Why everyone loves indoor rowing

So what’s behind the growth of indoor rowing?



We asked a few of our industry friends, to tell us why they love indoor rowing and this is what they had to say…

“It’s one of the best all round workouts for body and mind!”

Victoria Taylor, Fitness Matters.

 “From a complete beginner taking their first strokes to a seasoned Olympic or Paralympic athlete, training on the rowing machine is of huge benefit.”

Ben Duggan, WaterRower.

“I will keep coming back to the rower time after time.”

Matt Ford, The Archon Project.

The perfect sport for me - Victoria Taylor, Fitness Matters

“I love indoor rowing for its ability to…


…enhance both my physical and psychological strength. It’s one of the best all round workouts for body and mind!

As a Clinical Psychologist with a mild training obsession it’s therefore perfect. Whilst being an individual sport, it also offers the opportunity to sign-up with an indoor team and compete in online monthly team challenges. I have found this to be massively motivating in terms of staying on track with a training regime.

My team mates encourage and guide me in my training and have helped me build my knowledge of all things rowing. This has ultimately led to some great cardio and strength gains. There’s an evolving indoor rowing community online that’s rich with helpful tips, daily workouts, training plans and in my experience is very warm and welcoming to all ages and abilities.

For the more competitive there’s also a well organised race calendar with some fantastic events on offer where I and many others get to meet up, compete and enjoy a whole load of ‘row chat’.  I’m relatively new to rowing having discovered it later in life…but in the last 18 months it’s improved my confidence, sense of competence and mental toughness.

There’s no going back for me… I can’t imagine not being an indoor rower. Sanity and rowing are not distinct from each other!”

A unique personal challenge - Matt Ford, The Archon Project


“It’s easy to look at someone on a rower and think it’s the easy option.  They appear to effortlessly glide back and forth along the rail with a satisfying ‘whoosh’ of the fan. So you step over the rail, sit on the seat, adjust the foot straps and lock yourself in, ready to experience the floaty sensation of powering your way across the water, leaving a thunderous wake behind you. Two minutes in and like a bolt of lightning, the realisation of what you’ve gotten yourself into hits home!

There’s so much to think about! Do I keep the chain as straight as possible and what stroke rate should I be going at?  And did someone say something about drag?  What’s drag? My philosophy has always been don’t do something easy just because the option is there to do it.  Success and satisfaction come from overcoming the complex and challenging, which is exactly how I see rowing.  Sure anyone can row but not many people can row well. The sense of euphoria when you break that 7 minute 2k because you’ve managed to get the right stroke rate, the powerful yet economic drive phase and have spent the recovery performing the complex ongoing speed mathematics to judge if you’re on pace or not, (rather grabbing that last bit of oxygen or a cheeky sip of water), is a triumph.

To be good at rowing you have to pay attention to the details, the small things, the marginals that all add up to a better performance time. No other piece of training kit will do quite the same and it’s for that reason that I will keep coming back to the rower time after time.”

The ideal home workout - Ben Duggan, WaterRower

Ben Duggan

“I love indoor rowing because it provides an efficient and effective daily workout in the comfort of my own home.

It is also suitable for absolutely everyone. From a complete beginner taking their first strokes to a seasoned Olympic or Paralympic athlete, training on the rowing machine is of huge benefit. The fundamental biomechanics of the rowing stroke are exactly the same whatever your level of experience, and can be learnt with just a few minutes of basic instruction. That’s why indoor rowing attracts a wonderfully diverse range of people, all united by the shared goal of improved health, fitness and wellbeing.

It won’t come as a surprise that the WaterRower is my rowing machine of choice. For me, it simulates the feel and sound of rowing in a boat. It also offers a very smooth and even stroke resistance, which feels great and allows me to row free from the discomfort of back and joint pain. The fact that it looks stylish and takes up minimal space in my flat is an added bonus.”

Are you hooked on indoor rowing?

Whether you are an industry professional, a newcomer, an Olympian or a Paralympian, we would love to hear your story.

Email us at: [email protected]

Why Go Row Indoor?

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Anyone can do it, it is great for core strength, efficient for fat burning and easy to learn and access.

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There are lots of opportunities to compete.

From app challenges, to our annual British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) and much more.

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