Can You Get in Shape Just by Rowing?

Can You Get in Shape Just by Rowing?

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Rowing is easily one of the best and most efficient exercises you can incorporate into your routine for several reasons. If you’re thinking about introducing rowing to your routine to get into shape, you’re making a good choice. A lot of workouts target specific muscle groups or areas of your body.

Rowing is a workout that forces you to utilize virtually every muscle group in your body. In all sense of the term, it’s a true full-body workout. This makes it one of the top exercises to incorporate into your life.

Throughout this article, you will learn exactly what makes rowing such an effective workout for someone looking to get into shape.

The Main Reasons Rowing Is The Perfect Workout For Getting Into Shape:

1. Good For Building Muscle

a man shows off his muscles

One of the main things you need to look for when you are trying to find the right workout is whether or not it can help you build muscle. Improving your muscle makeup is one of the best ways to get in better shape. There is a multitude of reasons for this. For one, it’s going to increase your strength throughout your body.

However, it will also help boost your metabolism which plays a major role in your body’s ability to burn fat at a resting heart rate [1]. If your goal is to melt fat away, you’ll want to incorporate strength training into the mix.

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Something like running on a treadmill or biking won’t help you build muscle as well because they are solely focused on your lower body. Whereas, when you row, you are forced you use both your upper and lower body and even your midsection.

2. It’s An Incredible Cardiovascular Workout

Another reason rowing is one of the best exercises you can incorporate into your routine has to do with it being an incredible cardiovascular workout. Cardio workouts can help you burn the most calories. This is generally why people turn to running or biking to lose weight.

However, rowing is just as good (if not better) for improving your cardiovascular fitness. It forces you to use more muscles and you can work out at a rapid pace just like you would with other machines. Because of this, you can drive up your heart rate and get the same type of workout but only more effective because you’re forced to use more muscle groups.

Cardio exercise is one of the most important types of exercise when it comes to improving your stamina and losing weight. Therefore, if your goal is to get in shape, it has to be a key focus in your workouts.

While a rowing machine is much more than a cardio machine, it happens to deliver one of the most effective cardio workouts you’ll find.

3. You Can Change Up The Intensity Easily

Rowing is such a versatile workout. No matter the kind of rowing machine you have, you’ll be in complete control over the intensity of your workouts. While a quality rowing machine will deliver better results, you will still be able to control the overall intensity you are putting into your workouts.

This level of variability will help you switch up your workouts and allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. A rowing machine can deliver a fast-paced or a slow-paced workout. This can ensure you are in complete control over your workouts at all times.

One day you may want a much quicker and more aggressive workout. The next you might want a workout that is much more relaxed and that delivers a slow burn. That’s exactly the type of granular control you get with a rowing machine.

4. It’s Low Impact

One of the biggest issues with aggressively running on a treadmill is the high impact nature of it. Unfortunately, running on a treadmill and outside can put a lot of stress on your knees and other joints. This is especially brutal for those that have foot, ankle, or knee problems.

No matter if you have joint problems or not, you don’t want to put so much stress on your joints daily. This makes running very difficult to do consistently.

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Ideally, you want to throw in some lower-impact exercises into the mix. However, there aren’t as many low-impact cardio exercises that can deliver the type of results you get from running. Luckily, rowing happens to be one of them. With rowing, you get the same effective cardio workouts, but without destroying your joints and placing too much stress on your bones.

The low-impact nature of rowing as a workout makes it one of the best options for a lot of people to stay in shape or to get into better shape.

5. Rowing Can Be Fun

a woman has fun while taking part in a rowing machine workout

One of the main reasons a lot of people struggle to experience weight loss success has to do with the lack of consistency they have with their workouts. The truth is, you’re not going to work out as consistently if you aren’t having fun. If you are having fun with your workouts, you’ll be much more consistent with your efforts.

One of the biggest reasons a lot of people experience a lot of success with something like a rowing machine is because it’s unique and engaging. When you are running on a treadmill, things can get dull. Not only does it make you not want to step on a treadmill, but it can make you lackadaisical with your workouts. With rowing, you are constantly engaged.

You need to focus on engaging a lot of muscles and maintaining a rhythm. This can keep you much more engaged throughout your workouts and have a lot more fun. Keeping your workouts fun and engaging is one of the best ways to ensure you keep them effective.

6. It Can Be Much Quicker Than Other Workouts

Another reason a lot of people fail to get into shape with their workouts has to do with their impractical nature of them. A lot of people don’t have hours to dedicate to working out. While running can burn you more calories than rowing, it’s not nearly as efficient.

Rowing engages more muscle groups and you can integrate high-intensity training into your workouts.

Because of this, you can get a highly effective and efficient workout in your day without having to dedicate hours to it. This alone can make it one of the better ways to get into shape because you can easily fit your workouts into your daily routine without changing much.


As you can see, rowing is an exercise you can integrate into your workouts to get into shape. It’s a total body workout. Because of this, you don’t necessarily need to do much else. While it’s always better to diversify your workouts, it’s such a complete workout that it can be your sole exercise if your goal is to get into shape.

There are plenty of reasons to use rowing as your preferred method of working out. Not only does it offer a low-impact way to work out, but it forces you to engage all of your muscle groups simultaneously. This alone makes it one of the top options for those looking to get into better shape.

Many exercises don’t force you to engage all muscle groups. Thus, you have to work out longer and harder to achieve the same results. With rowing, you’re forced to engage your upper, lower, and mid-section all at the same time.

This makes your workouts much more engaging and equally as effective.