Whether it’s on a lake or in a gym, rowing is the latest exercise trend – and with good reason.
The to-and-fro motion of rowing is a great way to improve fitness and burn calories, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just give your arms a workout – it actually works almost all of the major muscle groups and helps strengthen your core too.
So instead of pounding away on the treadmill or working up a sweat in a spin class, here are 10 reasons you should try rowing instead…
1. It uses most muscle groups
Rowing uses your abdominal muscles, back, arms, chest, legs and the buttocks.
2. It tones and strengthens
Because rowing involves the use of so many muscles, you can use it to tone and strengthen all of them. Your shoulders are likely to really feel the pain during a vigorous rowing session and as a result, should become much stronger if you row regularly. The muscles in your arms, specifically the forearms, will also tone up, and the range of motion in the shoulders, hips and back will also be increased. Grow Fitness trainer Ben adds that yoga is a great partner to rowing: "Rowing requires strength but also flexibility - that's where the yoga comes in. It can really help you to get the most out of your body and training."
3. Quick physical impact
Half an hour of rowing can have the same physical impact as 90 minutes of cycling or spinning.
4. It’ll work your legs, arms and core
Unlike spinning, which, when it comes to effort, relies 95% on your legs and 5% on your upper body. But in rowing, it's a lot more event. Grow Fitness trainer Ben explains: "The bulk of power comes from the legs; 60% in fact. The rest comes from the core and arms (20% and 20% respectively) - if you rely too much on your arms, you'll tire quicker."
5. Everyone can do it
Rowing is suitable for all age groups, from children to the elderly.
6. It involves double the resistance
Unlike a bike, which only has resistance in one direction, rowing has resistance in both directions – forward and back – making you much stronger and increasing the rate at which you burn calories.
7. It offers a big calorie burn
A vigorous 30-minute workout on a rowing machine can burn 255 calories for a lighter person, and up to around 377 for someone who weighs over around 13st.
8. It’s a cardio blast
Rowing is an excellent aerobic activity that’s good for your cardiovascular fitness.
9. There’s a low risk of injury
Rowing isn’t weight-bearing, so it’s safe for people that may have had ankle, knee, or hip injuries, and is unlikely to cause further injuries.
10. The kit is cheap, compact and storeable
Rowing machines are relatively inexpensive and compact, and unlike most stationary bikes or treadmills, can usually be stored upright, so you can pull them out for a workout and then stow them neatly away in the corner of a room or in a cupboard.
To find out more about Grow Fitness' range of rowing classes, visit the website.