Is it ok to use a rowing machine everyday?
While the short answer is yes (sometimes), I want to answer more questions about rowing everyday in my full breakdown below.
Some people buy a rowing machine and immediately fall in love with the activity!
They want to row everyday, but sometimes this can be a bad idea!
I cover a few ways you can ease into rowing and make sure you are ready to start rowing everyday.
Plus, I want to give you a few ways to mix things up, so you don’t start to get bored!
If you have any questions or comments when you are reading, please share your thoughts in the comment section. This is a great article to share information with each other about how frequently we row and how much we rest!
If you are new to rowing machine exercises, I wrote this article called “Is Rowing Machine a Good Exercise?” to learn more about the exercise, cardio, and strength fitness benefits of rowing.
Start Slow & Listen to Your Body
I get a lot of questions about different workout routines and if they are safe to perform everyday. My main response is to always “take it slow and listen to your body”!
If your body feels very sore and tired, I recommend taking a rest day. Your body needs time to rest and repair the muscles and rowing too much can lead to injuries.
Your body usually knows what’s best and I often use it as a guide to prevent over-training.
However, this doesn’t mean using slightly sore muscles or being a little tired as an excuse to not exercise! Trust me, I never feel 100% and can always think of some excuse to skip my workout.
Make sure you are being honest with yourself.
Effects of Over-Training
Over-training can lead to a lot of different issues like injuries, fatigue, and immune suppression.
If you feel yourself becoming more and more tired, sick, not being able to sleep, high heart rate, mood swings, etc., then you are probably over-training. I would recommend taking 2-days off to let your body recover.
One of the biggest effects of over-training is increased injuries. Many people who try to use a rowing machine everyday too quickly can experience back pain. You have to take it slow and allow your body to adjust to new workouts and routines.
I’ve made this mistake before during rowing and Crossfit and ended up injuring myself due to becoming “addicted” to exercising everyday. Trust me, you loose more time once you are injured than if you just took a few days off in-between workouts and avoided injuries!
How to Prevent Over-Training & Injuries
The best way to prevent over-training and injuries is to start slow and be smart. You should always have a good warm-up with stretching before a workout and a cool-down after.
Also, always make sure you are rowing with proper form and technique. This is one of the biggest ways to avoid injury!
I recommend searching YouTube for some “Rowing Technique” videos before starting a rowing routine or check out the Concept2 video below.
I recommend starting off by rowing 3-4 days a week and gradually increasing the amount of days and length of rowing time. Eventually you can work into rowing everyday!
Some rowers will begin to form blisters when they start to row frequently. You can check out my top rowing gloves for ways to prevent blisters.
I also recommend checking your resting heart rate in the mornings. This is a great indicator if you are over-training and also if you are seeing some cardiovascular improvements! See some tips about checking morning heart rate here.
While you can easily use your finger and stopwatch to check heart rate, many people like to use fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. Some new technology even tracks your sleep patterns and can tell you when your heart rate spikes and if you were in REM sleep.
You can check out a full list of heart rate monitors here for a lot of great options. The Fitbit Alta and Charge 2 are very popular or you can just buy a cheap “finger monitor”.
Consider Rowing Duration
I may have gotten a little side tracked, but this article is still about “is it ok to row everyday”?
The answer is “yes”, but you should start slow and listen to your body. You should also consider rowing duration.
If you are only performing 10-15 minute moderate rowing sessions, then it is more likely you are ok using a rowing machine everyday. However, if you are rowing for 1 hour, then you may have to take time to work up to this longer duration.
I once pushed myself to start rowing an hour per day and I did begin developing some lower back soreness. I just eased up for a few days and let my body fully recover. The real problems occur when you try to push through these types of pains!
I have an article about how long you should row on a rowing machine that can help give you an idea of different times and benefits of each.
You can also subscribe to the Concept2 WOD email list to receive a daily email with different workout ideas for short, medium, and long workouts.
Some people also begin to develop sore butts when they start to row for longer times without their body getting used to the pressure of rowing everyday. I recommend checking out the top rowing seat cushions and buying a soft pad if this occurs.
How Long Should I Row On A Rowing Machine?
You should row for 30 minutes per rowing session and train 4 – 6 days a week. But how long you should use your rower depends on your workout goal since the rowing session varies depending on what you aim to achieve.
If your goal is to lose weight, you want to use your rowing machine for calorie burn. In this case, you want to use your rowing machine for 30 minutes daily, exercising 4 to 6 times per week.
However, you also want to consider being consistent. And more importantly, you want to watch your diet as much as you watch your lifestyle to achieve your goal within a reasonable period. Also, you want to start slow when working out and adjust the rowing intensity enough to get your body sweating and the heart pumping.
Of course, you might get yourself sweating at a different rowing intensity from another person. So, you want to listen to your body when using a rowing machine – no need to compete with people you can’t keep up with!
Also, this ensures you don’t overexert yourself. If you can row while holding a conversation, that’s great enough. Since you will row for half an hour for 4 – 6 days a week, you want to take a day off between the rowing sessions to avert the risk of injury; this gives your muscles the time to heal.
Consider Your Workout Goals
You may be interested in using a rowing machine everyday, but what are your workout goals?
Maybe you want higher anaerobic (sprinting) capabilities or better aerobic (long-distance) endurance? Maybe you want to build more lean muscle?
All of these goals have different ways of achieving them and can help determine if you should be using a rowing machine everyday and for how long.
You should also set a timeline and give yourself enough time to achieve these goals. This will prevent you from rushing to row everyday and possibly prevent injuries.
If you want better anaerobic capabilities you should be performing shorter sprint workouts that may only last 10-20 minutes per day. For aerobic training, you will have to row for 45 minutes to 1 hour, which may require a rest day in-between.
I break these different goals down further in my rowing machine duration article.
If you are looking for general health and fitness goals, you will want to mix up your workouts between short intense sessions and long steady-state sessions.
There is a book titled “Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise“, which talks about the benefits of moderately rowing everyday. I have heard good things about it and it received some nice reviews.
Mix It Up!
While I do think it is perfectly fine to row everyday as long as you build up to it, I also think you should mix it up a little!
Our bodies are efficient machines and can get very good at doing tasks they perform everyday. If you start using a rowing machine everyday, your body will become very efficient at this movement and you can begin to reach a plateau.
This is why I recommend incorporating some other exercises into a daily rowing routine like push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. I even have a great article about using kettlebells with a rowing machine.
Mixing things up also gives our bodies a chance to rest some muscles while exercising others!
Performing different exercises also keeps the entire body strong and prevents any muscle imbalances. This helps prevent injuries and can lead to better rowing times!
Another reason to mix it up is to prevent boredom. If you become bored, you aren’t going to row everyday! So make sure to throw in a few push-ups, change up that music playlist, start listening to a new podcast, or download some rowing apps!
Can a Rowing Machine Improve Your Cardiovascular Health?
Your cardiovascular health will improve immensely from training with a rowing machine. A rowing machine will strengthen your heart and lungs, increasing their working capacities.
So, if you want to bolster your heart and lungs, a rowing machine is the gym equipment for improving your cardiovascular health.
Since indoor rowing is both an anaerobic and aerobic exercise trainer, it is an excellent choice for strengthening your lungs and, more importantly, your heart.
When using the rowing machine indoors for anaerobic exercise, you want to increase its rowing intensity and spend a short time using it.
Specifically, you want to vary the rowing session from 5 to 20 minutes. Although you can sprint or perform HIIT exercises outdoors, a rowing machine allows you to perform these exercises indoors while reaping maximum benefits.
But when using a rowing machine in your home gym for aerobic exercise, you want to exercise long and slow rowing.
As a result, your aerobic condition will improve. Since aerobic exercises strengthen your heart and clear your arteries, your overall cardiovascular health will improve when using a rowing machine for long and slow periods.
And the best part is you can achieve all the benefits indoors.
But an aerobic workout on a rowing machine is long and slow. So, you want to keep training for 45 – 90 minutes, although some people go for 150 minutes! But once again, you want to keep your workout routines within a bearable limit.
How Do You Balance Between Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercises?
You want to do an aerobic workout on your rowing machine for two days, then do anaerobic exercise on the same machine for a day. That means you want to balance these two exercises in a ratio of 2-to-1.
To achieve excellent cardiovascular health, you want to alternate between anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Also, you want to mix things up by engaging in other aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking besides rowing.
At the same time, you can also perform anaerobic exercises such as jumping rope, sprinting, and weightlifting. You will achieve excellent cardiovascular health if you alternate between these two rowing workouts and, more importantly, mix them up with other exercises.
What Is Your Rowing Pace When Working Out?
Your rowing pace should be 2:0 for a 500-meter split. But this split time could be higher for a shorter distance or lower for distances exceeding 500 meters.
If you’re wondering if you can use a rowing machine every day, first, you want to check your workout pace before knowing the answer to this question. Besides, your workout pace determines if you will use the rowing machine daily.
And this is true since a higher workout pace reduces the rowing session. And the vice versa is also true. For example, if you can perform 28 strokes every minute, you will cover a greater distance than someone who makes 20 strokes within a specified period.
But you can also achieve the same goal even if you don’t have the endurance of someone who works out faster than you if you persist. However, increased pace reduces the rowing session, meaning you will row for a few days if your workout intensity is high.
But you might need to row frequently if your intensity workout isn’t as high to achieve the same fitness level. If you want to use a rowing machine daily to achieve an incredible fitness level, moderate the rowing session to 15 minutes.
But you can also row for 30 minutes for vigorous rowing, keeping it at least 24 strokes per minute. So, it is possible to use a rowing machine daily. But this depends on the rowing intensity and the desired fitness level.
What Settings are on a Rowing Machine?
A rowing machine has a fan setting to vary training difficulty. Additionally, it has features you can adjust to help you achieve your goal hassle-free. So, let’s look at these settings and features to help you perform a full body workout:
This setting allows you to perform a more challenging rowing stroke. You will use a damper setting to set the fan to a difficulty level ranging from 1 to 10.
After adjusting the fan setting, you want to assume the best body and foot positioning. The fan setting adjusts the flywheel resistance. Most people think setting up the fan resistance to 10 is better, but this exposes you to unnecessary load that can cause injuries.
Moreover, a high fan setting makes rowing harder, especially at the beginning of the stroke. So, you want to scale it down to 3 or 4, and you will still get the high intensity workout to train your muscles. Setting the fan to these levels also allows you to work on your posture and improve your quickness around the catch, thus improving the overall workout.
If there’s one feature competitive rowers look out for in a rowing machine, it is the screen on their workout machines. And that’s important since this screen monitors essential workout data such as the calories, split, and strokes.
The screen monitors your expanded calories while also showing the watts produced. At the same time, it allows you to set it to track your 500-meter split. Also, some rowing machines display the stroke rate as “SPM.” So, you want to check this for your stroke rate.
The stroke rate refers to how many strokes you can pull off each minute. Since the stroke rate and the split relate inversely, increasing one, usually the stroke rate, results in a decreased split. So, the screen is one feature to check for when looking for the best rowing machine trainer.
Usually, this is the time it takes you to cover 500 meters. For example, if you maintain a 1:45 split, you will take 1 minute 45 seconds to cover 500 meters. The split allows you to know if your training technique is paying off. Since it is a crucial factor, ensure you pay attention to it when using your rowing machine.
Does a Rowing Machine Have a Cushioned Seat?
Yes, most rowing machines feature cushioned seats to provide a comfortable rowing experience. At the same time, the seats provide all the support you need. Additionally, the handlebar is usually non-slip and has sufficient padding to bolster ergonomics. Therefore, most rowing machines have cushioned seats and handlebars for ergonomics and stability.
Can a Rowing Machine Improve My Posture?
Yes, a rowing machine could improve your posture. Most people work from home now more than ever. And they use computers, iPad, and smartphones to execute office tasks from the comfort of their homes. But looking down at your computer affects the spinal mechanics.
And if you repetitively hunch over your computer, you develop a reverse neck curve, which might affect your posture. Also, constantly leaning forward causes abnormal bio mechanisms, which can negatively impact your body posture.
But the best rowing machine, such as the Concept 2, gives you a full body workout to train all muscle groups in your lower and upper body while ensuring your core also gains the mass and strength it requires to support your body.
Since a rowing machine trains essential muscles in your body, it improves your posture. Therefore, equip your home gym with the best rowing machine to improve your body posture.
While many people want to know if they can use a rowing machine everyday, I think it is more important to keep a consistent, injury-free workout routine.
This sometimes means taking 1 or 2 days off!
However, if you have slowly built up from rowing 3-4 times a week, I think it is perfectly fine to use a rowing machine everyday.
I enjoy switching things up a bit and currently row about 4 times a week. Although there have been many months where I was rowing almost everyday.
There are also many competitive rowers who train daily for indoor rowing competitions and Olympic rowers who train daily. This proves you can row everyday but you must take it serious, such as performing warm-ups/cool-downs, proper technique, and good rest/nutrition.
If you have any specific questions about using a rowing machine everyday, please leave me a comment below. I always do my best to answer questions or point readers to good information sources.
Rowing Machine King Founder and Author.