Age limitation often makes it difficult for the elderly to find a suitable exercise machine to keep them active and healthy. But what about an indoor rower? Is a rowing machine good for seniors?

A rowing machine may look bulky and complex. But the low-impact, full-body workouts it can provide are excellent for seniors. Its effects on the muscles and bones are also vital rowing machine benefits that they need.

There are several other reasons why seniors should start a rowing session. Keep reading to learn more.

Why is a Rowing Machine Good for Seniors?

The benefits of indoor rowers cover people of any fitness level or age.

But they are especially ideal for seniors because of their body and health status.

They need to be active but with minimal impact on their joints.

Physical activity should also be part of their routine to maintain good blood flow and a healthy heart.

And an indoor rower has all the specs to meet these fitness needs.

Here’s a more in-depth list of rowing machine benefits for the elderly.

1. It allows a low-impact exercise.

Ageing can make our bones more fragile and prone to injury.

They won’t be as healthy that running, jumping or lifting heavy weights may cause joint issues.

Machines made for low-impact or closed-chain exercise, like an indoor rower, are best for them.

That means they can be physically active with their feet flat on the machine.

Their feet won’t constantly hit hard surfaces and place tension on vulnerable ankles, knees or hips.

Experts even agree that rowing is good for seniors with arthritis.

But of course, consulting your doctor is necessary before performing any exercise.

Another thing that makes rowing less strenuous for the elderly is the whole-body workout effect.

Your lower and upper body get equal attention with every rowing stroke.

And so, there is less tension or load on a single part or section of the body.

Full-Body Rowing Workout for Seniors

2. It enables full-body workouts.

A rowing machine is best for seniors as it works most of our muscles – about 80% of them.

Most cardio machines target the lower body only. But rowing is different.

This unique exercise encourages both aerobic and resistance training.

This holistic workout approach is essential as we grow older.

By the time we’re 30 years old, our bodies will start losing muscle mass, which speeds up during senior years.

This development explains why the elderly feel weaker and sometimes struggle with daily activities.

With rowing, we stimulate as many muscles as possible to counter muscle atrophy.

Keeping yourself active through full-body workouts also prevents muscle overuse and pains.

3. It promotes weight loss.

Our metabolism slows down when we reach 60 years, aside from losing muscle mass.

Experts linked this to lower energy expenditure among elderly people.

And combining low metabolism and activity with high caloric intake can lead to health problems.

The good news is that rowing is among the best calorie-burning exercises. It burns a lot of calories within a short period, which lowers body fat percentage.

All these benefits of rowing result in improved cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced disease risks.

4. It strengthens the bones.

Physical stamina and strength steadily decline as we age, putting seniors at a higher risk of falls.

And this is not good considering that bone density loss is also part of ageing.

But rowing exercise can help offset these.

Aside from enhancing muscle mass for more strength, rowing machines can help seniors strengthen their bones.

Specifically, the gentle pressure from rowing can stimulate bone tissues to start rebuilding.

In turn, bones become denser and less fragile.

Rowing for Stronger Bones among Seniors

5. It lets you perform fun and relaxing exercises.

Have you tried exercising with an indoor water rower? This type can simulate the sound and feel of outdoor rowing!

The swooshing sound of the water tank paddle and the rhythmic flow can instantly bring you to a Zen-like state.

All types of rowers have adjustable resistance (or incline), too, making daily exercise fun and challenging.

Rowing is meditative, but it also burns calories and strengthens your muscles. And this effect is ideal for the elderly.

After all, at age 60 and up, our goal is to do away with stress and worries.

So, even workouts should make us feel happy and rejuvenated.

Researchers even concluded that exercise helps fight depression among the elderly by stimulating the release of mood enhancers.

Exercise can also enhance the quality of our sleep, which may explain why it’s an effective mood booster.

Seniors often have sleeping difficulties due to various reasons.

But rowing can modify your core body temperature to encourage rest and sleep.

6. It keeps seniors active.

Having an indoor rower at home is a good way for seniors to avoid long hours of sitting or lying down.

Inactivity leads to not only physical ailments but also mental health issues.

Staying active through rowing can fight these ageing effects. Exercise generally makes you feel and look younger, too.

And as physical activity strengthens your muscles and bones, you maintain independence, which is a crucial motivator to many.


Doing any form of exercise is beneficial for all, no matter our age.

But an indoor rowing machine is a good choice for seniors because of its low-impact nature.

Rowing is an exercise they can safely do daily, provided their doctors approve it. Its effects are also right on target.

Specifically, it can stimulate weakening muscles, improve bone mineral density, and boost cardiovascular health.

All these make seniors less susceptible to diseases. So, remember, rowing is not just for the young and fit.

And if you work out at home with a high-quality indoor rower, sticking to a routine should be easy!

Senior on a Rower with Personal Trainer

1. How long should the elderly exercise in a day?

In Australia, it is best for people 65 years and older to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. If you have been inactive for some time, you can start with a 10-minute workout. Then, increase it to 15 minutes after two weeks until you reach the 30-minute requirement. Create a routine that you can stick to and incorporate various exercises you enjoy.

2. What factors should seniors consider when choosing an indoor rower?

Selecting the ideal rower depends on user preference, fitness capacity and overall health status. But generally, seniors should get one with a higher seat level to make it easier to get on and off the machine. An ergonomic handlebar with foam grip, non-slip footplates and padded seat are also vital for comfort. Performance monitor size and display quality should also allow easy reading.