• You're all caught up!

Is a Rowing Machine for Strength Training?

author image Marie Mulrooney
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. A retired personal trainer, former math tutor, avid outdoorswoman and experience traveler, Mulrooney also runs a small side business creating custom crafts. She's published thousands of articles in print and online, helping readers do everything from perfecting their pushups to learning new languages.
Is a Rowing Machine for Strength Training?
The rowing machine, or row ergometer, provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Rowing machines don't offer enough resistance for strength training; instead, they're an excellent tool for building cardiovascular fitness. If you're looking for a strength-training workout, aim for a row machine instead. The difference in terminology may be minute, but it makes all the difference in the world. A seated row machine -- as opposed to a rowing machine -- uses a weight stack or weight plates to work your back, shoulders and arms.

Meet the Row Ergometer

A rowing machine -- also known as a row ergometer -- works every major muscle group in your body rhythmically for an extended period of time. That's practically a textbook definition of the ideal cardiovascular workout. Better yet, a row ergometer is low-impact -- so you don't have to endure repeated pounding on your joints -- and the element of back flexion and extension in a proper rowing motion helps build core strength.

You Might Also Like

What About Weight Training?

As for the seated row machine, almost every gym has at least one variation on it. This basic strength-training machine features a padded seat, a chest pad you lean forward against and one or more handles you pull back on, "rowing" the weight toward you. Some gyms will also have a T-bar -- the free-weight equivalent of a seated row -- in the free-weight room. To use a T-bar you straddle the stem of the "T," bend forward from the hips, grasp the handles -- which form the crossbar of the "T" -- and pull the weight up toward your body.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media