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Why I Love the Rowing Machine for Swimmers

Here’s why I like the Rowing Machine for swimmers:

  1. Swimming is a pulling motion and the rowing machine reinforces that. Just like in swimming there is a catch phase, a pull (drive) and recovery phase.

  2. The rowing machine is a great way to build shoulder strength while giving the rotator cuff a break. I don’t know about you but this is a welcome change when the yardage gets to be in the 3000 and 4000 range.

  3. Rowing will strengthen the triceps, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves during various stages of the row.

  4. Rowing is both cardio and strength training at the same time so it keeps your heart rate elevated engaging your muscles from head to toe in continuous movement.

So if you’re looking to change it up and get a full body cardio and strength workout that will benefit your swim, I highly suggest the rowing machine!

Have you downloaded my FREE Complete Guide to Iron Distance Swim? I've put together everything you need to know about the Ironman or 70.3 Open Water Swim. Reading this guide will ease your mind about your next event and get you feeling more confident on race day, promise! Get the guide here:

Need an experienced triathlon coach for your next race? Message me HERE for a free 15 minute phone consult!

Have you thought about doing a SWIM STROKE ANALYSIS? This can be a game changer for your swim. All I need are a few videos of you at the pool. Click the purple button below to sign up for my swim stroke analysis, then email me at and we can talk about exactly how to send me your videos!

Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

USA Cycling Coach

ACSM Trainer


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