Do Indoor Rowing Machines Build Muscle?
Rowing machines work the muscles in the arms, legs and back and provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. Rowing machines can be used on consecutive days, unlike lifting weights. But do indoor rowing machines build muscle? Yes and no. The muscles used in rowing are the type of muscles for endurance. It is the difference in the muscles of a marathon runner as opposed to those of a power lifter. Power lifters can lift huge amounts of weight for a very short period of time, and need to rest between lifts. Marathon runners lack the massive bulk, but can engage their muscles for hours on end. The muscles built during rowing are the type used by the marathon runner, not the power lifter. However, rowing machines play an important role in a good fitness routine for bodybuilders. To achieve the ripped look, you not only need large, massive muscles, but you must also achieve a very low body fat percentage. Rowing machines burn calories, allowing these athletes to stay trim and fit.
Indoor rowing machines engage the same muscles as rowing in the outdoors. It is a fantastic upper and lower body workout, and does build strength and endurance. Rowing can be done five days per week, so it is an excellent addition to a workout regimen because you don't need a day of rest in between as you do after weightlifting. Many athletes alternate training days, lifting weights three days per week and supplementing their workouts with two or more days of cardio training, such as working out on a rowing machine. Another benefit to these machines is the low impact on the joints of the body. When knee injuries, ankle injuries and other problems make it difficult or impossible to jog or run, rowing machines are a great way to get a good workout without jarring your body unnecessarily.
But this is not to say that rowing is not building muscle. It is simply building a longer, leaner muscle than what bodybuilders are striving for. Rowing improves strength by developing long, lean muscles capable of working for long periods of time without becoming fatigued. It will not, however, reduce the bulky muscles you build by lifting weights so long as you maintain an adequate intake of calories. Be sure that the calories you consume are clean and healthy. Strive for high protein, the building blocks of muscles. Keep your carbohydrate intake to a minimum and avoid sugar as much as possible. Eat a varied diet, rich in lean meats, green leafy vegetables and fruits and vegetables of all colors. Many bodybuilders find that they simply can't get the calories and nutrients they need by diet alone. These people turn to healthy dietary supplements to get the high levels of protein and other nutrients they need to build and maintain large muscles.
So, do indoor rowing machines build muscle? Yes, but not the big, bulky kind seen on bodybuilders. Rowing builds long, lean muscles that are strong and conditioned to continue working for long periods of time without giving in to fatigue. But rowing does help anyone keep body fat percentages low so that their muscles pop instead of hiding under a layer of body fat.