November 28, 2018

5 Incredible Benefits of Rowing Workouts


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The Fur

I love rowing – and that’s that.

My WaterRower rowing machine was undoubtedly one of the best things I bought myself this year.

Anyways, I am not just writing this to write it, I really do love rowing. Ask Kenzo + Vík what I am doing for an hour everyday 3-4 times a week – the answer is rowing. It’s always rowing.

Rowing is a type of exercise that has been gaining popularity over the years. Using a rowing machine for a workout can give you an effective low-impact full-body workout.

I used to be a huge runner. I’ve ran a couple dozen 5k runs around the Milwaukee area and I ran the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon a few years ago. I had to take a break from running because I developed Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and tore a ligament in my right knee. Since running was really hard on my body, so I decided to copy the Underwoods from House of Cards and bought myself a WaterRower.

After just a month of adding rowing to my workout I have experienced so many positive changes to my body. I am way less stressed, I am sleeping better, and I feel (and look) so much stronger. My arms & legs used to be SO darn incredibly sore after all of my ice hockey games, but not anymore! BONUS! Not only are my arms and back are stronger, but I can see my abs starting to come in!

I row 3-4 times a week for 45-90 minutes. When I first added rowing to my workout routine I did 15 minutes and then some other HIIT and then 15 more minutes. I did this for a couple of weeks and then as my endurance and strength increased I added on more time and higher meter goals.

If you are a rower (at home, in the gym, or on the water), you know that rowing can change your life. While the benefits of adding rowing to your workout routine are numerous, here are my top 5!

Thank you Sara of Real Balanced, for taking these beautiful photos of me! I told her this already, but these just might be the best portraits of me – I am seriously so happy to have me rowing documented. I also love that Vík (per usual) came into watch the water swirling around. Thank you to Runner’s World for the information on PFPS.

water rowing benefits

5 Reasons to Add Rowing to Your Workout Routine

1) Low Impact

It is easier on your joints and knees as this is a low impact workout. Since you are sitting down while rowing, there is no weight bearing down on your lower body, unlike running.

2) Full Body Workout

This workout is great for both your upper body and lower body. You are using your arms, legs, and core. Bonus! It burns calories quickly! Using a rowing machine for your workout can burn on average 600 calories per hour. This is more than biking, walking, or even using an at home gym machine. The more calories you burn, the more weight you should be able to lose.

3) Aerobic Exercise

Rowing uses many of your major muscle groups which increases your heart rate. This, in turn, makes rowing a great cardio workout. Many rowers have adjustable resistance so you are able to customize your workout and hit your target heart rate.

4) Say Bye to Stress 

Probably one of my ultimate favorite benefits of rowing is that is severely decreases my stress levels! Rowing can boost your brain’s serotonin levels which make you calmer and more relaxed. I don’t run from my problems, I row from them. 😉 Bonus! I sleep better on the days when I was able to get a solid workout in.

5) No Learning Curve

There’s very little barrier to entry when it comes to rowing; you do not need any special skills to do it or experience. The only prerequisite you may want to have is familiarizing yourself with the proper rowing form.

Here’s the youtube video I watched when I first bought my Waterrower.

If you’re looking for a new workout routine I definitely suggest adding rowing.

Related: Stuck at your desk? I wrote a blog post for workouts you can do at your desk. 

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