3 reasons why rowing is a great workout for beginners

This article is brought to you by Hydrow and created by In The Know’s commerce team. If you decide to purchase products through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

So, you want to get into rowing? Unlike running or even cycling, rowing is one exercise you may not have tried before. However, rowing is an incredible full-body workout. And thanks to Hydrow, you can do it at home in your living room.

The Hydrow Rower isn’t just another piece of exercise equipment — it’s a fully immersive experience. It completely mimics rowing on the water with its sleek design and 22-inch touchscreen. You can use the screen to take live classes, on-demand classes and even row through virtual scenic waterways.

Hydrow Rower, $2,295

Credit: Hydrow

According to the brand, rowing is a cardio and strength-training workout that engages 86% of your muscles — nearly double the muscles you use for cycling or running. In other words, you’re getting more bang for your buck.

“The rowing machine is like the Swiss Army knife of the gym,” professional rower and Hydrow athlete Michelle Sosa told Shape Magazine. “Its multiple purposes include low-impact workouts, high-intensity sprint intervals, low-intensity endurance development, full-body strength training, core training, heart health and posture control.”

OK, it might sound intense, but rowing is actually very easy to learn. In fact, once you have a Hydrow Rower, you can learn in 10 minutes or less. Here are a few reasons why rowing is a great workout for beginners.

1. You don’t have to row long to see and feel the benefits

Unlike other types of cardio exercises, rowing sessions are relatively short, and that’s because you’re using your whole body the entire time. 

“A single stroke on the rowing machine works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, arms and back muscles,” Hydrow’s website says. “And just 10 minutes of steady rowing would calculate out to about 200 strokes of work, which is more than enough to get your blood flowing and perhaps even break a sweat.”

Make no mistake — it’s hard work, but you can work hard for a shorter amount of time. 

All in all, the length of your workout will depend on your health goals, your fitness level or even the amount of time you have in a day.

2. The workouts are fun 

Hydrow offers workouts ranging from 10 to 20 minutes in length. You can definitely get a good sweat on in the morning, on your lunch break or even after putting the kids to bed. However, most importantly, the workouts are fun. Hydrow offers a few different types of workouts from its screen:

  • Drive workouts use quick intervals to build strength and speed — it’s usually a one-to-one ratio of work to rest.
  • Sweat workouts also include intervals, but the ratio of work to rest is usually two-to-one. In a Sweat workout, you’ll focus on intensities that can be held for a few minutes rather than a quick all-out sprint.
  • Breath workouts require you to sustain a heart-healthy pace and get you sweating and breathing heavily.
  • Additionally, Hydrow offers a library of On The Mat classes, including yoga, pilates and more strength workouts off the rower to supplement your training.

You can take one class or stack a few. For example, you could take a 10- or 15-minute Drive class for a high-intensity workout. Feel motivated to keep going? Increase the intensity by taking a 10-minute Breathe class after to get a good mix of steady cardio and HIIT.

If you’re unsure where to start, Hydrow also offers more structured six-week Training Camp programs to keep you motivated and on track to reach your goals, whatever they are. There’s no sign-up or registration necessary. Simply decide when you want to start and get after it.

3. You’re your own best competitor

You don’t have to compete against anyone else when you row at home. You can work out like no one is watching (because they really aren’t). 

However, to add a little competition to the mix, you may want to consider your split time. Your split is the amount of time it takes to row 500 meters, and it measures your overall workout intensity. The lower the amount of time it takes you, the more intense your workout is. 

You can take a five-minute assessment row class to figure out your split time. Once you know it, the goal is to improve upon that number. You can test yourself once a week or bi-weekly to see if you can beat your last time. Spoiler alert: Stick to it, and you can!

Order a Hydrow Rower to get started today

You can order your own Hydrow Rower on the brand’s website, and your machine will arrive in two to three weeks. However, Hydrow is currently offering $25 off its Hydrow Rower All-In Bundle, which includes the rower, a free mat, free delivery and a one-year home use warranty. Plus, it includes a 30-day risk-free trial.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to purchase an All-Access Membership to stream Hydrow’s library of 3,000-plus workouts on the rower’s screen and through the Hydrow App. The membership costs $38 per month but includes unlimited profiles for the whole family.

You could start your rowing journey by the end of the month, and based on all the benefits, it’s definitely worth a shot. 

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