Yesterday I switched things up for my regular aerobic workout and did my cardio on the rowing machine. Whew…I forgot what a great whole-body workout you can get on a rowing machine.

If you’re one to always head to the treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine - I’d encourage you to check out the benefits of adding even a few minutes of rowing to your aerobic workout program and here’s why:

1. Rowing is definitely a whole-body exercise - your upper body, core and back strength is a huge part of the workout.

2. Rowing can help improve your coordination, sense of rhythm/pacing, and body awareness.

3. You can easily vary the intensity of your workouts
Work harder by: Increasing your speed & rowing faster. Or,
pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms with more power and intensity.

4. Rowing can help balance the strength of the front and back of the thighs to keep your knees safe and injury free. The glutes and quadriceps muscles assist in straightening the legs, the hamstrings work to bend the knees and return to your start position.

5. In a less-than full weight-bearing position, rowing works the leg and hip joints in a full range of motion - which is beneficial for increasing joint range of motion and assisting with building bone density.

6. If you don’t like doing sit-ups, or a lot of weight training…. Rowing effectively targets strengthening your abdominals and back muscles. If you do enjoy ab work and weights - you can put your strong muscles to good use and use rowing as a cross-training fitness activity.

7. Rowing is fantastic for developing strong core muscles. If you do Pilates training, or other targeted core activities - rowing is a great additional workout activity to apply what you’ve been discovering about your body.

8. If you don’t want to do a full 20-60 minutes of cardio on the rower… Row for 5 minutes as an excellent warm-up for your workout.

If you’re not used to rowing - start with 5-10 minutes and progress to a full-length cardio workout. I like a good 25-40 minutes of moderate paced rowing for a training session, or sometimes will alternate 5-10 minutes of rowing with other cardio or strength training activities for a great interval workout.

There are usually at least one or two rowing machines at every health club. (And chances are you won’t be waiting in line to get on one and start your workout!)

Incorporate rowing into your weekly, or monthly workout plan, and enjoy the great benefits this fitness activity has to offer.


Author's Bio: 

Aliesa George is the founder of Centerworks® Pilates. She is an author, workshop presenter, and mind-body health expert with more than 25 years of experience designing solutions for health improvement. Aliesa has created a wide variety of products focused on Pilates, Foot Fitness, the Mind-Body Connection, Stress-Management, and Whole-Body Health. She enjoys helping others discover the connection between thought and action to get positive results and achieve goals for a healthy mind, body and spirit!

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