10 Fitness Benefits Of Rowing*

Monday, 18 March 2019, By Rebekah Ide

Have you ever wanted to have a go at rowing? Maybe you're looking for a good balance of an individual and team sport? Maybe you're simply curious to know what these 10 fitness benefits are? Whatever reason brought you here, you'll be sure to take something away from this. So read on…

1. Rowing is a good aerobic exercise. It helps to maintain heart health and lung function by increasing the body's ability to absorb and transport oxygen from the cardiovascular system to the rest of the body.

2. As a rower, myself, I have heard the common misconception held by some who have never rowed, that because I row; my arms must be really strong. While rowing uses upper body strength, including the arms, it is not restricted to the upper body. Rowing permits a complete body workout, including lower body fitness and strength as much as upper body.

3. It is a type of endurance training. Whether you decide to row competitively or simply for recreation, you'll be pushing yourself physically through training exercises, sometimes difficult situations such as catching a crab* and unfavourable weather conditions, including choppy water and the wake of boats.  

4. While rowing trains your endurance; intensive rowing engages all the major muscles and tones and strengthens them. Rowing may just be the sport for you, if you're looking to tone and strengthen your physique overall, while improving cardiovascular function.

5. In its ability to engage all the major muscle groups, rowing enables a broader range of motion throughout the body. The shoulder blades, back, hip flexors, knees and elbows all receive a good work out, improving their range of motion.

6. Just like swimming it is low impact for people with joint problems, especially knee problems. Rowing can be enjoyed by people with joint problems as well and it is also suitable for the elderly. With your seated position within the boat and the gradual stretch and flex of your knees and other joints; if swimming isn't your cup of tea, go for rowing instead.

7. The nature of a low impact sport means that there is very little chance for injury. As rowing is a low impact sport, it also has a very minimal chance of injury.

8. It is a social sport. While you may only be interested in participating in singles races, there is also the possibility of doubles, quads and eights, with two, four and eight people respectively; if you find yourself working better as part of a team. The social nature of rowing means that even if you're only there to row a single, the chances you'll meet other people also participating in the sport at the same time and place as you, is high.

9. If you find yourself sleeping in on the weekends and waking up late, then regretting your sleep-in for all the productivity hours you could have spent doing something more beneficial. Rowing is the sport for you. Rowers are morning people, the water is calmer and the sun is not as hot. Similarly, there's less boating activity out and about that you'll have to contend with that you'd have later on in the day.

10. While you definitely can practice rowing indoors on a rowing machine, it is still an outdoor sport. This comes with all the benefits of an outdoor sport. If you find yourself stuck behind a desk most days with very limited opportunity to leave the office, rowing takes you outdoors into the fresh air and sunshine. You'll be participating in the sport down on local rivers in your area.

With a broad range of benefits from cardiovascular health, strength and muscle toning, endurance building and making you more productive, by waking you up earlier on the weekends. I can recommend rowing as a sport that pretty much has everything you could want in a sport.

*catching a crab describes the force where the paddle enters the water at the wrong angle. At the speed the boat is travelling and the force of the water against the paddle you're holding, even at slow speeds, can unsettle your seating position in the boat and has the potential to throw you out of the boat entirely.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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