Is a Rowing Machine Worth the Investment?

There are many exercise machines available to help perform cardio exercises, so why exactly is a rowing machine, an ideal investment?

Rowing machines are not a fad, the first one was developed in Athens over 2000 years ago to help train soldiers. They have been around in various forms since that time, though the technology has certainly developed to make better rowing machines over the years!

Rowing Machine Worth Investment

These are some of the best rowing machines on the market today



One of the unique aspects of rowing machines is that they provide a total body workout. Very few pieces of exercise equipment can make that claim, let alone one that is primarily intended to build one’s cardio system, rather than one’s muscles. Most pieces of cardio equipment are directed primarily towards the lower body; since the cardio system is developed by working the heart and it has to work hardest to pump blood from the legs, this is a very logical idea. Treadmills and stationary bikes only provide a lower body workout, while elliptical machines also help with the upper body. However, if you desire a balanced fitness regimen, where you want to have all of the advantages of working your lower body hard while also developing other muscles, then these have the clear advantage. Not only do they work out your quads, hamstrings, and calves (lower body) and give the upper body workout of your deltoids and biceps provided by the elliptical, they also help build your core by pushing your abs to the limit. Thus, with a rower, you not only get the cardio buildup that each of these machines provides, but you also get well-rounded development of your entire body.

Varying Prices

Exercise equipment can be expensive, so considering the cost is necessarily a huge factor in determining if it is a worthy investment. Luckily, they are among the cheapest of cardio focused exercise equipment. In contrast, ellipticals, which often look like monstrosities also cost a lot. However, rowing machines come in a fair amount below that; since the mechanics behind them are relatively simple, they are relatively cheap to make. Though still a fair chunk of change, this is far cheaper than most exercise equipment and among the cheapest cardio equipment available. Some are even cheaper! The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine  is an affordable option. Therefore, if you have made the commitment to purchase a piece of cardio equipment for a home gym, a rowing machine provides a very cheap option while also giving all of the benefits (and often more!) of more expensive equipment.

Feel the Burn

One of the biggest factors that many people consider when purchasing exercise equipment is how many calories that they can burn while using it. When looking at cardio devices, rowers are among the highest in this category, burning an average of 14 calories per minute. Treadmills are the highest in this category, burning about 17 calories per minute with proper form, while other machines come in quite a bit lower, with ellipticals and stationary bikes burning 12 and 13 calories per minute, respectively. Note that these values are sufficiently close together that this really shouldn’t be a huge factor in choosing your equipment when it comes to cardio machines.

Being Safe

There are several concerns that people often have when considering purchasing a rowing machine that lead them to worry that it’s not a safe investment; however, these are often unfounded. A common myth is that they are hard to use “properly” and are thus unsafe. While it is true that proper form is required when using one, it is not nearly the impossible beast that many people fear it to be. Watching a training video or perhaps a single session with a professional trainer is more than enough to get the technique locked down. Additionally, proper technique is required with all machines, and the relative simplicity of the actions on a treadmill (walking) or on a stationary bike (cycling) often lead people to overlook this, even though improper technique can lead to dangerous results, causing extreme stress on a person’s joints which can lead to irreversible damage. When used properly, rowing machines are extremely safe, often being recommended to those who have recently been injured or have weak bones or joints. Another common concern is that they are infrequently seen at commercial gyms, leading many to assume they aren’t as good as other types of equipment. This is an unfortunate side effect of these organizations focusing on “fun” workouts. Though using a rowing machine can definitely be fun, they provide a total workout and can be very tiring, which is not ideal business sense for a commercial gym.

Rowing machines are fantastic pieces of cardio equipment and are more than worth the investment to include them in any home gym.

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