The Benefits of a Rowing Machine for People 50 and Over

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If you are a parent of a rower, why don’t you start rowing too?

As someone who has been rowing for over 37 years, I can confidently say that a rowing machine can be an incredible addition to your fitness routine, especially for those 50 and over. Today, I want to share my personal experience and insights on why the WaterRower stands out as the most enjoyable and beneficial rowing machine available to consumers.

For most of my competitive life, I used the Concept2 rowing machine. It’s a metal machine with air resistance, widely respected in the rowing community. However, as effective as the Concept2 is, it has its drawbacks—it’s loud, hard on the body, and doesn’t provide the calming experience that rowing should offer. The noise of the chain and the metal track can make the workout feel more stressful than meditative.

Rowing, at its core, is a serene and rhythmic sport. When you’re out on the water, you glide silently, hearing nothing but the sound of birds singing and the wind rustling through the trees. The Concept2, with its mechanical sounds, doesn’t replicate this natural tranquility. That’s why I made the switch to the WaterRower.

The WaterRower is unique in that it uses water to create resistance, which closely mimics the sensation of actual rowing on water. Initially, I was skeptical and even joked about it being a glorified washing machine. But after trying it, I was hooked. The WaterRower is made of wood, eliminating the harsh chain sound. Instead, you hear the soothing swoosh of water with each stroke, creating a meditative and rhythmic experience that calms the mind.

The benefits of the WaterRower go beyond just the sound. Its wooden construction and water resistance make it aesthetically pleasing and stable. Unlike other rowing machines, the WaterRower stays in place even when you stand up to perform additional exercises like arm curls or upright rows. This versatility makes it a great tool for a full-body workout.

I’ve been using the WaterRower for 15 years now, focusing on my personal health rather than competition. After years of competing and winning Olympic gold and silver medals in the men’s single scull, my goal now is to stay healthy, break a sweat, and feel good about myself. I monitor my heart rate and effort using my Apple Watch, enjoying the process rather than striving to beat others.

For those who still crave competition, the Concept2 offers world rankings and championships. But if you’re like me and prefer a more serene and enjoyable rowing experience, the WaterRower is the way to go. In fact, I love it so much that I partnered with WaterRower to create the Xeno Muller Signature WaterRower. This model features wider handles and adjustable footrests, and it comes with complimentary workouts that I record for an online library. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced rower, you can learn and improve with my guidance.

Each week, I host a workout session at 9 AM Pacific Standard Time, where we focus on technique, warm-ups, and matching your stroke rate with your breathing pattern. My motto is simple: let’s row until we are 300 years young, stay healthy, smile, and feel great about what we’re doing.

For more information on the WaterRower, you can visit their site at If you prefer the Concept2, you can find them at Both machines have their merits, but for a truly enjoyable and meditative rowing experience, the WaterRower has my highest recommendation.

Let’s keep rowing, stay young, and enjoy every stroke!