The Five Benefits of Rowing Machines for Seniors

Aquil Abdullah

Are you a senior looking for an effective exercise routine? Rowing machines may be the perfect solution for you. Indoor rowing machines can offer numerous health benefits for seniors, including improved cardiovascular health, increased muscular strength, reduced joint pain, increased flexibility, and improved overall health. With all of these advantages, it’s no wonder rowing machines are becoming increasingly popular among the older crowd. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the five primary benefits of rowing machines for seniors, including: 

  1. Rowing machines are low-impact

  2. Rowing can improve joint health

  3. Rowing can improve flexibility

  4. Rowing offers cardiovascular benefits

  5. Rowing can reduce your risk of injury and falls

Let’s dive in!

1. Rowing machines are low-impact

Rowing machines are an excellent low-impact exercise option for seniors because they don’t place excessive stress on the joints. As we age, joint pain and mobility issues can become more prevalent, making it important to find exercise alternatives that are gentle yet effective.

Rowing machines offer a smooth and fluid motion that is easy on the joints, allowing seniors to engage in cardiovascular exercise without exacerbating any existing joint pain. The rowing motion also helps improve mobility by targeting multiple muscle groups, including the legs, core, arms, and back. This full-body workout supports maintaining proper posture and alignment, which can be especially beneficial for those with postural issues or osteoporosis.

Additionally, rowing machines are adjustable, allowing seniors to modify the resistance level and intensity of their workouts. This flexibility allows individuals to gradually increase how challenging their workout is as they gain more rowing experience and build strength and endurance.

So, are rowing machines good for seniors? Overall, rowing machines are a safe and effective way for seniors to stay active and maintain their physical well-being without putting excessive strain on their bodies. 

2. Rowing can improve joint health

One of the primary benefits of using a rowing machine for seniors is improved joint health. As we age, our joints can become more susceptible to pain, stiffness, and arthritis. Traditional forms of exercise, such as running or high-impact aerobics, can put excessive strain on the joints, exacerbating these issues.

However, rowing machines offer a low-impact alternative that allows seniors to strengthen their muscles and improve their cardiovascular health without putting unnecessary stress on their joints. The smooth and fluid motion of rowing helps to increase blood flow to the joints, promoting joint lubrication and reducing inflammation. This can lead to improved joint mobility and a decrease in joint pain.

In addition, rowing targets multiple muscle groups, including the muscles surrounding the joints. This can help to stabilize and support the joints, reducing the risk of injury and further deterioration. By regularly using a rowing machine, seniors can maintain joint health and function, allowing them to stay active and independent for longer.

Furthermore, rowing is a weight-bearing exercise, which can be beneficial for maintaining bone density and preventing conditions like osteoporosis. By engaging in regular rowing workouts, seniors can strengthen their bones and reduce the risk of fractures.

Overall, rowing machines provide seniors with a safe and effective way to improve joint health, reduce pain, and maintain mobility. Incorporating rowing into a regular exercise routine can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life as they age.

3. Rowing can improve flexibility

For seniors, maintaining flexibility is crucial for overall health and mobility. The good news is that rowing machines can help improve flexibility as part of a regular exercise routine. When using a rowing machine, the movement improves joint range of motion, which helps to stretch and improve flexibility.

As seniors age, flexibility tends to decrease due to a variety of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle and the natural aging process. However, incorporating rowing into their exercise routine can help seniors combat this decline and improve flexibility.

The rowing motion targets various muscle groups, including the arms, legs, core, and back. These movements help to stretch and strengthen the muscles, which in turn helps flexibility. By regularly engaging in rowing exercises, seniors can improve their range of motion, making everyday tasks and movements easier.

Not only does rowing improve flexibility, but it also helps to prevent muscle imbalances. As we age, certain muscles can become tight and others can become weak, leading to poor posture and limited range of motion. Rowing helps to address these imbalances by targeting and strengthening all major muscle groups.

By incorporating rowing into their fitness routine, older adults can enjoy the benefits of improving flexibility, joint range of motion, and better posture. This can enhance their overall quality of life and make everyday activities more enjoyable and manageable.

4. Rowing offers cardiovascular benefits

Regularly using a rowing machine can provide significant cardiovascular benefits for seniors. Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio or aerobic exercise, is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and circulatory system.

When seniors engage in rowing exercises, their heart rate increases and their blood vessels dilate, allowing for improved blood flow throughout the body. This increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, organs, and tissues, promoting overall cardiovascular health.

Rowing is a both a lower-body and upper-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups, including the legs, core, arms, and back. These large muscle groups require a substantial amount of energy, causing the heart to work harder to supply oxygen to these muscles. Over time, this can lead to increased cardiovascular endurance and a more efficient heart.

Furthermore, rowing is a low-impact exercise that can be performed at varying intensities. This allows seniors of varying fitness levels to gradually increase the challenge and duration of their workouts, effectively improving their cardiovascular fitness over time.

Regular rowing workouts can also help seniors manage their weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Engaging in this type of exercise can improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and enhance overall heart function.

By incorporating rowing into their fitness routine, older people can enjoy the numerous cardiovascular benefits it provides, including improved heart health, increased endurance, and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

5. Rowing can reduce your risk of injury and falls

Rowing machines not only provide seniors with a safe and effective exercise option, but they also help reduce the risk of injury and falls. As we age, the fear of falling becomes more prevalent, as falls can lead to serious injuries, fractures, and a loss of independence.

Rowing exercises can help seniors maintain their balance, stability, and coordination, which are essential for preventing falls. The rowing motion engages the core muscles, which includes the abdominals and lower back, crucial for maintaining a strong and stable center of gravity. By strengthening these muscles, seniors can improve their balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls.

Additionally, rowing targets the legs, which are important for maintaining strong and stable lower body strength. This can help seniors maintain their ability to walk and navigate their surroundings with confidence.

Rowing also helps to improve proprioception, which is the body's ability to sense its position in space. By regularly engaging in rowing exercises, seniors can enhance their proprioceptive awareness, reducing the likelihood of missteps or tripping.

Incorporating rowing into a fitness routine can also improve reaction time and coordination, both of which are vital for preventing falls. As seniors age, their reflexes may slow down, making them more prone to accidents. However, rowing exercises can help improve reaction time, allowing seniors to react quickly and avoid potential hazards.

By regularly using rowing machines, seniors can reduce the risk of injury and fall, maintaining their independence and quality of life. It's a proactive and engaging physical activity that helps seniors stay healthy, strong, and confident as they age.

Looking to invest in a rowing machine?

If you are interested in the many benefits that rowing can provide as you age, be sure to check out Hydrow’s rowing machines. When you start rowing with Hydrow, you can unlock improved fitness alongside motivation and instruction from our team of world-class Athletes. Not only does our extensive workout library include rowing workouts filmed on stunning waterways around the world, but you can also access other types of workouts such as yoga, Pilates, strength training, stretching, and more. 

Learn more about the best rowing machine for seniors today at

Aquil Abdullah

Don't let Aquil’s constant, beaming smile fool you – as an Olympian and four-time US National Team member, Aquil is a fierce competitor. An expert in motivating his crew, Aquil will have you giving your all, and thanking him for it.