Using a rowing machine can help to build and tone your muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular function and increase your stamina. Rowing machines are particularly effective for older users because there’s no strain on your back and joints. Basically, rowing motion is functional fitness at it’s best.
Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout if weight loss is your main priority. A 30 minute high-pace workout on a rowing machine, at moderate resistance settings, can burn about 280 calories for a 60 kg person (Harvard Health Publications).
Using a rowing machine is an endurance exercise that increases heart function and uses carbohydrates to provide the energy required to exercise. The cardiovascular benefit is to keep the resistance at a low level, combined with a moderate, but regular rowing pace, to reach and maintain an aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise improves lung, heart and circulation systems, which actually is what health training is all about.
The reason why the calorie burn is so high, is because rowing requires you to use both strength and cardio endurance at once. The pulling motion of your upper body along with the pushing motion of your lower body requires strength of the legs and torso, while the full movement itself requires the increased cardio output of your lungs and heart.
Rowing simply is fun...