Rowing – the boat sport
What rowing has to offer
If you are seeking a great workout for the entire body, rowing is well worth considering. This historic sport is wonderful for building overall body strength and it provides a fantastic cardio workout at the same time!
Rowing is not a fast-moving trend but requires patience and dedication to achieve long-term physical success. It can support other forms of physical training and can also help you focus mentally which can benefit you in all areas of life.
It’s a sport for everyone, whether you prefer to enjoy it alone or with others. One of the main goals of rowing can be to unite as a team, creating a unit that works together to achieve a common objective, or it can also be enjoyed as a solo activity.
Stamina and a strong physical performance are necessary to be a successful competitive rower, but even if you have never rowed before, you shouldn’t be put off from giving it a go! There are plenty of clubs that will be happy to let you give rowing a try, and if you decide to take it up, there will always be other rowers looking for new recruits for games, events and even championships.
How rowing can support your body
Rowing is low impact and good for the cardiovascular system1 but while it requires strength and fitness, it is easy on the joints and is therefore particularly suitable for those looking to get back into sport after an injury. Rowing relies upon approximately 80% of the body’s muscles to be used at once; different groups of muscles in your arms and legs, back, shoulders and chest will all be called upon if you are to be an effective rower.
Before you start working to improve speed and precision, it’s important to ensure that you master the correct rowing technique, with the right sequence of movements being used to support your body in the best possible way.
Rowing can complement other sports and, like cycling and swimming, it helps you learn to pace properly and find an even rhythm. Even when fatigued, professional rowers can maintain constant performance despite weakened muscles.2
The history of rowing
Rowing has been seen throughout history, with the Vikings, Romans and Greeks all relying on rowing to navigate their way across the seas. As a sport, rather than just a mode of transport, rowing began in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first race held was the Oxford Cambridge university boat race,3 which still takes place annually. Today rowing is also used off the water as a popular way of training at the gym. So-called rowing machines enable you to simulate the on-water conditions in a similar motion sequence as in the real sport and indoor rowing has made it possible to ‘row’ year-round – whatever the weather.
Rowing as an Olympic sport
Rowing is a part of Olympic history and the games started with several programmes for men and women. There have been many great rowers stand at the Olympic podiums to collect their medals, including the greatest rower ever; Sir Steve Redgrave from Great Britain, a six-time world champion. While Great Britain remain strong contenders, in the last few years the German team has dominated Olympic rowing, frequently reaching the finish line first in rowing races.3
The health benefits of rowing
Rowing requires you to bend and flex your body in many different positions and is considered a comprehensive but joint-gentle workout because of the flowing movements through the whole body.1 As a team sport it combines the possibility of competitions with time in nature and on the water, and rowing may help individuals achieve better physical and mental health.1