Up until recently, rowing machines were among the least used machines in gyms around the world. There were no group rowing classes, gym-goers would quickly get bored using rowing machines, and we’ve been living in the world of group spinning classes. 

However, somewhere along the way, we’ve seen the interest in these machines increase, with the offer being diversified, new types of equipment and software appearing, and even the opening of indoor rowing only boutique clubs. 

Why? Because they are simply so darn good, especially when compared to other popular cardio fitness machines. 

Now, this isn’t to say that the ole’ bike or elliptical isn’t good, but rowing machines could be considered more efficient when it comes to meeting your fitness goals. 

In fact, indoor rowing machines come with their own special set of benefits. Let’s see what those are. 

It’s a full-body workout

While many may think that rowing activates arms only, that’s far from the truth.

Did you know that rowing machines activate up to 86% of your body muscles?

Yep, incredible! As you row, you’re working your upper back and shoulders, your chest, your arms, your core, as well as your legs, quadriceps, glutes, and calves. 

The fact that you work out such a big part of your body is exactly why some might call the rowing machine the most efficient cardio fitness machine.

It’s strength and cardio in one

Because it activates so many of your muscles, it’s somewhat logical that indoor rowing is strength and cardio training in one. Oh, the efficiency! 

When you think about it, it’s like running and lifting combines. Your cardiovascular health improves significantly, while you increase the strength of your arm, shoulder, and leg muscles, too. 

It’s very low impact, minimizing injury risks

Compared to other cardio fitness machines, the risk of injuries is minimized on the rowing machine due to its low impact on your joints. 

When running on the treadmill, you’re putting a real strain on your ankles which easily results in various types of injuries. An indoor rowing machine, similar to ellipticals, puts little to no strain on your joints while activating the majority of your body’s muscles at the same time. 

In fact, rowing is frequently recommended to people with early stages of osteoarthritis since studies proved that it helps improve joint rotations

It’s great for burning lots of calories

An activity that relies on so many of your muscles has to be great for calorie burn, too. 

Depending on the workout plans you incorporate into your routine, as well as your current level of fitness, you can burn up to 400 in as little as 30 minutes. 

It offers versatile workout programs

When talking about workout plans and programs, it’s important to note that rowing machines are very versatile: beginners and professionals alike can use them for their workouts, and you can use various training strategies on it to achieve different fitness goals. 

A rowing machine constantly provides a challenging workout for you, no matter the fitness level. In addition, you can use it with different strategies, such as HIIT or endurance training. 

HIIT on the rower offers great results fast which is why you’re seeing these HIIT group classes on rowing machines pop up. And should you wish to increase your endurance, a steady-state workout on the rowing machine will help you achieve this. 

It helps significantly improve your health

Indoor rowing will help you improve both your mental and physical health. 

Exercise is a great stress release, and when you get down to business and start rowing, the smooth motion that you repeat helps you space out and your brain relaxes. 

Now, although rowing is also strength training, it significantly improves your cardiovascular health, namely your heart, blood vessels, and blood. 


Indoor rowing machines are the most efficient of all cardio fitness machines

Cardio and strength training in one makes for one of the most efficient cardio fitness machines that can help you achieve your fitness goals whatever they may be. 

What’s your fitness goal? Devise a suitable training plan, and you’ll be on a fast track to achieve it with your indoor rowing machine. Of course, if you’re just starting out, make sure to find an appropriate plan for beginners instead of over-working your body. 

Finally, one of the most important factors for successful indoor rowing is having the correct rowing form. 

If you’re just starting out, or if you want to check yours, make sure to download our free Indoor Rowing Form checklist