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!
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.
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!
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.