benefits rowing muscle groups

Benefits Of Rowing

Whether you already row or are considering rowing to keep in shape, lose weight, cross-train for another sport, compete on the water or rehabilitate from injury or surgery, rowing is the complete exercise for you.

Your whole body gets a complete workout from the efficient, rhythmic motion of rowing—arms, legs, chest, back, abs, even your mind. Rowing is such a great exercise in so many different ways.

  • Low-impact (easy on the knees and ankles)
  • High calorie burner (because it uses so many muscle groups)
  • Great for joint health (joints move through a wide range of motion)
  • Upper body (completes the stroke)
  • Lower body (the legs initiate the drive)
  • Works the back and abs too!
  • Superb aerobic fitness (great for cardiovascular fitness)
  • Relieves Stress (for overall health and well-being)

This is different frombenefits rowing muscle groups the rowing you may have done as a kid in a rowboat. The difference lies in the sliding seat. Your legs compress and extend with every stroke—in addition to the more obvious work being done by the back and arms.

Legs: You begin each stroke with your legs compressed and your shins vertical. You initiate the drive with the powerful muscles of your legs, and finish with your legs fully extended. Rowing promotes both strength and flexibility through this wide range of leg motion.

Arms: At the catch, your arms are outstretched; at the finish of the stroke, they have pulled the handle into your abdomen. As with the legs, this range of motion promotes both strength and flexibility.

Core: chest, back, abs: At the start of the stroke, the power of the legs is connected to the handle by means of the arms and the core muscles of the body. Then the back is more fully involved as it swings open through the middle of the stroke. Finally, the body is stabilized at the finish by the abdominal muscles. For a detailed description of the muscle groups use in rowing, see Muscles Used.

Your Mind: Customers tell us that the rhythmic nature of rowing helps clear the head and ease the stress of the day. Or you may be the kind of person who is fascinated by the data produced by the Performance Monitor. If motivation is what you need, you will find it in our Online Challenges, Million Meter Club, and Online Ranking. We think you’ll also find peace of mind in the improvements you make to your health and fitness.

Rowing is a total-body sport which builds both cardiovascular endurance and strength through repetitive resistance training. Few other sports can provide the total body benefit that rowing does. Rowers create their own resistance on the machine, and your class will be as intense as you want it to be. Anyone can do it! You row at your own pressure/resistance. Our instructors will make sure that you are on pace with the group, and will take you through various workouts. A basic 45 minute workout includes a warm-up, a few drills for technique, the “body” of the work (i.e. intervals, short races, or pyramids), and a cool down.


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