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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Rowing for Weight Loss: 5 Benefits of This Exercise

Rowing for Weight Loss: 5 Benefits of This Exercise

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 22, 2023
6 min read 1397 Views 0 Comments
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Cardio-based workouts are great for losing weight, including the rowing machine. You might be thinking – how does this exercise burn calories? Can it really help me get into shape? We explain the benefits of rowing and how it might burn those stubborn pounds.

rowing for weight loss

Rowing is one of those exercises that can work your full body.

Treadmills and cross-trainers are common machines for people to lose weight, but what if the rowing machine is more effective? No matter how fast you’re going, rowing will target most muscles. Losing stubborn fat requires high-intensity exercise that gets your heart pumping.

Many people wonder – is the rowing machine better than other workouts? How will it help me burn fat? These are questions you might have, and we can answer them all.

In this article, you’ll discover whether rowing is good for weight loss.

Rowing for Weight Loss – Is It Good?

Yes, using a rowing machine is great for losing weight. This muscle-toning exercise offers a full-body workout that strengthens major muscle groups. Since you’re doing cardio and strength training, you’ll burn loads of calories from just rowing every day.

Eliminating stubborn fat requires cardio exercise like rowing. The rowing machine can target your lower and upper body, helping burn that extra fat. Even doing this exercise for at least 30 minutes every day can help you lose enough weight.

The more calories you burn, the more likely you’ll drop unwanted pounds. Rowing is a great exercise to try if you’re passionate about cardiovascular fitness. It’s a good workout for beginners or people who prefer to use their whole body during high-intensity interval training. You will love rowing if your goal is to build muscle. Rowing is often compared with running for its intensity and overall health benefits.

How much weight can you lose rowing?

You can expect to lose 1–2 pounds a week if you do this rowing exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Pairing this with a low-calorie diet can boost your weight loss results. Just be aware that losing over 2 pounds in 7 days can trigger health problems.

Any type of cardio-based exercise can help you lose weight, but rowing specifically targets your entire body. Using your muscles may reduce fat around the face, arms, thighs, and stomach. You need to use the rowing machine and eat healthy foods that restrict your daily calories.

People usually row for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, to eliminate body fat. Your body requires enough time to burn calories and strengthen muscles. If you want to exercise for longer, consider going on the rowing machine for 60 minutes at a moderate pace.

How Many Calories Does Rowing Burn?

Rowing may burn around 500–700 calories if you make a vigorous effort. This number depends on your current body weight, gender, and rowing pace. Someone who weighs 155lbs could burn up to 1,000 calories just by using the rowing machine for 60 minutes.

The more calories you burn, the more likely you’ll lose weight.

Rowing is a full-body workout that uses fuel from your fat sources. You can increase the intensity of the machine to get your heart racing, or you can follow a rowing workout that lasts for a certain amount of time.

A personal trainer at the gym may also help you find the right exercise. They can teach you how to lose weight safely on the rowing machine. It’s easy to have the wrong form that doesn’t promote calorie-burning, so talk to a professional who understands your fitness goals.

5 Awesome Benefits of Rowing

Rowing has many health benefits that don’t just relate to weight loss. You can do rowing workouts to improve your fitness levels or tone up muscles in the arms and legs.

Let’s take a look at the five amazing benefits of rowing:

#1 Full body exercise

A rowing workout will strengthen every area in your body. People don’t often realize that rowing can target your core muscles. Strong abdominal muscles maintain your posture and prevent lower back pain in older adults – a huge benefit that stops bulging or herniated discs.

Doing full-body exercises can not only help you lose weight but feel stronger to complete other resistance training. You may feel more confident running marathons or participating in fitness challenges.

#2 Helps to grow muscle

Growing your muscles takes plenty of time and dedication.

Rowing is one of those exercises that can speed up the process. A solid rowing routine helps strengthen your upper and lower body, as you’re constantly using those muscles to pull the handle. You should incorporate this exercise into your gym session to see physical results.

#3 Boosts heart health

Since rowing is a cardio-based exercise, it can improve your cardiovascular system.

This system transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Looking after your heart may prevent health problems like coronary heart disease, strokes, and cardiomyopathy.

#4 Builds endurance and strength

Any type of workout can build your endurance and strength but if you want to lose weight quickly, concentrate on cardio workouts.

Rowing machines constantly use your energy, leading to a fitter heart that can withstand long cardio-based sessions. This might be better than using an exercise bike, as cycling only focuses on your leg strength. However, don’t be afraid to mix up your routine at the gym.

The humble rowing machine is there to improve muscle tone and make you feel generally healthier. You can reach your weight loss goals by building up the resistance on the flywheel.

#5 Great for beginners

You have to start somewhere on your fitness journey, right? Rowing is a great place to begin when losing weight or toning muscles. It’s a simple cardio-based exercise that doesn’t require immediate strength, so find a rowing machine workout that isn’t too challenging.

How to Use a Rowing Machine to Lose Weight

Rowing might seem complicated to beginners, but it’s very easy once you learn how to use it.

The first step is to get comfortable with the machine. Adjust the straps on your feet and pay attention to what you’re grabbing. Sit up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and have your knees bent slightly. This physical activity should not hurt or put a strain on your back.

All you need to do is pull the handle toward your midsection and return it to the normal position, much like a rowing movement. Just repeat this until you know how to perform it correctly.

To lose weight on this machine, use medium-intensity resistance and try to do 25–30 strokes per minute. You can row for 20–30 minutes, depending on how hard you want to push yourself. Repeating this workout every day can help you achieve personal weight goals.

If you need extra guidance, the DoFasting app will offer recipes and workouts based on your habits, preferences, and weight goals. You’ll find customized programs to help you lose weight safely. There are also 7, 14, and 28-day fasting challenges that promote weight loss.

DoFasting has 5,000+ recipes that can benefit your gym routine. Losing that stubborn fat requires a suitable low-calorie diet – something DoFasting specializes in. From 20 unique diets, you can find something that suits your dietary, fitness, and personal needs.

What Burns More Calories: Running or Rowing?

Running usually burns more calories because it’s a challenging form of cardio. You’re working against gravity and using extra strength to reach your destination. A one-hour run can burn up to 1,000 calories, compared to stationary rowing, which burns up to 800.

This difference doesn’t mean you should avoid rowing. You can do both exercises to advance your weight loss progress. There’s nothing wrong with changing your routine or trying something else. Try doing alternate days that allow you to experience other forms of strength training.

On days that you don’t want to visit the gym, going for a quick run can fill that void. Spending just 10–20 minutes outside can get your heart racing. Just remember to have rest days, as your body is burning lots of calories and using energy to keep you functioning properly.


Is rowing good for losing belly fat?

Rowing doesn’t spot-reduce fat on your body, but it can definitely reduce your overall body fat percentage. Burning those calories is what makes you lose weight on a rowing machine. You should row daily and also go on a low-calorie diet to see physical changes.

Can you get in shape by just rowing?

Yes, rowing every day can tone your quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, arms, and back. This is a great exercise to do if you prefer simple, moderate-intensity training. To further progress your results, try running for 10 minutes each day or lifting some weights to notice muscle definition.

Does rowing tone legs?

Rowing works wonders for your legs by targeting hamstrings and quadriceps. You can use this machine to strengthen the lower body, especially if you suffer from leg problems. Pairing this exercise with endurance training can encourage you to walk or run long distances.

Is a rower or treadmill better?

Running on the treadmill might burn more calories than rowing. However, rowing is still a great option for building muscle and putting on a sweat. Either machine works effectively for weight loss, but treadmills typically increase your heart rate, resulting in a fat-burning process.

A Word From Our Personal Trainer

You should use a rowing machine to lose weight and build muscle. Going on a strict diet alone won’t progress your physical results. Any type of cardio-based exercise can increase calorie burn – a metabolic stage that encourages your body to burn fat for fuel sources.

Rowing may sound challenging to begin with, but it’s especially great for beginners. It’s great for your overall health, works your entire body, and improves strength. This workout might not be a common option at the gym, despite its huge benefits, so give it a go on your weight loss journey.

Talking to a doctor is always a good idea if you don’t know what’s right for you. People who suffer from joint or heart problems usually need medical advice before completing a strenuous activity.

Your health comes first before taking a daily trip to the gym.


So, is the rowing machine good for weight loss?

Rowing is excellent for losing body fat and strengthening your muscles. You can do this workout for at least 30 minutes a day to see results. Remember, eating healthy is also super important for achieving your goals, so find a diet that fits your dietary preferences.

The DoFasting app can help you choose recipes made by professional nutritionists. These recipes are tailored to your needs when it comes to losing weight.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 22, 2023
6 min read 1397 Views 0 Comments

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