Rowing as a Workout for Women


Rowing as a workout offers women numerous health benefits. This includes burning calories and building muscles without placing significant stress on the joints. The body adapts to the stress of exercise. Therefore a woman that is consistent with her rowing workouts will likely notice changes throughout her entire body.
A Muscular Frame

The rower uses the body to employ a great amount of force to propel their boats forward. According to BBC Academy, as for this they typically carry a significant amount of muscle mass. This mass is built throughout the entire body. According to the University of California, Davis exercise physiologist Keith Baar, rowing as a workout builds muscular strength and mass, due to the powerful contractions muscles must perform continuously.

Muscles Targeted

It appears that the back takes on most of the load from rowing. Yet the majority of the force comes from the hips and legs. While rowing, a woman makes similar movements to continuously performing leg press and seated rows at the gym. Each oar row is initiated by extending your hips and knees. This is similar to movement when performing leg presses. These movements are performed by the gluteus maximus and quadriceps. Shortly after the hips and legs extend, the arms back behind the oar is pulled through the water. This movement is similar to seated rows. It is primarily handled by the latissimus dorsi in your back. Therefore, women who row consistently will typically have larger hip, leg and upper back muscles.

Rowing increases and maintains Leanness

As a result, the additional muscle mass does add weight to a woman’s body. However, she tends to have low body fat. Even more, she is relatively lean due to the fact that she burns so many calories while rowing. Dr. Fritz Hagerman of Ohio State’s Biological Science Department notes that competitive rowers typically burn about twice the number of calories as a runner who travels 2,000 meters or performs a 3,000-meter steeplechase. Female world-class rowers typically weigh about 165 to 176 pounds


Developed Cardiorespiratory System

Consistent rowing as a workout will make a positive impact on a woman’s body in terms of her heart, lungs and circulatory system. When rowing, the working tissues require more oxygen and nutrients. As a result, the demand for the cardiorespiratory system increases. The lungs work to take in more oxygen and get rid of more carbon dioxide. The heart beats faster so that it can pump more blood throughout the body. The veins and arteries dilate and blood can move around the body more freely. As a result, the cardiorespiratory system develops. These improvements decrease the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

by Kim Nunley

Female rowers are muscular and yet relatively lean.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Andy Robinson

    Thanks Tom for an interesting article but I’m afraid I’m not sure why it is titled ‘…for Women’.
    Seemed everything is relevant for any rower, whether female, male, junior, senior or master and didn’t seem to be much, if anything, in the article that was specific to women.

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