Rowing Machine Benefits: 15 Reasons Why Rowing Should Be Your Next Workout

Peter Donohoe
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Rowing workouts bring big benefits for overall health and wellness to users who make them a part of their routine. An indoor rowing machine can be an excellent investment if you’ve been looking for exercise equipment to achieve your fitness goals.

Read on to explore the 15 benefits that regular rowing machine use can bring, including: 

  1. Indoor rowing is a low-impact workout

  2. Rowing exercise is a full-body workout

  3. Indoor rowing machines are great for home gyms

  4. Rowing machine workouts can positively affect mental health 

  5. Rowing machines are accessible pieces of gear

  6. Rowing machines are good for cross-training

  7. Rowing can help improve your posture

  8. Rowing is an efficient workout

  9. Indoor rowing can improve your endurance

  10. Rowing exercises improve mind-body connection

  11. Indoor rowing works for HIIT training

  12. Rowing machines cover the four types of exercise

  13. Rowing exercises may improve your sleep

  14. Rowing exercises are great for burning fat

  15. Rowing exercises can improve overall mood

Let’s get started!

1. Indoor rowing is a low-impact workout

Many rowing machine users prefer rowing machines over other exercise equipment because a rowing workout is so low impact. 

Compared to other exercises, such as a cardio workout on a treadmill, rowing exercise puts much less stress on the joints. This makes them a great exercise for individuals with joint issues, such as seniors or athletes recovering from injuries. 

2. Rowing exercise is a full-body workout

People also love rowing machines because they engage the entire body during each workout.  

When a person is using a rowing machine, they are working 86% of the muscles groups in the body at once. This makes an indoor rowing machine an excellent choice to target more than one major muscle group while exercising. 

3. Indoor rowing machines are great for home gyms

Rowing machines are also well-loved because they are easy to use in the home. 

As rowing machines continue to surge in popularity, more and more users are beginning to invest in them for their home gyms. They're a great choice because rowing machines tend to be smaller than other cardio machine equipment. 

Plus, many indoor rowing machines today — like the Hydrow and Hydrow Wave — have vertical storage options to further minimize their size between uses. 

4. Rowing machine workouts can positively affect mental health 

There are a number of benefits exercise can bring to mental health. Studies show that regular exercise can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress levels. With frequent use, indoor rowing machine exercise can give users improvements in their physical and mental health. 

5. Rowing machines are accessible pieces of gear

Indoor rowing machines also bring the benefit of being more accessible than other pieces of workout gear. 

As mentioned above, rowing machines are low-impact while targeting most of our muscle groups. No matter your current fitness level, a rowing machine is a great place to start any fitness journey without worrying about a machine having too high an impact on the body.

6. Rowing machines are good for cross-training 

If you have an existing cross-training workout routine, a rowing machine is easy to incorporate. 

This is because of a rowing machine's reduced risk of injury. As a low-impact machine, they make a great exercise for recovery days when users try not to strain or overwork their muscles. 

Learn more here in our Hydrow for cross-training guide.

7. Rowing can help improve your posture

Rowing machines are also good for users looking to improve their posture. When using proper rowing techniques, users must engage their core, building core strength and improving posture over time. 

8. Rowing is an efficient workout

Rowing machines are super efficient, perfect for users looking to get a lot out of a single workout on a single machine. 

As we've touched on above, rowing machines are a great physical activity for engaging in a full-body workout. They're also a great workout to burn more calories in less time. 

Compared to other forms of cardio exercise, like running on a treadmill, rowing is a more efficient way to burn many calories.

9. Indoor rowing can improve your endurance

The full-body nature of a rowing machine is perfect for working on overall fitness and endurance. 

Users will engage many of their major muscles when rowing, improving lung and heart health through cardiovascular exercise. Over time, users should see improvements in their overall physical health and endurance level.

10. Rowing exercises improve the body-mind connection

With every rowing stroke you take on an indoor rower, you are working to build the connection between body and mind.

By their very nature, a rowing exercise is rhythmic and repetitive. It is the kind of workout that relies on good form, an awareness of the body, and getting into the right mental headspace, connecting the body and mind. Hydrow users refer to this flow state as the “Hydrow High.”

11. Indoor rowing works for HIIT training

Rowing machines also make a great gear choice for high-intensity interval training  HIIT) workouts. 

This popular workout style involves performing intervals of intense exercise. Rowing machines are great to incorporate, as users can engage in high-intensity workouts with equipment that puts less strain on the body than others. 

Learn more here, in our HIIT rowing workout guide

12. Rowing machines cover the four types of exercise

Harvard Medical School has defined exercise as falling into four major categories: aerobic exercise, balance, strength training, and flexibility. The great thing about rowing machines is that they speak to all four categories.

Rowing is an aerobic workout that will get the heart pumping, all while engaging muscles to build strength. Plus, rowing strokes require us to work on our flexibility and balance through stretching and repetitive motion. Talk about a comprehensive workout! 

13. Rowing exercises may improve your sleep 

People who use rowing machines may also see improvements in their sleep. 

According to John Hopkins, there is evidence that exercise can help people fall asleep more quickly and improve sleep overall. If sleep is an area of struggle for you, regular rowing machine exercise could positively change your life.

14. Rowing exercises are great for burning fat 

Those looking to exercise on a rowing machine to burn fat will find that these exercises can help keep them on the right track.

The way rowing machines engage users in a nearly full-body workout, plus their cardiovascular benefits and high-calorie burning rate, can help you burn fat faster than other fitness equipment. 

15. Rowing exercises can improve overall mood 

Improving overall mood can be made easier with regular rowing machine exercise.

Research shows us that exercise helps to trigger the release of endorphins, the chemicals that reduce stress and improve our mood. If you’re looking for a mood boost, regular exercise can greatly encourage the endorphin release you need.

Looking to invest in a rowing machine?

If you’re looking to mix up your fitness journey with an at-home rowing machine, be sure to check out Hydrow. Our state-of-the-art rowing machines and extensive library of workouts are the perfect way to start rowing and stay motivated along the way. Learn more at Hydrow.com

Peter Donohoe

Peter is our head strength and movement specialist. As an Olympian, conditioning coach, and corrective exercise specialist, Peter’s methodology continues to influence the movement of athletes from many sports. Join Peter for On the Mat workouts and benefit from increased mobility and enhanced performance.