Looking for some way to spice up your exercise routine, or give yourself that well-balanced, comprehensive workout you’ve unintentionally neglected so far? The often overlooked exercise of rowing might be just what you need. If you’ve never given it a try, you may be skeptical about the benefits, but it’s truly worth the investment. Rowing is one of the few ways to work out almost your entire body… and you can do it while sitting down!

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Although rowing seems like an activity that primarily works out the upper body, in fact it actually uses a great deal of leg power. The guidance of each stroke may come from your arms, but your legs are where the real force comes into play. Through this seemingly simple exercise form, all the major muscle groupings in your body get worked on. It excels at building muscle, dropping unwanted fatty tissue, and is a great way to get exposure to the outdoors and nature if you happen to live near an appropriate body of water.

Now, if you aren’t so lucky as to live near a lake, you may think that rowing is barred to you. But the days of actually needing a boat and water to row are long since past. Technology’s advances have resulted in one of the best possible additions to your home gymnasium, the rowing machine. Rowing machines are designed to specifically bring the rowing experience to your home, and are just as effective at building up your body as ‘real’ rowing is, if not more so! This equipment makes use of magnetized resistance methods to provide an imitation of water resistance as you row your way to better legs, better stamina, and stronger arms. The better models will allow you to choose between various settings that imitation different kinds of boats and water types, while the commonly included monitors will help you keep an accurate track of your workout both in terms of distance rowed, speed, and calories burned. Rowing machines are available for as little as under two hundred dollars up to a grand, so there’s a machine out there for every kind of budget and body type, depending on your needs.

Despite the intensity and overall effectiveness of rowing, it’s also a low-impact activity. This means that it’s an ideal way for people to exercise even when they would have difficulty with other exercise routines. If you’re recovering from certain kinds of injuries that inhibit running or other common forms of exercise, or if you get short-winded easily due to that nasty smoking habit, rowing is the activity for you.

Finally, if you enjoy competing to be your best, there are a variety of competitions available at regional, national, and international levels. Whether you want to push yourself to a new level or just enjoy socializing with people who also enjoy rowing through clubs, there’s a competition to enjoy. Feel free to get out there and make a brand new you of yourself with an easier than ever exercise that will leave you better from head to toe.