A rowing machine, or erg, is one of the most useful workout machines you can find, but many people are unaware of how potent they are. Even though you see one every time you step into the gym, you might be unaware of why it’s so useful, but the benefits of a rowing machine speak for themselves.

With an incredible amount of sophistication in tracking your performance (which is where the name erg, short for ergometer comes from), and the simplicity of the workout itself, there is plenty of reason why anyone interested in fitness should be accustomed to this device.

Here are some of the benefits of working out with a rowing machine. 
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Low-Impact on Joints

The hardest part about many workouts, cardio or weight-lifting, is that they can do a lot of damage to joints. The stress of impact on joints is a reason why many people shy away from certain activities, but rowing is very good for your joints. If you check out this helpful guide, you can read about how all the different machines work and why they’re so useful as a workout machine. One of the main problems of working out is stress on joints, but a rowing machine helps remove this concern.

Able to Workout Year Round

Running in the winter isn’t for everyone, and rowing in a boat isn’t possible either if you live somewhere cold. This means you need a solution for your workouts that extends beyond the barriers of the seasons, which is exactly what a rowing machine offers. Of course, your gym can be open during the winter as well, and it includes the machines that simulate other exercises, but rowing is one that you want to partake in all the time and it isn’t always possible. Having a rowing machine also allows for home workouts if your gym is ever closed as well.

Combination of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Rowing is often thought of as an aerobic or cardio exercise, but that’s not the whole story. Yes, it’s excellent for building a strong heart and lung capacity, but it is also an extremely efficient anaerobic workout that is able to help build tough arm and back muscles. This combination makes it incredibly useful for people who want to maximize their workouts and get the best of both worlds. Swimming is an example that matches rowings capability, while running is more aerobic, but also more painful on the joints.

Accurate Progress Tracking of Work Outs

Tracking your progress is an important aspect of maintaining a fit lifestyle. Without the dedication to keep progress to learn from your mistakes, build on your success, and track your trajectory, it’s hard to figure out what you want to accomplish with working out. Rowing machines are an ergometer which means it tracks your work in rowing, hence its name as an erg. This machine can accurately track how well you’re performing so you get pinpoint data on where you need to improve and what you are doing well. 

Easy to Learn

The learning curve of rowing can be quite steep when you’re plunked into a boat, especially with other skilled rowers. Learning how to use a rowing machine in a more forgiving environment can help you grow in your workout abilities. The rowing machine provides the perfect platform for this type of learning. There is a lot more room for error, and you can get the hang of the general motion and function of rowing without the concern for messing up. This makes the rowing machine as much a great learning tool as it is an excellent workout machine.

Translates Well to Practical Activity

As mentioned, there is a learning curve to rowing, and this is also true for some rowing machines, like water-resistance machines, but the rowing machine is useful in helping beginners learn the ropes. All of this training and muscle development helps translate well into practical activity, like an on-water rowing situation, as well as building back muscles, as well as quads, triceps, biceps, shoulders, core, and more, that are used to working in a pulling motion, which is one of the two main functions of the back (push-pull). Using a rowing machine will help you grow as a rower, and build more functional muscle.


Rowing machines are not always the most talked about by gym-goers and exercise fanatics, but they deserve to be in the conversation for more than a handful of reasons. Now that you know about the numerous benefits, you should take some time to begin implementing rowing into your daily workout routine.