Are you thinking about buying a new piece of exercise equipment? Maybe you’ve already made up your mind that you want to buy a rowing machine but aren’t sure which type to buy.
In this article, I will tell you all the incredible benefits that a water rower has to offer, why water rowing machines are the best piece of gym equipment since the treadmill, and one weird little fact that hardly anyone knows about these rowers.
Are you ready to hear some amazing facts? I’ve got the scoop for you right here, so sit down for a minute and let Kathleen lay it all on the line.
Pros and Cons of Water Rowing Machines
Did you see Kevin Spacey using a water rower in House of Cards? I was so happy to actually see someone on television using something other than weights or a treadmill! I was smiling and pulling right along with him as I sat on the sofa- I’m sure I looked like a goofball, but it was nice to see an indoor rowing machine for a change.
If that scene inspired you to get or use an indoor rowing machine, congrats! Rowing is so loaded with health benefits (read more on benefits of rowing as an exercise) it’s a wonder many people don’t know about it! Side Note: If space is tight check out our top folding water rowers
The Incredible Benefits of a Water Rowing Machine
There are so many reasons to choose a rowing machine over other types of exercise machines, and I’m listing them below:
- You get a high-intensity workout with low impact on your joints! This means even if you have back problems, wrist pain, or knee pain, rowing is a terrific way to reach your cardiovascular fitness levels without risking joint pain.
- Rowing burns major calories. Eat a balanced diet and do rowing workouts 20-30 minutes a day, and you’ll lose weight while you gain more muscle. Rowing burns more calories than most workouts.
- Water rowing machines are a popular choice (read more on the pros and cons of a rowing machine ) because not only does aerobic exercise release endorphins that make you feel happy, but the gentle sound of moving water in the tank also has a meditative, almost hypnotic effect that many people find relaxing. FYI: Read more on Water rowing machine vs Concept 2
- Unlike treadmills, indoor rowers work the upper body. If you want stronger arms, improved wrist muscles to prevent carpal tunnel, and an upper back to be proud of, you can get it from rowing.
- Want to build your lower body? Rowing will do that as well. In fact, your entire body composition will change as you build muscle and lose fat.
- Aside from offering a full-body workout, indoor rowing machines will also improve endurance and stamina. If you suffer from a lack of energy, rowing will help restore those energy levels while placing minimal stress on the joints.
- Want some killer abs? Rowing can help you get that 6-pack! You may think that only high-impact exercises like a kettlebell can do that, but in reality, using proper rowing form will work the leg muscles and your abs ( learn more on muscles used in rowing exercise )!
- If you’re thinking about getting a bigger booty, rowing can help there too! Now it won’t get you that eye-popping peach, you’ll need weights to get that, but if you’re happy with a tight, round butt, you can do that. Start by eating a healthy diet and rowing your buns off!
- I spend a great deal of time typing on a computer both for work and at home. I couldn’t help but notice how my hand and wrist muscles became weaker from typing, not stronger. Rowing has helped my wrists and hands regain some of their strength.
- Regular exercise from a rowing machine will improve your sleep quality, and I don’t know anyone who can’t benefit from that!
- Rowing will give you all the health benefits that exercise has to offer, including a reduced risk of stroke, improved heart health, lower risk of dementia, reduced risk of diabetes, and more.
Did I mention that rowing is also fun? Well, at least for me it is!
If you’ve used a rowing machine at your gym and you weren’t impressed, keep in mind that most gyms use inexpensive machines that get the job done (for budget options see my Topiom water rower article), but that’s about all you can say about them.
Check out the new smart rowers, such as the Ergatta Smart Row or even the LIT Method Strength Machine. You’ll find these kinds of water rowing machines (read more) are not only a fantastic workout but are lots of fun as well.
The Cons of a Water Rowing Machine
Well, I may be prejudiced, but I can’t really think of too many drawbacks when it comes to owning and using a water rower.
The only thing that comes to mind is that despite the long-term benefits, you will probably need to add or replace the water in the tank, and you might find that the tank builds up algae.
All of the water rowing companies I know will provide you with chlorine tablets that you drop into the tank of fresh water. (Don’t use distilled or filtered water- just use plain tap water from the sink. Tap water has anti-algae properties that will help prevent this problem.)
If you keep the water tank out of direct sunlight, you may only need to change the water or add a chlorine tablet every year or so, but that’s about the only drawback that I can think of.
What Muscles Does a Water Rowing Machine Work?
Heck, it might be faster for me to tell you which muscles a water rowing machine DOESN’T work! LOL.
Rowing works all the major muscle groups, including your legs (both front and back), your glutes, the calves, your core muscles, shoulders, upper and lower back, upper arms, forearms, hands, and wrists.
Rowing probably doesn’t work your face or your feet (learn more on feet out rowing ), but that’s about the only muscles it doesn’t work!
Can You Lose Belly Fat on a Water Rowing Machine?
While you can’t spot-reduce fat away, you can lose fat all over your body. Eventually, yes, your body will burn the fat on your belly, and if you’re lucky, it will burn away your spare tire first, not last!
If you want to burn calories like a furnace, then a water rowing machine is the perfect answer. You will lower your body weight, while you increase your muscles and endurance levels. If you are interested losing weight effectively be sure to check out our article on rowing but not losing weight for all our tips and tricks for beginners!
Who doesn’t want to look good naked?? A rowing machine is the fastest way to a better body, both inside and out. Side Note: You might also like to read – is a rowing machine good for weight loss
One Weird Little Fact about an Indoor Rowing Machine
Believe it or not, indoor rowing machines go way, way back! Yes, some can date themselves back to the 1980s, but rowing machines are much older than that!
The Final Takeaway
Are you bored with aerobic workouts that don’t seem to be getting you what you want from your exercise routine? Are you looking for cardio equipment that will make a difference in both your athletic performance and overall health? Or do you love rowing, but rowing a boat is impossible where you live? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, then you should check out a water rowing machine.
There’s no better way to improve heart function, lose weight, get a stronger core, and experience major weight loss in only 20-30 minutes a day than by working out on a rowing machine.
Oh yes, did I mention that you’ll look good naked? Yeah, I heard that line in a Kevin Spacey movie too!
Enjoy your rowing my friends!
Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.