Published On: Wed, Apr 29th, 2020

Rowing at Home: Is it Possible?

You already know that rowing provides an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise superior to other forms of static cardio in many ways.  Rowing is low-impact, provides a higher caloric burn, and uses more muscle groups than most other forms of cardiovascular exercise available.  Perhaps you were exposed to rowing on your high school or college rowing team.  Maybe you began rowing as part of a particular workout program or just stumbled upon an ergometer (indoor rowing machine) at your gym.  Whatever the reason, your interest in rowing might have you wondering if you can achieve the same great rowing workout you’ve experienced elsewhere at home.  Rowing at home is completely possible if you’ve got the right equipment and training.  Here’s what you need to know to get a great rowing workout at home. 

Imagine de Stefano Ferrario de la Pixabay

  • Purchasing a rower.  There are many things to consider when purchasing an indoor rowing machine for at home use.  Certainly, price is a consideration, but with indoor rowing machines, lower price doesn’t equate to a more cost-effective product.  Many times, a less-expensive rower will require more maintenance and care long-term, making it less cost-effective than a pricier model.  You’ll also need to consider what type of rower you want to purchase.  There are three basic types of indoor rowing machines; flywheel, electromagnetic, and water.  Both flywheel and water rowers use a fan system to create resistance (a water rower uses a paddle-fan in a small tank of water).  An electromagnetic rower uses a magnetic braking system to create resistance and provides the quietest, smoothest drive available on the market.  Another consideration for at-home rowing machines is storage.  You will need to make sure you have adequate use and storage space.  Historically, water rowers are constructed with a wooden frame and horizontal wheel casing in which water and the paddle wheel sits.  This can make a water rower less space-efficient than a flywheel or electromagnetic rower.  Storage of your rower is also a consideration you need to make.  Most rowers can be stored upright, however, height and width will be an issue with any rower you purchase. 


  • Workout programming.  Once you have purchased a rower, you will want to make sure you have proper workout programming.  Having an indoor rowing machine is useless if you aren’t going to use it, and use it effectively.  While you can most certainly find an at-home rowing workout online, finding something new, consistent, and engaging will ensure you actually use your rower and look forward to doing so.  Consider subscribing to a streaming rowing program that provides on-demand, athlete led workouts.  You can trust you’re getting the most effective workout when you are being led by world-class athletes and coaches.  Another option to consider is LOR programming.  Live outdoor reality, or “LOR” programming features workouts filmed on location in the water, giving your at-home rowing experience a completely different feel.  It should be noted that these types of workouts require a rowing machine with a vibrant display screen that the rower views while rowing.  


  • Support.  When considering any type of at-home workout activity, you need to make certain you have adequate support, not only for your equipment but for your programming.  You will need to ensure you have the appropriate company for equipment upkeep, but more importantly, you will need a community of like-minded individuals to support you and motivate you on your fitness journey.  A great at-home rowing machine and program subscription can provide both of these necessities.  When you row with others, you engage in a sense of teamwork and are likely to perform harder and better than simply rowing alone.

Rowing at home is entirely possible for anyone wishing to improve their cardiovascular output while maintaining low-impact to their joints.  With the right indoor rowing machine and programming, anyone can get a great workout from the comfort of their own home.  

Author: Jacob Maslow

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