From  |  By Bethany McIlrath


Excerpt: “Many gym-goers tend to focus on just a few common pieces of equipment, like the treadmill, the elliptical, or free weights. The rowing machine, however, gets woefully overlooked and is rarely incorporated into one’s regular fitness regime. Combining both cardio and strength training, the rowing machine is one of the most efficient, low-impact exercises out there.”

For a sample 20-minute rowing workout from, click here.

Rebuilding your body after battling and defeating cancer is no small feat. However, using a rowing machine to strengthen your body can help you reach your health and fitness goals in no time! Known as ergometers, rowing machines measure the performance of your body as you exercise so you can assess how much effort you exert during your workout.

Believe it or not, rowing is an excellent way to burn calories. There’s a reason why competitive rowers are in such good shape – rowing works both your cardiovascular system and your muscles. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional rower to see some of the same amazing results.

Rowing For Cardiovascular Health

Rowing boasts wonderful benefits for your heart and lungs. After strenuous health issues, the body needs physical activity to assist in the healing process. Rowing is a great stepping stone to more difficult workouts because it suits people of all fitness levels. What’s more, ergometers are adjustable and can be set to a comfortable level for cardio novices.

When it comes to cardio, few exercises get the heart pumping like rowing. Rowing works both the heart and lungs because it forces the heart to work harder to transport larger volumes of blood through the body. The cardiovascular system transports oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs, so heart-strengthening workouts are essential to helping the body function optimally.

Intense workouts, like rowing, can be very beneficial for individuals at risk for issues that threaten heart health.

Rowing is Both Effective and Low-Impact

Rowing machines are great for low-impact workouts. Rowing is known for torching calories, but it does so without placing stress on joints. Another great benefit of a low-impact workout is it affords you control over your pace and range of movement – making it a great active recovery exercise. Unlike high-impact exercises like running, rowing can actually help gradually improve joint function.

Rowing Workouts to Build Muscle

If your goal is to look and feel your best, rowing should be part of your regular workout routine. Many people believe that rowing only works the arms when in reality, it works out your entire body. Rowing machines offer a workout for both the upper and lower body, toning and strengthening your muscles and increasing endurance.

A round on a rowing machine targets these major muscle groups:

  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Quadriceps

If you want to see more definition in your arms, pectorals, abs, and obliques, rowing helps in those areas, as well. Rowing engages your legs when you’re pushing off from the foot base, also known as the drive portion of the stroke. In short, rowing can help transform your body from head to toe. 

Rowing Helps With Mind-Body Connection

Exercise of any kind promotes the release of endorphins – the feel-good hormones that decrease stress. Lower stress levels mean better mental and physical health, which is key to healing the body after a battle with cancer. Use rowing as a way to fuel your mind-body connection, making sure to focus on each phase of the rowing stroke as you perform the exercise to feel great inside and out.

As your endurance improves, so will your cardiovascular and muscular health. Hit the gym or order a personal rowing machine to use in the comfort of your own home to start seeing the results you desire. You can start slow and gradually increase the intensity to suit your activity level, using rowing as a stepping stone back to peak health.