What Happens To Your Body When You Use A Rowing Machine Every Day

Using a rowing machine is among the best aerobic and strength training exercises, per the American Fitness Professionals Association. Did you know rowing machines don't just work your arms? It's actually one of the few exercise machines that provide a full-body workout. While engaging and strengthening those muscles, you're also getting a good cardio workout. Additionally, you can perform the exercise at home with your own rowing machine or at your local gym. No need to be near an open body of water! Even virtual classes are available if social engagement during exercise is important to you.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the number of calories you can burn in a single session. According to Harvard Health Publishing, someone who weighs 155 pounds and spends 30 minutes on the rowing machine can burn between 252 to 369 calories. This can add up to major calorie burn when performed daily. But the benefits don't end there. Here's what else to expect when using a rowing machine every day. 

Rowing has a lower risk of injury than high-impact activities

Rowing allows you to do a high-intensity workout without the same impact as an activity like running might (via Women's Health). That's not to say you shouldn't go for a jog or hop on the treadmill if you really enjoy these activities. But using a rowing machine is low-impact, so there's less risk of injury, especially of the ankles and knees. 

A 2014 study published in Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering gave 24 people a rowing workout routine. The participants exercised with a rowing machine three days per week for eight weeks. The researchers evaluated muscle and joint function and fitness in their elbows, knees, and lumbar. The study found it was an effective way of improving both muscle strength and endurance, with significant improvement in all muscle and joint groups. While rowing is proven to be effective for low-impact exercise, it's also highly efficient. 

Rowing can help you reach your fitness goals faster

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises are some of the most efficient workouts there are, and rowing falls into this category. The American Council on Exercise recommends adding a HIIT workout to your routine to achieve greater results in less time and improve your "metabolic function and cardiorespiratory fitness." Instead of maintaining a steady pace for an extended period of time, HIIT exercises are performed in short repetitions of near-maximum effort, followed by short resting periods. The entire workout is typically performed in about 20 minutes or less.

A 2021 study published in the Journal of Physiology found that just 15 minutes of HIIT exercise can have similar or more significant benefits for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, heart function, blood pressure, and glucose control when compared to other standard aerobic exercises. So if you're strapped for time and need a quick, effective workout, 15 minutes on the rowing machine could be just the thing for you.