You must have definitely heard of rowing, either as a means of transportation in ancient times or enjoyed as a sports spectator. But did you know that you can row at home as a form of a workout? Initially reserved for sportsmen and women, rowing has continued to grow in popularity as a form of working out over the years. Rowing machines are now a popular part of fitness equipment found in world renowned fitness centers, gyms, schools, and homes worldwide.
This article breaks down five benefits of rowing as part of your home workout routine.
It’s a full-body workout
Compared to other exercises such as running on the treadmill or cycling on an exercise bike, rowing works out both the upper and the lower body, engaging more than 85% of muscles. A rowing stroke uses most of the body’s muscles with minimum impact and is estimated by the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals Association) 25-35% upper body workout 65-75%.
It targets several muscles groups in the body including the arms, upper back, pecs, abdominal muscles, and obliques. It also strengthens the leg muscles that include glutes, calves, and quadriceps. Because rowing targets multiple muscles simultaneously, a full-body workout is more efficient because it builds muscle faster compared to exercises that target the upper or lower body in isolation.
Cardio and endurance training
Do you feel less energetic hence less efficient in performing most activities? If so, cardio has exercise has a way of revamping your physical and psychological component that can help improve your energy levels. Rowing machines, compared here, are good for cardio work out, and can therefore be incorporated into any exercise routine. They engage the entire body, thus keeping the heart rate elevated plus the lungs working hard. This in turn improves the body’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently.
Apart from increasing one’s activity level, cardio and endurance training have been shown to decrease anxiety, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and high blood pressure. They increase flexibility, immunity, glucose tolerance, and boosts one’s mood. Since rowing provides a good cardio workout, it is a great model for people looking to stay active as they grow older.
An attractive way to manage body-weight
Because it provides a full-body workout and simultaneously engages many muscle groups, rowing is good calories burner, making it one of the best ways to manage body weight is paired with a proper diet. When well done, rowing can help you born up to 50% more calories compared to other exercises. If you are looking to burn some body fat using rowing, there are several ways that can help you maximize results. These include:
- Sitting taller to keep the airways open and makes the rowing more effective
- Focusing on the legs thus working out more of the big muscles helps burn more calories
- Doing intervals of power strokes can help maximize calorie burning
It’s a low-impact exercise with high results
One of the biggest disadvantages of some form of exercises or using some workout machines is the possibility of incurring injury after repeated use. Rowing exercises the entire body without putting much stress on the joints. It has you sitting down, hence protects the joints from injury compared to most exercise machines. Furthermore, it is less likely to cause wear and tear of the joints over time. One is therefore less likely to be injured while rowing indoors because of the low impact associated with the exercise.
Its low impact also makes it an ideal exercise for everyone. Additionally, rowing is safe for people suffering pre-existing injuries or health conditions that could be worsened by high-impact exercises. It is also safe for people with poor vision or blindness.
Rowing machines are more affordable and convenient to own
Imagine having to own different training equipment for working out the upper and lower body in isolation. This would not only be strenuous if you have limited funds but also require that you have enough space to accommodate different machines. Since the rowing machine works the entire body, it eliminates the need to own several pieces of equipment, thus making exercising more affordable. Additionally, if you live in a tiny space, a rowing machine can be stored up after use and stored away. The machine is also quieter, making it good for those living in apartments or condos where it would be inappropriate to distract neighbours with noise.
In summary, rowing lets one reap different several benefits such as enjoying a full-body workout, cardio and endurance training, and weight loss. Additionally, it is a low impact exercise hence minimizes the occurrence of injury while working out.