What Are the Benefits of Using An Indoor Rowing Machine?



Indoor Rowing Machine


Through the years fitness trends have come and gone but sound principles never leave.  Rowing as an exercise was popular in the early 20th century.   Now it’s making a comeback, but why? I am going to list some of the benefits of using an indoor rowing machine.


What if I were to tell you that there is an exercise that is low impact, utilizes approximately 84% of the muscles in the body and burns up to 1000 calories and hour! I would definitely have your attention, now wouldn’t I? It’s not a mystery, but why do so few people use the indoor rowing machines in traditional fitness facilities?  The answer is simple ITS HARD TO DO.


Not All Machines Are Created Equally


I do not want to diminish the benefits of treadmills, bikes and elliptical trainers.  These devices help you work the cardiovascular system, build lean muscle tissue and burn fat calories as well.  What separates indoor rowing machines from these other apparatuses is the technique needed and the energy expended during a session.  Rowing is a technical activity that will require practice and preferably some coaching from a qualified fitness professional such a personal trainer.


One of the biggest misconceptions that rowing has is that it is a back exercise.  The reality it is a full body movement with a high reliance on leg strength, core power and upper body technique.


Here Is How To Do It


Indoor rowing machines require four basics phases to complete one stroke:

  1. The catch
  2. The drive
  3. The finish
  4. The recovery


The catch is the initial part of the stroke. The drive is where the power from the rower is generated while the finish is the final part of the stroke. The recovery is the initial phase to begin taking a new stroke. These phases are repeated usually to a predetermined distance or time.  Proper breathing is critical when using an indoor rowing machine.  On the drive or exertion of the exercise it is important to breathe out through the mouth to avoid early exhaustion and avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen.


Once you feel comfortable with the technique of rowing you can incorporate it into any fitness regimen.  Like any piece of exercise equipment warming up is just as important as the routine itself.  It is recommended that you warm-up up between 5 to 10 minutes to allow increased blood flow and decrease risk of injury.


Hit It Hard


As you become more familiar with your indoor rowing machine try setting a realistic distance (a good start is 2000 metres) and try to complete it faster each time you try it. A standard measurement in rowing is called a “split” this refers to how long it takes complete 500 metres.  If you really want a challenge you can try interval training and try to lower your spit time each time.


Whether you are new to exercise or a seasoned veteran, indoor rowing is an excellent way to increase your current fitness level and is an excellent alternative to help you break through plateaus.


Give Indoor Rowing A Try


Have you ever tried using an indoor rowing machine? Were you successful? Do you still use one? If not, why don’t you or what has stopped you? I would love to hear your comments below on indoor rowing machines.


If you need a high quality indoor rowing machine, be sure to visit Spartan Fitness Equipment. Have a quick view of their indoor rowing machines here Spartan Fitness   But more importantly, have their staff take you through a workout on one.


By Curtis Medina, Director of Training and Development


3 thoughts on “What Are the Benefits of Using An Indoor Rowing Machine?”

  1. Liked this post a lot. Started to incorporate rowing into my training within the past year and love it. Not so much long distance, more focused towards “splits” for 500m. Nevertheless still a great exercise and a good option if you’re looking for crosstraining.

  2. Very interesting article. The benefits of a rowing machine are innumerable…
    But for me the most important one is the low risk of injury that is involved in rowing, that’s why I started!
    thanks for the article 🙂

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