Health Benefits Of Rowing Exercise For Women & Seniors

Apart from admiring the athletic bodies of Olympic rowers, ever wondered what other benefits you stand a chance to get when you engage in rowing workouts? Did I hear a “Yes”? Ok. Then here are the Health benefits of rowing exercise.

You need not worry about getting a boat and then finding a river before you engage in rowing. The Rowing machine also known as the “Ergometer” or “Erg” for short, can bring the benefits of rowing in the Thames river right into your home. Is that not awesome? I can keep talking all day about how amazing the Erg is but let’s move to why we are here, the health benefits you gain when you “row, row and row your boat”.

Health Benefits Of Rowing Exercise

Full body workout

The rowing machine has been commonly assumed to work only the upper body. That is wrong on many levels as the America Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA) said that rowing engages 65 to 75 percent lower body muscles and 25 to 35 percent upper body muscles. That is a great number of body muscles right?

Using the Ergometer is sure to strengthen the core, upper back, arms, and pectoral muscles of your upper body. And for your lower body, the rowing machine is known to work the glutes, quadriceps, and calves to give you the toned leg you’ve always wanted—even making your butt look firmer and peachier. Who doesn’t like that? If you would like to know more about getting bigger butts with exercise, click here.

Even though the rowing machine can’t make you look so muscly like the incredible Hulk or Dwayne Johnson, the machine is sure to give you an overall toned body muscle, making you look fit and in shape.

You can say the rowing machine builds muscle and burns body fat (more to come on this later) at the same time.

Cardio and strength

The ergometer does not only strengthen the body as many people assume. It offers both strengthening and aerobic exercises at the same time. Awesome right?

The ergometer’s ability to deliver cardiovascular exercise improves the lungs’ capacity to hold more air and makes the heart pump blood faster—increasing the heart strength in the process. This is good for those at risk of heart problems. Improved lung capacity also increases endurance making you do other high-intensity activities without getting tired fast.


The rhythmic and repetitive movement of using the ergometer has been known to have a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and body—especially when listening to complimentary relaxing music or just nature sounds while working out. You can choose not to listen to anything at all, whatever works for you.

Most users of the Ergometer have reported getting into the zone while using it. The zone is a trance like state where your mind is on autopilot giving you that refreshing and relaxing feeling.

I like to listen to the sounds of water while using the Erg, I would then close my eyes (and imagine I‘m in a river), and keep rowing. In no time, I’m in the zone while still subconsciously rowing. Ugh! (Breathes out deeply) Good memories. Ok, let’s continue.

Good for everybody

The rowing machine can be used by anyone of any fitness level, women, seniors, and fitness pros. If you are a beginner and you have access to a rowing machine, you can row your way to fitness. If on the other hand, you are a pro, there is still a lot to benefit from rowing.

In fact, the ergs can be used by those who are visually impaired or blind. In a study, a group of visually impaired individuals was found to have reduced body fat after rowing 5 times a week for 6 weeks. Asides reduction in body fat, there was also a reduction in their cholesterol level and there was an improvement in their body posture too.

Low impact

The rowing machine generally has a low impact on joints as it does not involve jumping or hitting your legs against a surface.

This makes the rowing machine usable by those rehabilitating from injuries, seniors, and those in the early stage of osteoarthritis. It burns body fat and builds muscles without heavy impact on the joints. Something a treadmill can’t do, duh!

Great calorie burner

According to research by Harvard Health, using an ergometer makes a 125-pound person burn 255 calories in 30 minutes of a vigorous rowing workout, a 155-pound person would burn 316 calories, and a 185-pound person would burn 377.

Although these numbers might be a tad bit smaller than the calories burnt when you use the elliptical, using the rowing machine is also promised to keep you in shape. The most important thing is to burn more calories than you are taking in.

Shedding calories would help you lose belly fat and in fact the overall body fat. Belly fat might be a stubborn fat to get rid of though, but you can check this article to see effective ways to get rid of belly fat and this for getting rid of love handles.

Elevates happiness levels


As the rowing machine provides aerobic exercise (or cardio if you prefer), it has been linked to the elevated mood in users. That means you can spend the whole day smiling after a session of rowing in the morning, not literally though.

We all know that aerobic exercises trigger the release of the feel-good hormone (endorphin) in our body which in turn makes us feel good—as the name suggests—after working out.

Better posture

The stroking movement involved with rowing straightens the spine and aligns it perfectly increasing the overall body posture. However, for you to benefit from this you have to do the rowing right.

Need I tell you that it has been scientifically proven that people with good posture are perceived as being sexier. Ooooh! Sexier!

Asides from the Health benefits of rowing, here are other Advantages

Good for home gym

The rowing machine is the perfect machine for your home gym as it can be properly folded and stored under your bed (or in your wardrobe) taking less space—even better for people with tiny room and little space to spare.

Besides, depending on the type of rowing machine you get, it can make almost no noise like other pieces of equipment can in the same category. So, if people are living directly below you that makes it the best option for you as no neighbor would be complaining of annoying noise.

The rowing machine delivers both cardio and upper and lower body strengthening eliminating the need for other pieces of gym equipment.

Having the rowing machine in your home would ensure you never miss a day of workout.

Pocket friendly

The rowing machine is less expensive when compared to other gym equipment in the same category with it making it burn fewer holes in your pocket.

And that’s that for that.

To know how to row properly, keep reading.

How to Properly Row

The posture you assume while using the rowing machine would entirely depend on the type of rowing machine you are using, some manufacturers give instructions on how to properly use the device when you purchase one. Anyways, as a rule of thumb it is generally advised you do the following:

  • Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
  • Let your abs do the work during each stroke else your lower spine overcompensates for the weaker abdominal muscles leading to back pain.
  • Don’t push your legs and lean back at the same time. These are separate movements and should be treated as such. You should push your legs first then squeeze your abdominals to lean back.

You can check out this video for a visual guide on the proper way to row. Better still, you can read this article on Greatist to gain insights on the proper way to use a rowing machine.

Bottom line

Rowing is a great exercise we can all benefit from and thanks to the ergometer, you can enjoy the benefits of rowing right from the comfort of your home.

Rowing is a good cardio exercise that also builds muscle and shed body fat at the same time. This rowing machine is given less credit than it deserves. More and more people have started discovering the impact of rowing leading to an increase in use.

To get your own rowing machine now, you can check our top pick below.

>>>Top Rated Rowing Machines For Home Use

>>>Best Rowing Machines For Seniors

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