The rowing machine has quickly grown in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.
Not only does rowing offer a full-body workout, but it also burns tons of calories, it can be just as effective as running or cycling without all the impact on your joints and back!
So what do you get from using the rowing machine? Here are just some of the amazing body changes you can expect to see after regularly working out with this piece of equipment.
How will rowing change my body?
Rowing will give you a nice cardiovascular workout. Your upper and lower body works together to power each stroke and move you down the track.
While rowing your muscles are forced to work harder than they normally would against gravity, which can help to tone muscles.
Rowing on a rowing machine gives you a full-body workout that has been shown time and time again to be an effective exercise for building strength and endurance in both men and women.
Here's how your body will change:
Your body will become more efficient
Whole-body exercise not only benefits the muscles in your arms, legs, core, and back, but also the heart and blood vessels.
Unlike running or cycling, rowing not only trains muscles in your upper and lower body from the very first stroke but also strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular exercise tests the heart and forces it to work harder; as a result, the cardiovascular system becomes stronger and more able to react to other stressful conditions.
This will make your whole body more efficient at performing exercise and tasks. Many activities will start to feel easier after regularly performing rowing.
Tone your body all over
Rowing on a machine helps tone every part of your body, including your arms, abs, back, and legs. You can choose how low or high you place your hands to target different muscles in your upper and lower torso.
When you exercise all muscle groups regularly, you'll start seeing a better shape and less fat all around. This is also great for minimizing the risk of muscle imbalances which can lead to injuries.
The term 'metabolism' is a holistic name given to all the biological and physiological processes that happen in the body naturally. All these processes require some calories every day.
This means that if your metabolism is working properly, you'll be losing a hefty amount of calories every single day without you performing any strenuous exercise.
However, rowing boosts your metabolism which means that you can expect to burn more calories between your workouts.
This is great for both your energy levels and weight loss.
You'll feel happier
This doesn't seem like a typical benefit of working out, but think about it: When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make you feel good.
A study from Primary care Companion found that people who exercised, particularly outdoors, felt better than those who didn't.
Another study found that people reported feeling happier and less stressed after just 20 minutes of walking.
And another study showed that aerobic exercise helps relieve symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder. Need more reason to move more often?
Better sleep quality
Every athlete knows how crucial sleep is to muscle recovery. But did you know that spending just 20 minutes on a rowing machine can help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep overall?
The simple act of pulling your arms back and forth in sync with your legs can make you feel more relaxed and help lower stress levels, making it easier for you to nod off at night.
Plus, a good night’s rest can help stave off weight gain by helping keep insulin levels balanced throughout the day.
Lower blood pressure
One of my favorite rowing-machine features is its ability to lower blood pressure.
A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that using the rowing machine regularly improved blood pressure and heart function in healthy, untrained adults.
Additionally, a 2019 study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for as little as six minutes can help improve artery function, too.
That may sound like a short amount of time, but you can do a lot with those six minutes when it comes to improving your health.
Reduces stress levels
Exercise reduces stress levels because it provides a distraction from everyday problems. Exercising also releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which promote an overall sense of well-being.
Some studies show that endorphins are similar to those experienced during extreme pain or drug abuse but without such damaging side effects.
Rowing on a machine can be especially effective at reducing stress because of its constant, rhythmical motion and low impact on joints.
It also encourages full-body involvement and is easy on joints and muscles. In addition to reducing stress, exercise promotes more positive attitudes toward life and increased energy levels, both of which contribute to general feelings of well-being.
Features to look out for when purchasing your rowing machine
Rowing can dramatically improve your body strength, endurance, and tone. As you use your machine, be on looking out for these features:
Seat Adjustment: You’ll want to find a seat that is properly cushioned but also has a proper range of height adjustment so that you are comfortable throughout all of your workouts.
Heart Rate Monitor: Ideally you want a heart rate monitor system in place, but oftentimes those machines come with additional bells and whistles that might not be useful to everyone. Some machines include these monitors along with built-in televisions, GPS systems, and Internet connectivity.
Comfort Belt: The comfort belt of your machine should allow you to stay positioned comfortably as well as should give you an option to fold down if storage is needed. Here's a great option that's highly rated on Amazon. You should also try a water rower which provides more resistance. Here’s a water rower on Amazon that has more than 100 positive reviews.
Everyone responds differently to exercise, and individual results also depend on how much effort you put into your training and diet.
That said, one of the biggest advantages of rowing is that it targets almost your full body which generates a great pile of other advantages.
For example, as you may have seen in the article, rowing regularly can boost your metabolism, lower blood pressure, stress and depression as well as improve your quality of sleep which brings out more benefits to your health.
The rowing machine causes a variety of changes to your body - all of which are positive. Feel free to try rowing at the gym or home!