Rowing is one of the most efficient cardio workouts you can do.
“Rowing is great for cardio because it allows for a full-body, low impact, mono-structural movement that can be sustained for long periods at a steady state cardio or for shorter, high intensity workouts and sprints,” says Ian Creighton, general manager at Brick New York and a CrossFit-level 2 trainer, told Men’s Health.
It’s a total-body workout that utilizes about 85 percent of the body’s musculature. “The rower is basically the horizontal version of the deadlift and uses similar muscles,” says Creighton. “On the drive the main focus is on the posterior chain—the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and spinal erectors are all being used. In the pull, the quads, forearms, biceps, and lats are used as well.”
Maybe best of all, rowing is a refreshing change to played-out cardio workouts that offer nothing but miles of plodding on the road or a treadmill.
So if you’re looking to add the rowing machine into your fitness regimen, you should see some great benefits (just be sure to avoid common rowing mistakes.) If you’ve added a rowing machine to your home gym, or started using it at the gym, you may be looking for some structure to help you train. (Looking for a new rowing machine? We rounded up 18 of the best.)
Downloading a rowing app is a great asset to help you. (Struggling with your form? Here are 9 tips to be a better rower.) They offer great workouts, community, and connections to amazing trainers that will take your fitness to the next level. We rounded up 5 of the best rowing apps to check out.
If you have an Apple watch, then you need to subscribe to Apple Fitness+. At $9.99 per month, or $79.99 per year, there are tons of options for workout classes. The service comes loaded with rowing classes led by top trainers. Rowing workouts have an optional Burn Bar that shows in real time how a your effort stacks up against anyone who has previously completed the same workout. While you can use it with any rower, Apple does have an exclusive deal with the Life Fitness Row HX Trainer.
The asensei app has rowing programs that are led by world-class instructors. It tracks your split times and stroke rates, while also analyzing your technique. At $12.50 a month, it’s an affordable and competitively priced app. Note, the app pairs with the Concept 2 rowing machine.