For those who are leaning into new forms of exercise, no matter what they are, it is important to know how to best approach the new workout type. Exercise is healthy, but it is more healthy and helpful when it is approached properly and carefully.
Rowing a mile on a rowing machine can take an average of 7 minutes of steady rowing. More experienced rowers will have an average rowing time of a mile in less than 6 minutes. For those who are beginners and still learning the machine may take 8 minutes or more to row a mile.
Check out more information below about how to determine a good row time on rowing machines, how to appropriately use the machines, and how the workout compares to other forms of exercise. For rowing beginners, staying informed about how to get the most benefits out of the exercise will hopefully lead to better health and less pain!
What is a Good Rowing Time for Beginners?
Rowing is an admirable sport to pick up; it requires precision, posture, and lots of practice. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed right at the start; good rowing skills and speed come over time.
A good rowing speed for beginners is between 6 to 8 minutes per mile. Speed can be influenced by distance traveled, and strokes per minute (SPM). Additionally, when it comes to SPM, more strokes aren’t always better. It is the power and quality of the strokes that determines distance, which in turn increases speed.
Trying to reach too many SPMs may also lead to more pain in the long run. One experienced rower noted that improper care for posture when rowing leads to back issues that may not show up until too late.
Determining a good row time should also be influenced by the goals someone is working towards. If a beginner on the rowing machine wants to work towards long-distance competitions, then their speed might be slower than someone who is training for shorter, speed-based competitions. Over time, people might be working towards a 4-5 minute mile.
What are the Mechanics of Rowing a Mile?
Knowing the mechanics of rowing a mile can help beginners to set appropriate goals. First, many rowers talk about their distances in the vocabulary of the metric system. Below is a chart that can help beginners convert the numbers if they are more used to the imperial system of measurement.
|Metric System||Imperial System|
|1.609 Kilometers||1 Mile|
|5 Kilometers||3.106 Miles|
|10 Kilometers||6.213 Miles|
|20 Kilometers||12.427 Miles|
|40 Kilometers||24.854 Miles|
Knowing how rowers generally talk about the distances they travel is one way that beginners can better calculate the time they spend rowing a certain distance.
Another aspect of rowing to consider is how many strokes can be taken per minute. The same experienced rower mentioned previously also suggests that any rower should not be extending their SPM past 28 strokes. In order to keep the best posture and the strongest strokes while maintaining an appropriate speed, this is an important number to keep track of!
How Long Should you Row on a Rowing Machine?
Deciding how long to row on a rowing machine may be determined by fitness goals and physical limits. The workouts can range anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, and those using the machine probably don’t want to extend past an hour.
If the rower’s goal is to lose weight, then shorter, more intense workouts are something to consider. These can range in the 15-30 minute range, but really, it’s just up to preference. Listen to what your body is comfortable with, and slowly build up endurance so that you can push beyond the beginner stages of rowing!
Longer workouts that last 45 minutes to an hour can also be useful for those with weight goals, but these longer workouts might be helpful for those training to compete in long-distance rowing. Here, the focus might be on the power and posture used to row a certain distance.
Ultimately, no athlete wants to over-extend on what their body is capable of. While pushing your limits and testing your strength is good, be intentional about incremental improvement, and don’t push yourself too much at the beginning!
Is Rowing a Mile the Same as Running a Mile?
The simple answer is that while people do compare these two forms of exercise, they are not the same.
While running focuses on the lower muscles of the body, rowing uses a majority of the body’s muscles. Think about the parts of the body that are involved in rowing; the shoulders and arms are pulling the weight from the machine (or the weight from the water) and the legs are pushing the body back and forth to help create a smooth rowing motion.
The muscles of the lower back are also involved in creating a more powerful, precise stroke so that when properly executed, distance is increased without improper muscle stress.
Another way that running and rowing compare is in the times that are accomplished with each sport. While mile or kilometer times for each are relatively similar, running tends to be just a little bit of a faster sport than rowing.
Can I Replace Running With Rowing?
If you’re looking for a different sport that is great for cardiovascular exercise and builds more muscle than running, then yes! Rowing is a great sport to look into as a replacement.
Rowing is also a great sport for those who have concerns about joint pain when running. Of course, some joint flexibility is needed (and joints can be harmed if rowing isn’t approached with proper posture), but there is less forceful stress around ankles, knees, and hips with rowing compared to running.
While rowing is a great full-body workout, running also has its own benefits, such as burning more calories and practicing better stability. For those who want to, combining the use of these workouts can have great benefits throughout the body. However, some of the more strenuous parts of running are not for everyone, and replacing the activity with rowing is certainly great health and workout choice to make.
For all the rowing beginners out there, take the time needed to learn how to best use these machines, and eventually, you will find your most efficient rowing time!