Is a rowing machine good cardio?

The rowing machine is a great cardio exercise. It is low impact, builds muscle, and is versatile enough to put into any routine. It burns a lot of calories, about 315 per half-hour on average for a 155-pound person, but is it great cardio?

How long should a beginner row on a rowing machine?

A beginner should row for a short amount of time and then build up to longer rowing times later. Some rowing machines allow you to add resistance. This will play a key factor in how long you will row and the benefit you get from it.

As a beginner, you want to start to get familiar with the form of the exercise and do it properly each time. You want to do this to prevent injury and get stronger.

After spending weeks, even months learning the proper form of the row, doing 30–45-minute sessions would help you get the form down. You can even spend as much as 20 minutes a session.

The short sessions will need to be made more challenging and will have to be focused during these sessions to get the most out of them. This is all you need until you get the form down perfectly, which will come easy if you are consistent and do not give up.

After this period of learning the form, and when you think you have it down, you can row for longer periods of 30 minutes to 45, or even longer. You can add resistance and make it as difficult as you want. Make it difficult enough to where you can row for 30 straight minutes but towards the end, you are as tired as possible.

This will prove enough as you progress to do the exercise more intensely, getting even more benefit and making it even more challenging in the same amount of time.

Should I row every day?

You should not row every day. Rowing every day could cause an overuse injury and prove to give you a lot less of a benefit than doing intense workouts every other day.

You should have some kind of intensity for each workout that you do, but this will be difficult if you do the same workout every day. If you use high intensity every day, then injuries are bound to occur, and massive fatigue will take over.

This will limit your benefits and cause you to give up as you stop making progress and get stronger. This is why you should do intense workouts but have a rest day between them. Rest days are important to recover from the last session you had.

You need to rest your central nervous system and muscles as they are fatigued and damaged by the exercise you have done the day before. Rest and recovery are very important for getting stronger, bigger, and leaner.

Rest and recovery start right after a workout; you must eat the proper amount of protein and calories and stay hydrated while sleeping 7-9 quality hours a night. The next day, you do not do intense exercise that works the same muscle groups, but you do some light exercise to get the blood flowing.

This will help bring nutrients to the entire body and help you recover faster. Eating and sleeping continue to be important and stay hydrated.

All of this together is what will help you keep making progress and staying motivated while doing exercise. Rowing everyday will stop you from making good progress, and you will lose motivation because of this.

Is 20 minutes of rowing enough?

You do not need to row for an hour or more, you can get a great workout within only 20 minutes. It will be more challenging as the longer you row, the more benefits you will get.

You must add more resistance to make it more challenging and get the same benefit as a longer workout, or you can be more intense with your rowing. This means you will have to row faster than how you row when rowing for a longer time.

This will help you burn more calories and have a greater workout for your heart. Before you do this, make sure that you have great form.

A breakdown in form while trying to do more intense exercise can put you at risk of an injury. So, practice good form before attempting more intense exercise, and be aware that when you have less time that you need to add more resistance or else you will not get the same benefit as longer exercise would.

Is rowing better cardio than running?

Rowing is a great form of cardio. It is low impact, meaning it is safer on the knees and back because you are in a seated position.

Compare this to running or jogging, which is high impact, and can put wear and tear on your knees, and cause ankle problems. These things are possible, but it does not mean that they will happen.

The risk is higher for those exercises, along with jumping rope, any running sport, and jumping jacks. High impact does not mean the exercise is bad, it only means it is harder on the joints.

High impact exercises can bring the heart rate up quickly, burning more calories. They can also improve bone density, strengthen the heart and lungs, and improve stability, balance, and coordination. (2)

Low impact exercises have fewer benefits in a shorter amount of time, but the more intense and the longer you do them, you will get the same benefit. It will just take more work.

This is why running is better for cardio if you have the ability to run multiple times a week with intensity. If you cannot do that, then rowing is a better option and will be a great alternative for the same purpose.


As a beginner, row for 20-30 minutes, practicing good form before you row for longer periods with more resistance and intensity. Take rest days to properly progress and keep a healthy body. If you cannot run then rowing is a great, low impact exercise that will give you the same benefits with less wear and tear on your knees and joints.

You should consult a doctor before starting any exercise regimen, and especially if you have health conditions such as heart problems or trouble, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, or obesity – or if you are 40 years old or older, make sure to check with your doctor before you begin a regular exercise regimen.