How To Benefit From Rowing as a Musician

Kyle Franz from Unsplash


I don’t know what it is or why, but at the place I workout, there is only a single rowing machine.   Is it just that people have no idea of the benefits of rowing?  Or maybe the link between music and exercise seems more elusive than obtainable.  But musicianship and rowing definitely complement each other.

Effective Cardio – Low Impact Exercise

No matter your age, cardio exercise is an important aspect – or should be – of an effective exercise plan.  If you’re used to running and have ever felt the pounding in your knees or hips, rowing can provide a welcome break, while continuing to provide benefits for losing weight.   As a musician, rowing is more like a legato, (smooth and connected), phrase instead of one with lots of accents – from pounding on the concrete.

Weight Loss

Did you know that 30 minutes of vigorous rowing burns 105 calories on average, according to Harvard Health Publishing.  Even a moderate pace will burn 86 calories on average.  Every musician who disciplines themselves with daily practice knows the benefits of continuing and not skipping days or giving up those exercises which seem unimportant.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

Upper and Lower Body Workout

Rowing exercises the rhomboids, or push up muscles, in the shoulders.  The trapezius in the upper back, and latisimmus dorsi in the lower back also benefit.  A stronger back and shoulders include improved posture and reduce back pain. Rowing also benefits biceps, pecs, and abs, for a stronger core.  As a musician, our cord is pretty much the center of everything involving the physical aspect of playing an instrument or singing.

Rowing utilizes leg muscles; the quads in the upper front of the thighs, as well as the calves and glutes (buttocks) also feel the burn. Rowing is also resistance training benefitting flexibility and balance.  As a musician, the overall strength gaining benefits from rowing also benefits us, no matter how we apply this to our craft.

Here I am applying the benefits of rowing.

With My Song I Shall thank Him


There it is – 3 reasons why Rowing is worth your time.  And each one lends itself to some aspect of musician life.  So maybe when you see that rowing machine all by itself you’ll have more knowledge to employ to make a change and enjoy the benefits of rowing.


Top 10 Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine

Victor Freitas from Unsplash

I’d love to hear what your experiences have been rowing as a musician

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