Rowing is such an amazing workout. It engages and tones your entire body, while ramping up your endurance and stamina. It’s a low impact workout that gets your heart rate up and torches lots of calories. The rowing machine can be intimidating at first glance, but it’s one of the easiest tools for beginners to get the hang of. Read on for tips on proper form and rowing machine workouts for weight loss to reap all the amazing benefits this piece of fitness equipment has to offer.
4 Benefits of Rowing Machine Workouts
1. Low Impact
Rowing is a low impact workout that burns major calories without putting stress on your joints. You’re in full control of the movement and pace, and it’s ideal for people of all fitness levels. You also have a lower injury risk on a rowing machine because it’s low impact. You can work at a high intensity without wear and tear on your joints, in comparison to workouts like sprinting and plyometrics that are hard on the body.
2. Full Body Workout
With rowing machine workouts, your whole body is involved. It’s a common misconception that rowing machines only work your arms, but in fact, the rowing stroke uses 65 to 75 percent leg work and 25 to 35 percent upper body work. A rowing machine workout uses 86% of the muscles in your body, targeting your upper back, pecs, arms, abs and obliques, as well as your quads, calves and glutes.
3. Improves Aerobic Fitness
Rowing offers a killer aerobic workout. Rowing regularly increases your stamina and endurance and improves your cardiovascular health. Since it’s such an intense workout, it strengthens your heart and lungs, helping the cardiovascular system transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
4. Helps with Posture
Rowing machine workouts primarily engage your legs, core and back, making them super beneficial for your posture. The rowing machine is a great tool to use to engage the exterior chain – the backside of your body, which is important for balancing muscle strength, reducing injury and correcting bad posture.
4 Rowing Machine Workout Tips
1. Drive with Your Legs, Don’t Pull with Your Arms
While it may look like rowers are using their arms more than their legs, rowing mostly engages your legs. Your legs are much stronger than your arms and they should be doing the majority of the work. Don’t pull with your arms – keep your elbows straight as you drive your legs. It’s a great workout for your quads and glutes, so get ready to feel the burn!
2. Engage Your Core
It’s important to keep your core engaged throughout the entire rowing stroke. Don’t shoot your bum back first. The angle of your back shouldn’t change as you drive with your legs and the handle should be in sync with your seat for the first leg drive portion of the stroke.
3. Keep Your Elbows Relaxed and Shoulders Down
Keep your elbows relaxed instead of lifting them up at your sides. Don’t tuck them in, keep them at a relaxed, natural angle. As for your shoulders, don’t shrug them up into your ears as you drive back in the stroke. Pull your shoulder blades together behind you.
4. Sit Up Straight
You should be sitting up straight at all times during rowing machine workouts. Hinge at the hips, lift your chest and maintain good posture. Don’t let your lower back or shoulders collapse – be relaxed, while maintaining good posture.
6 Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss
FIT | Rowing Machine Workout & Proper Form: How to Row | Sarah Fit
This is a great video to start out with if you’re a beginner and want to learn proper form. She enlists a world champion rower to teach you exactly how to row properly so you don’t end up with any strains or injuries. You’ll then learn a workout you can do to strengthen and tone your entire body.
Fat Loss Rowing Workout Great for Beginners to Advanced | Sunny Health and Fitness
No matter your fitness/rowing level, this workout shows you how to burn fat using your at-home rowing machine. In just 15 minutes, you’re sure to feel the burn and torch lots of calories. She takes you through multiple intervals as well as recoveries for a HIIT workout that increases your cardio capacity.
15-Minute Rowing Workout | Vive Health
This 15-minute rowing workout targets your entire body from your legs to your arms, core and back. She offers great tips for beginners to ensure you get the proper form and reap all the benefits from rowing properly.
Go Row Indoor 20-Minute Workout #1- The Interval Workout | British Rowing
This rowing machine workout will help you tone up and get fit fast! The instructor shows you how to set up your machine properly and secure your feet for a great workout. She takes you through a 4-minute warm up and then moves into an interval rowing workout that’s sure to challenge you!
10 Min Rowing Machine Drills for Beginners | Sunny Health and Fitness
Follow along with this tutorial as she takes you through 10 minutes of drill training on the rower. This routine is great for beginners or anyone who wants to break down their stroke and improve their form. It contains an arms only drill, legs only drill and power drive and is a great foundation for high intensity rowing workouts.
30-Minute Fat-Burning Row Workout | Health Magazine
With this awesome workout, you get a 30-minute sweat session on and off the rower. She starts off by demonstrating how to set yourself up and shows you the correct rowing form. You’ll get a full body workout on the rower as well as off, with exercises like plank, squats and hand release push ups.
Ready to get toned using the rowing machine? These tips and workouts will have you feeling and looking great!