Raise your hand if you’re bored by the same old cardio routines when you’re in the gym.


Running, cycling and using the elliptical may get your heart pumping, but don’t bring excitement when you think about sweating it out during cardio day. While all are great options, some gyms have a hidden gem, that if you haven’t tried yet, you’re missing out. And it’s the rowing machine.

The rower can be the best piece of equipment in the gym when used properly. Rowing works 84% of your body in just one stroke, and anyone is capable of doing it — regardless of age, height, weight, gender. It is a workout for all levels — and best of all, it’s low impact so you don’t have to worry about messing up your knees or other joints.

Boutique rowing studios are opening at a fast pace across the country and those who were once loyal to those dear cycling classes have begun to jump ship.

Classes like CITYROW, a boutique fitness studio that offers a triple threat workout, have begun to pop up offering an amazing but challenging low impact workout, focusing on rowing. But the class itself is so much more — you’re alternating intervals on and off of the water rower and weight segments that deliver high-intensity sweat, low-impact burn, total body results. 

As we’ve seen the craze in boutique fitness classes such as SoulCyle and OrangeTheory, founder and CEO Helaine Knapp was on to something different after personally seeing the benefits that rowing had to her own body. She decided to line a loft with rowing machines and hired a team of fitness pros to create a 50-minute high-intensity interval-training workout (which alternates between the rower and the mat). This eventually became one of the hottest rowing 

When used correctly, this machine can provide a crazy-good, challenging cardio workout. Here are a few reasons why you need to implement this into your fitness regimen.

It’s a low impact workout.

Because there’s no jumping or running, rowing is perfect for anyone with joint or bone issues that were limited from doing high-impact jumping workouts.

You burn more calories than you realize.

Don’t get it twisted, you’ll be working, working on this machine. According to Harvard Health, a 125-pound person can burn 255 calories in 30 minutes of a vigorous rowing workout. A 155-pound person can burn 316 calories, while a 185-pound person can burn 377. In comparison, a 125-pound person can burn 270 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer, while a 155-pound can burn 355 calories, and a 185-pound person can burn 400.

It works your full body.

Going for a run on the treadmill is a simple and effective form of cardio (especially for weight loss), but it definitely doesn’t have the same muscle-strengthening benefits that a hardcore rowing session does. The rower works the major muscles in your legs, arms, back and core all must activate, providing a total body workout that will increase your body strength as well as your cardiovascular capacity.

If you want to try a class that incorporates rowing, you can try CityRow in New York City, LIT Method in Los Angeles, Let’s Dryft in San Francisco, F45 Training and Orangetheory Fitness. That way, you can test out your form, and get expert help before trying it out on your own.

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