Full Body Workout At Home: Why Rowing Gets It Done

Pete Donohoe

Want to get a full body workout at home, but crunched for time? Do you like the idea of hopping on one piece of exercise equipment, getting the job done, and then moving on with your day? Rowing might be exactly the right fit for you, and in this article we’ll explain why.

Full body workouts at home: Why they’ve become so popular

For many of us, our lives are busier than ever before. Notifications, activities, and increasing work and family obligations all squeeze time from our days… Setting aside a couple of hours a day to complete a full body workout simply isn’t an option for many people.

As a result, the last several years have seen a rise in activities designed to get a full body workout in a shortened period of time. Bootcamps, interval training classes, and other explosive activities have taken the fitness world by storm.

Two challenges come up with these popular workout solutions: They’re either high-impact and wear down our joints, or they actually aren’t really that effective of a full body workout. You also need to manage your rest and recovery carefully in high impact workout activities that have a lot of jumping or running because overuse can lead to chronic pain or even injury.

You don’t want to have to micromanage every tiny detail of your workouts; you’d just like to hop on and get started. That’s why you should take up rowing!

Full body workouts: Why rowing gets the job done

Stroke for stroke, rowing is one of the most effective and efficient workouts you can do. When done correctly, each stroke engages a majority of the muscles in your body. An added benefit of rowing is that it’s very low impact and safe; you’re seated for the duration of your workout and remain in a stable position at all times.

The rowing stroke takes a little time to learn and fully master, but here’s the good news: Once you have it down, you’ll use it for your entire workout, every workout. Rather than have to learn lots of different skills in order to participate in a sport, a good rowing stroke is all you need to participate in rowing the same way professional athletes and Olympians do.

As a refresher, the four parts of the rowing stroke are:

  • The finish – At the end of a stroke, your legs are fully extended and your handle is pulled to the point just below your sternum. You’re leaning back slightly in a 1 o’clock position, and your core is engaged.

  • The recovery – Let your arms be completely outstretched, hinge forward slightly from your hips to an 11 o’clock position, then bend your knees as your seat slides forward.

  • The catch – This is the point where your oars would catch the water if you were rowing on water. Keep your back engaged (not hunched), let your heels come up a tiny bit off the footbeds, and engage your core.

  • The drive – This part of the stroke creates the majority of your speed and power in rowing. Drive down through your heels, send your butt back by straightening your legs, and let your lower body do most of the work.

For more information on the rowing stroke, check out this article.

Get a full body workout with Hydrow

So why Hydrow instead of other indoor rowing machines? Rowing is efficient and effective, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun, inspiring, and engaging. Here’s a bit more about why Hydrow is a great all-in-one solution.

Live Outdoor Reality (LOR)™

Our lives are now flooded with technology, and many of us are not outdoors as often as we’d like to be. Hydrow takes advantage of the incredible natural environments often seen during water rowing and beams this experience directly into your home.

Hydrow’s Live Outdoor Reality™ feature brings the splendor of water rowing to life through world-class video production professionals. Enjoy multiple camera shots, or tune in for our Live Rows, held live every week from Tuesday through Saturday with calendar integrations available. 

World-class coaches

An instructor can make or break a class. At Hydrow, our Athletes are nationally ranked rowers and former Olympians with personality for days. Hop on and row in tandem with the Athlete of your choice for sessions ranging from five to 60 minutes; our Athletes coach you on technique and motivate you to stay engaged. They also share a story or two along the way! 

  • Dani recently led a row in Tempe, Arizona,

  • Aquil recently led a row in Boston, Massachusetts,

  • Nick recently led a row in New Orleans, Louisiana, and

  • Mac recently led a row in Miami, Florida.

Where will they be next? Hop on Hydrow to find out! 

A library of workouts on and off the rower

At Hydrow, we have over 2,000 workouts in our workout library. Search criteria make it easy to filter workouts by instructor, length, or workout type, and new workouts are released into the library each week.

To complement your rowing experience, Hydrow also has On The Mat workouts. These off-the-rower workouts are designed to give you cross-training options while still taking advantage of your Hydrow. The 22-inch touch screen tilts 25 degrees in either direction; simply roll out your mat next to your Hydrow and you’ll be set up for success.

On The Mat workouts options include:

  • Strength and mobility workouts with Peter, our strength & mobility specialist. Keep your body in tip-top shape with this strength work that will keep you long and strong.

  • Yoga workouts with Channing and Owen. Yoga at Hydrow is divided into three categories: Flow, Align, and Restore. Opt for something more movement-based and sweaty, or choose a Restore class to chill out and give your nervous system a much-deserved break.

  • Pilates workouts with Christie, our Pilates instructor. Get ready to quiver! Pilates contrasts rowing perfectly with strength movements and isolation exercises that target all the tiny little stabilizer muscles that help you stay long and strong.

Community and accountability

Rowing is about community; it is called crew, after all! Hydrow has a wealth of interactive features to help you connect with other users and stay inspired. 

The leaderboard feature tracks how fast you’re moving compared to other users who are participating or have participated in the same workout; the feature can be toggled on or off at any time during your row. Social features on Hydrow let you follow other users and cheer them on as they post their completed rows! And the teams feature lets you form teams with other users and complete against other teams each week.

Hydrow also hosts a private Facebook group for members. Connect with fellow Hydrow users, ask questions, and –– most importantly –– jump up and down about those milestones along the way.

----- A full body workout at home doesn’t have to take forever. In fact, when you take up an activity like rowing, every single stroke is making both your upper and lower body that much stronger. Learn more about Hydrow here and we’ll see you on the water!