Rowing for Runners

Oct 03, 2019

Rowing is a “leg sport," working the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Runners can benefit by incorporating more rowing into their training.

A leg sport? Yes! Think of each stroke as a horizontal “jump.” Strong rowers engage their quadriceps and glutes to push their oars through the water. Each stroke moves through the knee, hip and elbow joints to create a full-body low-impact workout. Of course, rowing doesn't work only the legs: the core and upper body on each stroke results in a dynamic high-Calorie burning workout.

Loyal runners here at Concept2 race in everything from 5ks and marathons to ultra marathons. They gave us their favorite reasons to trade in a running day for an indoor row:

  1. Low impact. Rowing provides another way to gain strength and endurance—but off your feet. You can reduce your chance of impact injuries by decreasing running mileage or intensity. That doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising altogether. Rowing works your cardiovascular fitness and flexibility but reduces the stress on your legs and feet.
  2. Full-body workout. Just like in rowing, runners need strong core and arms. Core muscles stabilize the body and help with better posture; arm strength helps with form and efficiency. Rowing helps build strength in these areas.
  3. Injury. Many runners can maintain cardiovascular fitness by rowing through a running injury. Always consult your doctor to see if this option is right for you. Rowing puts you in control of the intensity of your workout on every pull, allowing you the freedom to adjust your workout to your abilities.
  4. Stay off the streets. Here at Concept2, we run on our local rail trail for safety. Both driver distraction and isolation on trails pose hazards. An indoor workout can be a safer alternative, especially with our limited fall and winter daylight.
  5. Fair weather. We bundle up for winter runs, but there are still days when we would rather stay inside. The indoor rower offers a more complete and time-efficient workout than the “dreadmill.”
  6. Measurable Results. The Concept2 Performance Monitor provides reliable results from workout to workout. Progress can be easily measured—no weather, wind or hills to confuse fitness gains. Periodic time trials help to hone improvements.
  7. Motivation. Whether you join us for a podcast or a challenge, rowing can offer you new goals to support your running goals.

Tags: Training

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