The Benefits of Rowing: What Parts of the Body Does Rowing Improve?

Rowing is a fantastic physical activity that provides a full-body workout. Engaging in regular rowing sessions can have a positive impact on several parts of the body. Here are some of the ways that rowing can improve your overall health and wellness:

Upper Body

Rowing targets the muscles in the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, and back. During the rowing stroke, the arms pull the oar, while the shoulders and back muscles work to stabilize and support the effort. Together, these muscles are engaged throughout the motion, providing an excellent workout for the upper body.

Lower Body

In addition to targeting the upper body, rowing also works the lower body. During the stroke, the legs press against the foot pedals, providing resistance and pushing the boat forward. This engaging of the legs combines with the upper body movements to create a full-body workout.


A key part of the rowing stroke is the engagement of the core muscles. The back and abdominal muscles work together to keep the body stable and supported during the movement. This engagement of the core muscles helps to improve overall posture and can lead to increased strength in the abdominal muscles over time.

Cardiovascular System

Rowing is a great cardiovascular workout that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. As with any aerobic exercise, rowing can help to improve overall cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Other Benefits of Rowing

In addition to the physical benefits, rowing can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. Rowing is a low-impact exercise that can provide stress relief and help to improve mood. Additionally, rowing often takes place in natural settings, such as on a river or lake, which can have a calming effect.

Getting Started with Rowing

If you are interested in trying rowing, there are many options available. Many gyms and fitness centers offer indoor rowing machines, which can be used to get a full-body workout. For those interested in on-water rowing, there are rowing clubs and organizations that provide access to boats and equipment. Regardless of the method chosen, it is important to start slowly and work up to longer and more intense workouts over time.


Overall, rowing is an excellent way to improve overall health and wellness. By engaging the upper and lower body, core muscles, and cardiovascular system, rowing provides a comprehensive workout that can lead to increased strength, improved posture, and reduced stress. Whether you are looking to improve your physical health or simply enjoy being on the water, rowing is a great option to consider.