several other types of exercise.
Benefit #2 – Better Posture
This actually has to do with the first benefit of muscle building, specifically when it comes to your core, lower and upper back, and shoulder and neck muscles. You see, bad posture is often caused by weak muscles, mainly the ones we just mentioned. When you have a weak back, core, and shoulders, it becomes harder to hold up your head.
Your head should be aligned perfectly vertically with your spine, or in other words, directly above it. However, weak muscles cause your head to lean forward and your back to slouch in a curve, or simply put, those weak muscles cause bad posture. In the long run, bad posture not only makes you look short and less confident, but it can also cause severe and long-lasting back pain.
Rowing is great for your posture because it strengthens those very same muscles which are failing to provide you with the posture you need. Rowing every day will help strengthen your core, back, and shoulders, thus allowing you to stand up straight, look confident, be taller, and ultimately prevent a variety of back pain issues.
Benefit #3 – Heart Health
Yet another great benefit that comes with regular rowing is that of aerobic exercise. What is meant by this is that it exercises your heart, because aerobic exercise, the kind that trains your heart muscle, is any kind of exercise which causes your heart to beat at an excessive rate. If you have never rowed before, try it right now and you will realize just how fast and how hard it will make your heart pump.
What is really neat about rowing machines is that they let you adjust the resistance, thus they not only let you choose how much you strengthen your muscles, but how high an intensity of aerobic exercise you are doing too. The easier the rowing gets and the lower your heart rate is, the higher you can set the intensity. To put it in layman’s terms, aerobic exercise is for your heart the same thing as weight lifting is for your muscles. It is a way to train your heart to become stronger and more efficient at its job.
Of course, having good heart health is extremely important for a variety of reasons. First of all, a healthy heart has the ability to pump more blood and oxygen around your body, thus supplying your muscles with what they need to continue exercising for prolonged periods of time, but that isn’t all. Good heart health also contributes to the reduction of bad cholesterol, a lower resting heart rate, lowered blood pressure, a decreased risk of strokes and heart disease, and a decreased risk of suffering from something like a heart attack too. If you want to live a long and healthy life, a rowing machine is a good way to go about it.
Benefit #4 – Better Oxygen Efficiency
Something else that you definitely need to take advantage of when it comes to the rowing machine is that it will help make your lungs much more efficient at their job. Your lungs take in oxygen from the air you inhale, it processes it, and sends it into your bloodstream. The problem with intense exercise is that you are limited by how much oxygen you can take in and supply your blood with. The trick is to do exercises like rowing which will increase the efficiency of your lungs.
Just like lifting weights builds muscle strength and aerobic exercise builds heart health, rowing also helps to increase the efficiency of your lungs. The harder and faster you are forced to breathe during exercise due to oxygen deprivation, the more your lungs will adjust to that. In other words, through this kind of exercise, your lungs train themselves to absorb and process higher quantities of oxygen. This is actually known as your VO2 Max, or the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in and put in your bloodstream.
The obvious benefit here is that with regular rowing, you will get winded less often, both when exercising and doing something as simple as walking up a few flights of stairs. Having stronger and more efficient lungs also helps to prevent breathing-related issues which arise from weak lungs. The point is that rowing is just as good for your lungs as it is for your heart and muscles.
Benefit #5 – Extreme Weight Loss
Yet another thing that you will love about rowing as your primary form of exercise is that it is amazing is the massive weight loss you will achieve. Intense aerobic exercise like rowing, especially since it also qualifies as a resistance exercise, burns a ridiculous amount of calories. To be clear, your body converts calories into energy, so the more energy you use by rowing, the more calories you will burn. This can go a very long way in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
On average, an hour of rowing can burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories, which is simply fantastic. To put that into perspective, that is about one quarter of the amount of calories that fully grown male needs to consume in a day. In other words, one rowing session can help you burn away more than a full meal.
The awesome thing is that rowing is more energy-intensive and efficient at burning calories than something like running or cycling, mainly because it involves so much effort. The real kicker here is that if you don’t have enough calories in you to fuel your body, it will turn to your body fat, its secondary source of energy. Therefore, rowing can actually help melt away body fat like nothing else can.
Even better is that rowing will in turn also help to give your metabolism a boost, which has to do with your EPOC or exercise post-energy consumption. When you do this kind of exercise, it revs up your metabolism, which means that you burn an increased amount of calories for the same energy expenditure. At the end of the day, this means that your body will burn away more calories right away before it can ever be stored as body fat, plus you will burn more fat on a daily basis too. We aren’t going to go into too much more detail here, but there are of course very many benefits that come along with a healthy body weight.
Benefit #6 – Much Better Endurance
Many of the benefits of rowing that we have talked about up until this point actually lead to this one particular benefit of increased endurance. First of all, as we mentioned before, rowing helps to improve the health of your heart. This leads to more stamina and endurance because your heart does not have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood and oxygen throughout your body.
Moreover, your heart also has the ability to pump more blood and oxygen around your body, which means that your muscles are getting more of the fuel which they need to keep exercising for a prolonged period of time. Next, having stronger lungs leads to better stamina because it means that you have more oxygen available in your system, which provides your muscles with more of what they need for exercise and to prevent that burning sensation.
Also, having stronger muscles leads to being able to perform physical activity for a longer period of time, which is simply because your muscles are stronger, so they can do more. Finally, the fact that rowing helps you burn calories and lose weight is also a prime factor that contributes to better stamina. Simply put, running anywhere or performing any kind of physical activity is much more tiring and taxing on your body when you are overweight than when you have a healthy body weight.
Benefit #7 – It Is Low Impact
Something else that many people will be able to appreciate about rowing as a primary form of resistance training, strength exercise, and cardio, is that it does all of those things for you, all without placing your joints under undue stress. If you have joint issues which render you partially immobile at times, or if you have joint issues which mean that you can’t do high-impact exercises, then rowing is for you.
A high-impact exercise is something like running, jumping, or anything else that forces you to leave the ground with your feet and slam back down, thus sending shock and impact up throughout your body.
On the other hand, a low-impact exercise like cycling or rowing can still provide you with a great number of benefits, but without all of that impact force which can severely worsen already existing joint issue. A rowing machine involves sitting down, which means that your feet never leave the ground, thus making for a perfect low-impact exercise that will challenge you to the max without damaging your joints.
Benefit #8 – A Happier You
Yet another benefit of rowing on a regular basis is that it helps to control your emotions, take care of depression and anxiety disorders, relaxes you, and just makes you feel happier in general. This is actually because rowing induces a very interesting phenomenon in the body, in fact it is the same one that runners get, and it is called the runner’s high.
As opposed to popular belief, the runner’s high is not something that only runner’s experience. In fact, any kind of strenuous aerobic or cardiovascular exercise will help induce the runner’s high. In case you are not familiar with this term, the runner’s high is the excessive release of neurochemicals that make you feel happier.
When you row, your brain starts to release more endorphins like serotonin, dopamine, and various endocannabinoids. These endorphins are most often known as feel happy brain chemicals, mainly because that is exactly what they do, make you feel happy. Together, these various endorphins are known to help curb anxiety issues, relieve the effects of depression, reduce stress, and induce a sense of joy, euphoria, and happiness. In other words, if you feel stressed out a lot, the solution to your problems might just be a 30-minute rowing session.
Benefit #9 – Better Cartilage & Joint Health
The final benefit of the rowing machine that is worth mentioning is the fact that it contributes to better joint and cartilage health. In case you aren’t sure, your cartilage is that stuff in between your joints, it is kind of like a sponge, and it acts as a lubricant and barrier in between your joints. It is the stuff that keeps your joints from rubbing together, thus causing pain, and it helps you to keep a maximal range of motion too.
The problem with cartilage is that it takes actual movement to keep it healthy. Like we said, your cartilage is like a sponge, a sponge that absorbs nutrient-rich fluids to remain well-nourished and healthy. The problem here is that your cartilage needs to be manually squeezed out through exercise in order to drain out old and used-up nutrient-void fluids.
Squeezing it out will allow it to absorb new nutrient-rich fluids. Ultimately this means prolonging the shelf life of your cartilage, increasing or at least stabilizing your range of motion, and preventing degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis. Rowing works pretty much every joint in your body, and is therefore the perfect way to maintain joint and cartilage health.
Rowing machine benefits come in various forms, each of which serves to make you a stronger, happier, and more enduring human being. Heart health, oxygen consumption, weight loss, and muscle strengthening are just some of the few benefits which come along with using a rowing machine on a regular basis. To really get a grasp of what a rowing machine can do for your health, you might want to just give it a try. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them with us and we will address your concerns at the first chance we get.