The Big Benefits of Trying a Rowing Class

Row your heart out. 

Until recently, rowing wasn’t an exercise most people felt inclined to do. Unless you enjoyed taking up one of the two rowing machines in the corner of your gym, chances are the last time you touched a rowing machine was when you were part of your school’s crew team. But somewhere along the line, fitness experts realized how incredible of a workout rowing could be, and rowing studios are now as popular as attending a cycling or yoga class.

So if you want to take a class but the only rowing experience you’ve ever had was on a lake, we’ve got you covered. Read up on everything rowing and we’re sure you’ll be able to pull it off. Pun. Intended.

What is rowing?

Originally designed to train the military, a rowing machine is meant to mimic the movement you’d be making in the water on land. Exercisers sit on the machine, feet in pedals and their hands holding onto a handle, using their muscles to move their body as if they were rowing an actual boat. While it may sound like a simple class where you just row for 45 minutes, don’t be fooled. Most rowing workouts mix up the different movements you’ll be making, focusing on different muscles and targeting specific areas of your body. While you’ll definitely spend a good amount of time on the machine, chances are you’ll be doing some floor work as well in order to build muscle and prep your body to become an even better rower.

Who does rowing work for?

Rowing is a low-impact workout, so if you’re recovering from an injury but still looking for a tough, challenging workout, this type of class may be worth trying. While anyone can learn to row, classes aren’t easy. Expect to work hard and definitely be in need of a shower afterward. Ask your instructor to set you up, adjusting your foot straps and making sure you’re seated correctly. Most importantly, be sure you understand the movements before you start. Despite the way it looks, rowing actually generates most of its power from your leg muscles and not your arms, so make sure you’re clear on how to do each exercise correctly in order to have the most effective workout possible.

Physical benefits of rowing

This workout may be low-impact, but it’s certainly not something to take lightly. Rowing is one of the most difficult workouts out there, utilizing 85% of the muscles in your entire body at once. This total-body workout involves boosts your heart rate, strengthens your body and tones muscles you don’t typically on a regular. When you’re off the machine, you’ll most likely be spending some time on the mat doing a range of exercises from planks to squats, giving your body a full, well-rounded workout. Class attendees burn approximately 500 calories per one-hour class, so if you’re focusing on building endurance, strengthening your muscles and burning fat, rowing may be your new favorite class.

Mental benefits of rowing

It’s no surprise that rowing was created specifically for military training. This workout is not easy, though it can be extremely mentally stimulating. Each push and pull is entirely on you, and only you can track how little or hard you are pushing yourself just by looking up at the screen in front of you. Rowing technique teaches you mental persistence, challenging yourself to do better with each and every stroke. And if that’s not enough to convince you, imagine the crazy amount of endorphins your body will release after only 45 minutes of this intense exercise. Rowers can experience not only a fit body, but a more relaxed, stress-free lifestyle.

If there’s any fitness trend you should be hopping on this year, it would be trying out a rowing class. This hot new workout is challenging everyone  to up their fitness routine and the best part? The only way you’ll be getting wet is by sweating your butt off. Try out the hottest new rowing studios near you with a ClassPass membership. You’ll have access to the brand-new workout that everyone’s talking about and become an expert rower in no time.

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