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The Top 8 Benefits Of Using A Water Rowing Machine

 Written by 

Jordyn Snyder

 Last updated on 

With the rise of indoor rowing classes and growing interest in equipment like the WaterRower, we’re not surprised by the increase in questions like… is this trending WaterRower worth it? Should I skip my run to use a WaterRower? And is it still beneficial if I’m not a professional rower myself? What are the benefits of water rowing machine?

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place!

a man trying the benefits of water rowing machine
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First Off, What Is It?

The WaterRower is a simple workout machine that is designed to work as its name suggests. It simulates the feeling and movement of rowing on a boat in the water. Water rowers use a water flywheel connected to a chain and handles for a smooth and quiet motion. During the rowing movement, the rower pulls back on the handle and the sliding seat allows the rower to use the lower body in the drive motion. And with rising technology most rowing machines come equipped with monitors to track power output, speed, calories burned, and estimated distance.

Now you might be thinking about how you haven’t rowed on a lake since camp days back in middle school and the idea of doing that inside on a machine doesn’t seem like your thing, but the WaterRower is so popular right now because people are really starting to see the many benefits it has to offer, which brings us to…

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What Are The Benefits Of Using A Water Rower?

1. Increased Strength

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

Water rowing is a full-body workout, engaging muscles during the drive phase from your legs, core, glutes, back, and your shoulders. The biggest benefit of gaining strength from an indoor water rower is the increase in back muscles to help with posture and reduce back and hip pain in a low-impact way. If we’re going into the details, then gripping the handles is great for building strength in your hands and wrists as well.

Another bonus that is often talked about the most is that working out on a rowing machine can burn an average of 600 calories per hour, which aids in fat loss and lowers the risk of injury. And you only need a single WaterRower machine! No need for other bulky or confusing equipment–all you need is a WaterRower and the proper form.

2. Beginner Friendly

One of the best things about using a WaterRower is it is a fantastic place for beginners to start. It might take a few times to get the hang of it using our Complete Guide To Rowing Techniques And Terminology, but once you get the correct form and get more comfortable using the indoor rowing machines then it can become your number one tool for achieving your workout goals. 

3. Builds Endurance

Even though strength building is a huge benefit of working out on a WaterRower, after using the machine on a regular basis, the long-term effects include an increase in your endurance levels and a boost in energy. This means great things for your stamina and metabolism and can be extremely beneficial in your daily life and fitness journey!

4. Low Impact

As we age, high-impact activities such as walking and running can become difficult, and if you notice that pain already, it might be a good time to look into low-impact workouts like indoor water rowing. For the entire duration of the WaterRower workout, you remain seated with your hands on the handles and your feet secured in front of you. Therefore, as long as you maintain good form, there is little or no impact on your ankles, knees, hips, elbows, or shoulders. This makes it a great exercise for those who have a problem with weight-bearing exercises, those with health concerns, and people recovering from injuries. 

5. Works the Upper Body

The WaterRower works many muscles, but specifically, It works the rhomboids in the shoulders and trapezii in the upper back. When you work out to build muscle in your upper back it can help reduce back and hip pain and improve your posture. 

6. Works the Lower Body

You know the WaterRower uses upper body strength, but what gives it the “full-body” workout is the intense use of many of the major leg muscles including the quads, upper thighs, calves, and even the glutes. You’ll never see a professional rower without amazing, defined leg muscles. 

7. Aesthetically Pleasing

Not only will your body be in top shape, but if you’re considering buying a WaterRower for your home gym then you’ll love the aesthetic feel of the indoor rowers. They’re typically gorgeous pieces of equipment handcrafted with wood for a warm feel or powder-coated aluminum for a sleek, modern look. They don’t take up a ton of room and they are usually very affordable–really there’s no reason not to buy one!

8. Good For The Mind And Soul

The WaterRower is a great machine to help clear your mind and unwind. With the soothing motion of rowing through what feels (and sounds) like water is not just a great workout, but it can help you destress and calm your mind. And don’t forget all the amazing health benefits and increased endorphins. It will be hard not to use the WaterRower on a regular basis.

Here’s a chill, 20-minute rower workout we recommend for clearing your head

I Know The WaterRower Has Tons Of Great Benefits, But How Do I Get Started?

We’re so glad you asked!

Here’s a list of some FAQs that vary depending on your fitness level


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Where do I learn all the rowing terminology and techniques? 

Right here in our Complete Rowers Guide that’ll give you all the insight into indoor water rowing technology and how to row properly on an indoor machine.

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

Are there other indoor rowing machines?

Yes! There is the WaterRower as talked about above, a magnetic rower machine, and a hydraulic-piston machine, all of which is talked about via pros and cons in our Resistance In Rowing Machine Settings article.


I like rowing, but is it the right workout for me?

Here in our article Rowing Machine Vs. Treadmill, we’ll go in-depth on choosing the right cardio workout for your routine to help you reach your goals faster.

Um, my gym’s rower has two handles instead of a rope with a handle, what do I do?

No worries! This article explains the entire process step by step on how to use multiple techniques when on a non-traditional rower.


How do I bring rowing into CrossFit?

We have a Rowing CrossFit Routine For Full-Body Conditioning that incorporates CrossFit with indoor rowing together that will definitely give you a serious workout.

What specific muscle groups does rowing work?

So many! But to go in deeper we have this article on The Rowers Muscles that will go category by category and explain each muscle grouping and how it’s used.

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