The seafaring types have been pushing the waves to grow muscles for years. However, one need not take to a body of water to get a rower's physique! Just hop on a rowing machine!
The physical and mental benefits of rowing for women are amazing. In fact it's hard to find a low-impact workout option that revs up intensity levels while building strength quite like a rowing session does.
Has your mind been roving to thoughts of rowing while feeling bored by the monotony of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals? Take a look at the five big benefits of rowing machines for women.
The Five Fat-Busting, Mind-Mending Benefits of Rowing Machines for Women
#1: Rowing Works the Whole Body
It's a long-held assumption that you have to hit the treadmill or elliptical to get in a workout that works the whole body. However, you'll actually use about 85 percent of the muscles in your body during a good rowing session.
That makes rowing a great "time-crunch workout" because you can engage multiple muscle groups without the need to hop from machine to machine if you're pinched for gym time!
Which parts of your body do you use when rowing? The muscles in your arms, legs, glutes, back, abs and core are all activated during rowing.
Yes, it's a bit like doing powerful crunches, leg lifts and arm curls all at the same time. One unexpected perk that many women experience after getting into rowing is that they see a significant improvement in posture.
It turns out that the upright positioning that's necessary as you pull up for each rep on the machine helps to undo some of the bad slouching and hunching habits most of us fall into as a result of sitting or standing for long periods of time in everyday life!
#2: It's Two Workout Types in One
Is it a day for cardio or strength-training? We sometimes feel like we have to choose between one or the other when factors like time, energy levels and motivation are in play.
However, rowing is amazing because you're really getting a two-for-one deal when you engage on a rowing machine. That's because rowing machines require you to use both cardio and strength-building techniques in order to execute your moves. We outline this exact benefit in our Hydrow rowing machine reviews, which is one that we highly recommend getting for your home gym.
The best part is that it all happens automatically in a very harmonious way where you're getting your heart pumping and working your muscles. No wonder you often feel on top of the world after hopping off a rowing machine!
#3: Rowing Is a Fat-Busting Working
For those looking for some calorie-burning and fat-busting power, rowing is hard to beat! Studies involving rowing show that people who use rowing machines regularly can expect decreases in fat mass with lower overall body-fat percentages.
That means that rowing could be a great choice if the goal is to use your exercise time as wisely as possible while aiming for a body transformation. In fact, a person can expect to burn between 255 and 377 calories for every 30 minutes spent on a stationary rowing machine using vigorous activity.
#4: Your Cardiovascular Health Can Benefit Greatly
The intensity of rowing is behind why this is such a heart-healthy workout. One thing you'll notice after you get in just a few reps on a rowing machine is that your heart is really pumping.
Your heart will be working hard to keep that blood moving through your body with every rep. As a result, regular rowing can help to strengthen your entire cardiovascular system by really challenging your heart, blood and blood vessels to keep up with what you're putting down.
That's great news because heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. You may also feel a real "brain high" as nutrients and oxygen course through your body with every rowing session!
#5: Rowing Is an Amazing Form of Meditative Self-Care
We've covered all of the amazing things that a rowing machine can do for making your body look and feel amazing. However, the brain benefits of rowing are every bit as compelling as the body benefits. You're really "all in" with your mind and body when you're rowing.
Many women find that this helps them to be truly immersed in the moment. The precision of form that's required to execute each rep perfectly leaves no room for wandering thoughts or busy "mind chatter."
A rower is in the moment fully! This can have a very relaxing and meditative quality even though you're being active. In fact, many women who have trouble with sitting still or holding poses during things like silent meditation or yoga find that they're able to lock into a meditative zone pretty easily while rowing.
What's more, all of the oxygen and nutrients rushing through your body as your cardiovascular system ramps up can give you a wonderful natural high.
Should You Start Your Rowing Journey?
One thing that any woman who gets into rowing will tell you is that this is a workout that just gets better and better. A big part of the reason is that you'll continue to get better and better as you keep with it. This is one of the rare workouts where you're technically learning a skill with technique while also burning calories.
The verdict? Give rowing a chance if you're looking for a versatile workout that will leave you with a toned body and better head space!