Benefits of Rowing: A Comprehensive Full-Body Workout

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( — February 17, 2023) — Finding a good full-body workout isn’t hard, but not all workouts are suited for everyone. What’s best for you depends on your current fitness level, flexibility, and endurance level. However, rowing is a workout suited for everyone, from absolute beginners to seasoned experts.

You don’t need to be strong or fit to start rowing. In fact, you can start now wherever you are, and you’ll be increasing your intensity before you know it.

Rowing has been a competitive sport for a long time, but it’s also an intense workout you can do on dry land with a machine. If you haven’t looked into adding rowing to your workout plan, keep reading because this is something you’ll want to try.

What is rowing?

There are two forms of rowing – with a machine and in a boat on the water. Both are beneficial, but the movements and overall experience are different. In both forms, you’re working your upper body intensely with a similar motion, but it takes more coordination to row for sport on the water.

When you row out on the water, you’ll have a much broader experience than using a machine at home. Unlike a static rowing machine, you won’t repeat a static back-and-forth movement when you’re on the water. You’ll need to learn how to move your arms and hands not just to move the boat, but to stay in sync with your teammates. This is why people spend time at training camps. If you attend a rowing camp to learn this sport, you’ll also form connections, grow as a person, and learn to row as part of a team.

“Attending a rowing camp is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the sport,” says Ryan Sparks, founder, and CEO of Sparks Rowing. “You’ll learn from experienced coaches, push your limits, and make connections with fellow rowers. It’s an investment in your personal growth and athletic development.”

Rowing on a machine

Unlike rowing on the water, using a machine at home or at the gym is more of a focused workout than a full experience. There’s nothing wrong with that if you prefer to get your workout done quickly and you don’t want the entire experience of team rowing. However, the motions are more repetitive, and it takes less skill and more endurance.

No matter which form of rowing you choose, you’ll reap the benefits of an intense cardiovascular workout that could replace those mundane workouts you’ve been avoiding.

What are the benefits of rowing?

Whether you head out to the water with a team, or you hit the gym, rowing will provide the following benefits:

If you prefer to row on the water, you’ll get several additional benefits:

  • A natural environment is more enjoyable
  • You’ll learn to row as part of a team or alone
  • You’ll develop coordination
  • You’ll bond with other rowers
  • You’ll have fun while you exercise
  • You might want to start competing

Rowing on the water for sport is amazing, but it’s not for everyone. If you prefer using a machine, you’ll still reap the most important fitness benefits. However, you can also use virtual reality technology like Holofit to create a more immersive experience. As long as your rower is Bluetooth-enabled, you can connect it and the headset will track your back-and-forth movement to synchronize your avatar with your actual movements.

How does rowing work for everyone?

Rowing can be adjusted for just about any fitness level, and you can increase the intensity as needed. For example, if you have a rowing machine at home, it probably has a resistance setting from 1-10, with 10 being the highest level of resistance.

Beginners usually start with resistance set between 3-5, so if you need to start lower, you can. However, rowing is designed to be a cardiovascular workout, and just because you can increase the resistance doesn’t mean you should. Higher resistance turns rowing into a strength exercise rather than cardio.

As a beginner, you can start rowing as intensely as you can handle. How fast and long you row will depend entirely on your endurance level. As you continue rowing, your endurance will strengthen, and you’ll be able to row more intensely and for longer periods of time. It’s excellent training if you’re not already in shape.

Start rowing for an amazing cardio workout

If you’re looking for ideas to up your cardio game and running isn’t your thing, try rowing. Whether you use a boat or a machine, you’ll enjoy a workout that increases your strength and adds a little fun to your day.