Rowing Machines

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Rowing machines are a popular cardio device used in a range of different gyms. They take the excellent exercise that rowing provides and replicate it using a machine. Rowing machines work a broad array of muscles in the human body, meaning they can take the place of various exercises. They’re also an intense aerobic workout with notable cardiovascular benefits. Different types of rowing machines use alternative methods to create the resistance that makes the exercise work. Orbit Fitness stocks a broad range of high-quality rowing machines that are great for home and commercial environments.

What is a rowing machine?

A rowing machine is a device designed to emulate the physical act of rowing a boat for the purpose of cardiovascular exercise. Rowing machines use various methods to create resistance that emulates the feeling of an oar pushing through water. The level of resistance is adjustable depending on the parameters of the workout the user prefers. They are a mainstay in commercial businesses like gyms, but are also an effective exercise device for the home.

How to use a rowing machine

Using a rowing machine involves positioning yourself comfortably and utilising correct form whilst you do the rowing motion. Begin by adjusting the seat to a position that suits you. Next, place your feet on the allocated area on the machine. Firmly grasp the handles of the machine and conduct the rowing motion. Try to move your body in unison with your legs, arms and backs all working to pull the handle. Make sure to keep a straight back in order to avoid injury. Conduct full repetitions of the exercise at a consistent pace in order to exercise effectively and minimise the risk of hurting yourself.

Types of rowing machines

Rowing machines all work using the similar principle of providing resistance to go against the rowing motion. However, what differentiates the types of rowing machines is how they generate resistance. There are different ways of creating similar effects, which may suit different people depending on their preferences. The three most common types of rowing machines are air rowing machines, magnetic rowing machines and water rowing machines.

Air rowing machines

Air rowing machines generate resistance using a flywheel. It’s attached to the handle that you pull when you perform a rowing stroke. The amount of resistance offered by the flywheel is adjustable. When the settings are lower, the flywheel has less air, which lowers the resistance level. Letting more air into the flywheel increases resistance to make the strokes feel heavier. This makes them well suited to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). While air rowing machines offer a smooth experience, they have drawbacks. The maintenance for these machines is more involved than other types. Additionally, they generate more noise than other types when they are operating.

Magnetic rowing machines

Magnetic rowing machines use magnets to create resistance around a flywheel. While the flywheel is used, much like an air rowing machine, the amount of air in the flywheel isn’t the source of resistance. Instead, the magnets are what add a feeling of weight to the rowing. With magnetic rowing machines, the resistance created by the magnet is consistent. The speed at which you row will not impact how heavy the exercise feels.

Water rowing machines

Water rowing machines use tanks filled with water and fan blades to generate resistance. Pulling the handles of the machine moves the fan blades. The water creates resistance for the fan blades. The amount of water in the tank and the speed at which you are rowing affects the level of resistance provided.

Benefits of using a rowing machine

Rowing machines provide a range of benefits as a mode of exercise for users. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, it also works your muscles and helps you lose weight. While rowing machines offer a high-intensity workout, they also have a low impact. This means that the strain it puts on your joints and muscles is low, and there is a lesser risk of injury as a result. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder rowing machines are so popular.

What muscles do rowing machines work?

A range of muscles in the body are worked when you are exercising with a rowing machine. The exercise itself can be divided into two phases. One is the drive, which involves pushing with the legs. This utilises muscles in the posterior chain, including hamstrings, glutes, calves and spinal erectors. The second phase is the pulling motion, which emphasises the back and arms. In terms of muscles, this part of the exercise engages the quadriceps, forearms, biceps and lats.

Is a rowing machine good for weight loss?

Rowing machines are an effective choice if you’re trying to lose weight. They engage a large number of muscles throughout the body. This helps to burn more calories and puts you into a caloric deficit. The adjustable settings also allow you to intensify the workout and further increase calorie burn.

Are rowing machines good for cardiovascular health?

Rowing machines are an excellent choice for improving your cardiovascular health. They work a range of muscles within the body. The heart must work hard to pump blood to all of these body regions, which helps it become stronger over time. This is why they are known as one of the most effective cardio machines available.

Rowing machine maintenance

The exact maintenance a rowing machine requires will depend on both its type and the specific model. However, there are some general guidelines that are good to follow. Adequate maintenance ensures that your rowing machine will function effectively and last longer.


Cleaning a rowing machine is one of the most important aspects of long-term maintenance. Over time, dust and sweat can accumulate on a rowing machine. These have the potential to affect its effective functioning and cause it to deteriorate faster. The best way to mitigate this is by regular cleaning. After workouts, you should wipe down the rowing machine to make sure it’s clean. You can use a mild solution of soap and water as long as you don’t allow water to seep into the electronic components of the machine.

Checking for faults

When using your rowing machine, it helps to keep an eye out for anything unusual. If you notice an unusual sound or a component of the machine not functioning as intended, there might be a fault to address. In general, it is better to consult a professional for rowing machine servicing and repairs. This helps to ensure you don’t cause further damage to the machine.

Orbit Fitness has a wide range of rowing machines

Orbit Fitness is the best place to get rowing machines in Australia. Our selection features different types of rowing machines from all kinds of reputable brands. Over many years, we have developed a reputation as a trusted provider of fitness equipment in Australia. 

If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call. Alternatively, you can visit us at one of our locations in Western Australia.