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Why Rowing is the Best Endurance Workout?

Endurance training is one of the more grueling forms of training as you are continuously pushing yourself to your limit in hopes that you can be in a state of intensity for longer and longer periods of time.


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While it may not seem like it, rowing is truly one of the best endurance workouts available. Since rowing activated over 80% of your skeletal muscle you are not only building endurance for your shoulders and arms, but all of those muscles in between are being engaged. Below are 4 reasons why rowing is the best endurance workout available.

Low Impact

Many forms of exercise can be quite harsh on your joints and bones. Jumping, running, and sudden movements of impact will over time begin harming your joints. Rowing is as low impact as you can get as no part of your body ever leaves the ground. With continual smooth movements of rowing there is no risk of harming joints or connective tissue. This is excellent for experienced and novice individuals wishing to build up endurance. With low impact you also get the added benefit of not needing as much downtime between sessions as there is less repair your body will need to do since it doesn’t have to deal with joint wear and tear. 

Strong Core

Unlike running or cycling, rowing engages the majority of your body as you row. This rowing will give you more strength in your core. A strong core is important for the endurance of almost any physical activity whether that be a sport or weightlifting. This is a muscle group that is often forgotten in other cardio exercises like cycling, which predominately only utilizes your legs. The importance of these muscle groups should not be understated and rowing is a great way to ensure you have good strength and endurance in your core. 


Rowing is one of the few machines that are able to say that it actively engages over 80% of muscle groups in the body. With only one steady movement of a row you are fully engaging every muscle from the push off with your legs to the pullback of your arms and shoulders; you are continuously having some muscle group engaged. Prolonged and continuous muscle engagement is the key to building endurance. In addition to building muscular endurance you are increasing your cardiovascular endurance through the aerobic exercise of rowing.


Running only has 2 indicators of progress and that is distance run and time spent running. With rowing you not only have time and distance measures, but you also have the ability to increase resistance. Resistance is the key to any workout where you are trying to improve your muscular endurance. When you increase resistance, you are asking for more from all your muscle groups and over time your body will get adapted to this continuous request until it becomes the new normal. When this becomes the new normal this means that you have increased your strength and endurance. Since you are able to incrementally increase resistance on a rowing machine you will be able to have more control in your own endurance building journey.

Rowing is hands down one of the best machines for you to build strength, muscular endurance, as well as aerobic endurance. With repeated movements that engage over 80% of your body’s muscles, you are truly getting the most out of your time rowing. No matter what you are building endurance for, whether that is soccer, football, swimming, or weightlifting; rowing can be implemented into your endurance training to help you be at your best. The benefits of rowing speak for themselves. Adding rowing to any routine can only improve your performance.

By Krisna Garcia (an aspiring writer from California, looking to grow her portfolio and build her specialization and expertise on beauty, lifestyle and health)

Follow her on twitter @Krisna Garcia