Why Rowing Should Be Your New Form Of Cardio, Especially If You Hate The Treadmill
by Georgina Berbari

Whether you've absolutely loathed running from day one, or you're simply getting bored with your monotonous treadmill sessions, you are not alone, my friend. There are plenty of people who aren't exactly the treadmill's biggest fan, but hey, that's why most gyms offer a ton of other cardio alternatives, right? Enter the rowing machine: If you've always been skeptical of that big, bulky contraption at your gym, you should know there are actually a lot of benefits of rowing, one of which is simply the fact that it's not running. That, in and of itself, is reason enough to try it out, if you ask me.

Real talk though, while there are definitely pros and cons to the treadmill, for some people, it simply doesn't make them feel their best in any way. From knee pain, to joint aches, to treadmill-induced injuries, finding a cardio alternative might just be the best thing for you in your workout routine.

According to LIVESTRONG, rowing machines are a great form of low-impact cardio that can simultaneously act as a form of strength training, a benefit that a dreadmill simply cannot provide. Low-impact workouts are also much more gentle on your joints in general, LIVESTRONG reports, so if your body doesn't feel its best while going for those daily runs on the treadmill, it might be time to hit up your nearest rowing machine.

Here are five reasons why rowing should be making its way into your workout routine, especially if the treadmill has slowly but surely made its way onto your sh*t list.

It's A Killer Cardio Workout

Whether you like it or not, cardio is an incredible form of fitness to better your overall health — but that doesn't mean you have to be bored to tears while you force yourself to squeeze in daily treadmill sessions.

The rowing machine is an awesome form of aerobic exercise that increases your stamina and, according to, may even help strengthen your immune system, too.

Many rowing machines also include an option for added resistance, so you can work toward your target heart rate and increase your oxygen intake. Can a treadmill do that? (OK, there probably are treadmills out there that do these things, but a rowing machine is still way more fun to use.)

Rowing Is Amazing For Strengthening Your Muscles

Going for a run on the treadmill may be a classic and effective form of cardio, but it definitely doesn't have the same muscle-strengthening benefits that a hardcore rowing session does.

According to LIVESTRONG, rowing works your legs, hips, and glutes — aka more or less the majority of your lower body. Plus, it makes your back, shoulders, and arms super powerful. So yeah, it really is a total-body workout, guys.

It's Much Easier On Your Body Than The Treadmill

Whether you have existing joint issues, or the treadmill has actually caused your joints to be finicky, this high-impact form of cardio just doesn't always feel great for everyone.

Rowing, however, involves a more natural motion for your body that puts a very small amount of stress and pressure on your joints, which can help stave off workout-related injuries in the long run.

Your knees will thank you for switching to this form of cardio, girlfriend. Just make sure you're using the proper rowing machine form to minimize any lower-back strain you might otherwise feel.

Rowing Increases Your Energy And Endurance

When you first get yourself onto a rowing machine, you might be tempted to give up because, honestly, that sh*t is exhausting AF. However, if you keep at it, you'll notice that your endurance increases the more you use it, and your mental and physical energy will be skyrocketing right along with it.

Since rowing is such a strenuous workout, make sure you're fueling up with the proper carbohydrates — such as bananas or oats, for example — before heading to the gym so that your body can tap into those stores while you sweat it out.

It'll Help You Feel A Little Less Stressed Out

The cool part about rowing is that it doesn't just increase your aerobic skills and make your muscles powerful as hell. It also has the power to completely shift your mood, especially if you're dealing with loads of stress.

This is because including cardio workouts that you actually enjoy in your daily routine can help increase your body's production of endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals in your brain that get released during a really intense workout. In the long-term, those endorphins can help fight off fatigue, improve your thinking skills, and of course, protect you from debilitating feelings of stress, according to wellness physician Dr. Axe's website.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on that machine and row it out, girl.