Row, Row, Row Your Way to Being Healthier

Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

benefits of rowing
If you’re like most gym-goers, you probably stick to the more well-known cardio machines, like the elliptical, treadmill or indoor bike. But instead of always doing the same aerobic workout, why not shake it up and give rowing a chance? That’s right: The rower is one of the most underappreciated machines in the gym. The next time you want to get your heart racing and muscles burning, add rowing to your workout routine. Here are three reasons it’s worth your time:
  1. It works your upper body, lower body and core at the same time. The motion of rowing seems as though it would only work out your arms—they’re what’s pulling the handle after all—but it also engages your core and legs. That’s because with each rep, you push hard with your legs and use your core to keep your chest up the entire time. And yes, you also use your biceps and triceps—most cardio machines don’t work your upper body at all.
  1. It’s an intense cardio workout that can get your heart racing quickly. Exercising with a rowing machine burns a lot of calories: In 30 minutes, a 185-pound person will burn 311 calories if they are going at a moderate pace and 377 calories if they are rowing more vigorously.
  1. It’s low impact but has high results. Running may be one of the most popular forms of cardio, but it can also put a lot of stress on your joints. Rowing, on the other hand, is a smooth motion with no added pressure on your hips, knees or ankles, meaning it’s easy on the joints (an important consideration if you have arthritis or suffer from joint pain). Like any workout, it’s important to use the right technique when rowing. See a video showing correct form here.
Another amazing thing about rowing is that you usually won’t have to wait for a machine since it’s one of the best kept secrets at the gym. Ready to get going? Start with this 20-minute rowing workout (it goes over form as well!) and let us know what you think of rowing in the comments.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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