How to Get Started with Rowing as a Hobby

Rowing is a popular pastime that provides an exciting way to explore the water and offers a comprehensive full-body workout. This activity is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the great outdoors. Rowing is a fantastic sport to consider, whether you want to compete or relish the picturesque views from a river or lake. It is a low-impact, full-body workout with numerous physical and mental benefits. Additionally, rowing is a sport that individuals of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. So, if you’re looking for a new and exciting way to stay active, rowing might be the perfect sport for you.

Embarking on a rowing journey can be a daunting task for those who are unfamiliar with the sport. With proper guidance, it can be easier to know where to begin. If you’re looking for a new hobby that can provide a full-body workout and a sense of adventure, rowing may be just what you need. Whether you’re interested in rowing for fitness, competition, or simply for the joy of being out on the water, some tips can help you get started.

1. Find a local rowing club

Blue boat

To embark on your journey into the world of rowing, the initial step is to locate a nearby rowing club. This will provide you with access to the necessary equipment, training, and guidance required to begin your rowing experience. Rowing clubs are an excellent resource for individuals seeking to learn or improve their rowing skills. These clubs provide a range of classes and training sessions tailored to suit all skill levels, from complete novices to seasoned rowers. Whether you are looking to take your first strokes on the water or hone your technique, a rowing club can provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your goals. Joining a rowing club can provide you with a multitude of benefits, including access to experienced coaches who can impart their knowledge of the sport and teach you the fundamentals of rowing. Additionally, being part of a club means you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other rowers who can offer advice and support as you progress in your rowing journey.

2. Learn the basics

In order to embark on a successful rowing excursion, it is imperative to first acquire a fundamental understanding of the proper rowing technique. Rowing is a sport that requires a great deal of skill and coordination. To become proficient in this activity, one must learn the proper techniques for holding the oars, positioning the body, and coordinating movements with other rowers in the boat. These fundamental skills are essential for achieving success in rowing and can take time and practice to master. However, anyone can learn to row like a pro with dedication and perseverance. If you want to learn the basics of rowing, your local rowing club is a great place to start. Most clubs offer classes or training sessions that cover the fundamentals of the sport, so it’s essential to take advantage of these opportunities. By doing so, you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful rower.

3. Practice on land

Yellow wall

After mastering the fundamental aspects of rowing technique, engaging in on-land practice sessions is crucial before venturing onto the water. This preparatory step is essential to ensure you are fully equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the waters safely and efficiently. By dedicating time to honing your rowing abilities on land, you can build your confidence and proficiency in the sport, setting yourself up for success when you eventually hit the water. Rowing machines, commonly called ergometers or ergs, provide an excellent means of honing your rowing skills while enhancing your strength and endurance. A few options are available to get started. One option is to join a rowing club, which may have ergs (indoor rowing machines) available for members to use. Another option is to purchase an erg for personal use at home. Both options provide a great way to improve fitness and develop rowing skills.

4. Get out on the water

man in yellow and green suit

After achieving proficiency in rowing technique and developing adequate strength and endurance, the next step is to take to the water. When you become a rowing club member, you gain access to a valuable resource: boats. These vessels are typically available for use by members, providing an excellent opportunity to hone your rowing skills and enjoy the water. It is highly recommended that you take advantage of this benefit and use the boats whenever possible. As you embark on your fitness journey, it is essential to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration of your workouts. This approach allows you to build up your fitness level and improve your technique over time. By starting with shorter sessions, you can avoid overexertion and reduce the risk of injury. As you become more comfortable with your workouts, you can gradually increase the length of your sessions to challenge yourself and continue making progress. Remember, consistency is key to achieving your fitness goals, so be patient and stay committed to your routine.

5. Compete (if you want to)

If you are interested in taking your rowing to the next level, participating in rowing competitions may be a worthwhile pursuit. Individuals can challenge themselves and push their limits by engaging in rowing events. Regattas and other rowing competitions are frequently organized by rowing clubs, allowing rowers of all proficiency levels to participate. Participating in competitions can be a thrilling experience that pushes you to test your limits and provides an opportunity to connect with fellow rowers from different parts of the region or even the globe. The thrill of competing can be a great way to challenge yourself and discover your true potential.


Rowing is an excellent pastime that provides a comprehensive physical workout and an enjoyable means of venturing onto the water. Rowing is a fantastic sport that offers numerous benefits to those who participate. If you’re interested in getting started with rowing, there are a few key steps you can take to begin your journey. First, consider finding a local rowing club in your area. These clubs often offer classes and training programs for beginners, which can help you learn the basics of rowing techniques and get comfortable with the equipment. Once you’ve found a club, it’s essential to practice on land before heading out onto the water. This can help you build strength and endurance and develop proper form and technique. When you’re ready to hit the water, start slowly and work your way up to longer and more challenging rows. And if you want to take your rowing to the next level, consider competing in local or regional races. Overall, rowing is a rewarding and enjoyable sport that can provide a great workout and a sense of accomplishment. You can begin your journey towards becoming a skilled and confident rower by taking these steps to get started.