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Does Rowing Burn Belly Fat?

The indoor rowing machine can help you lose belly fat – if you know how to make the most of it. Rowing is a low-impact, full-body workout to lose weight, build muscle, and improve endurance.

Read along to find out how to maximize losing belly fat with the rowing machine.

How Can You Lose Belly Fat Using a Rowing Machine?

It’s more than possible to burn belly fat and flatten your stomach with a rowing machine, just look at all the Olympic rowers. But, just like them, you need to be consistent and smart in your workouts and pay attention to your diet.

Here are the top reasons why rowing should be your choice when looking to lose belly fat.

Indoor Rowing Makes for Both Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Studies suggest that a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic training helps accelerate fat loss. And luckily, the rowing machine serves as both.

Aerobic exercise is basically what we call cardio, which requires the body to recruit and make use of oxygen as its fuel. This type of exercise will burn calories, but also build endurance and improve your cardiovascular health.

Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, is high-intensity exercise, so it’s shorter, faster, and harder. The source of fuel during anaerobic exercise it’s not oxygen but rather the energy that’s already stored in your muscles. That’s why the main purpose here is to build muscle.

In rowing, by switching up from long, constant workouts to interval harder ones we reach an anaerobic state. No other cardio machine offers the opportunity to do so.

What’s more, research indicates that high-intensity exercises facilitate fat mobilization and oxidation. That being said, if you incorporate a rowing machine workout into your dieting efforts, you will speed up your weight loss to lose belly fat even faster.

The Rowing Machine Builds Muscle Mass

According to the International Sports Sciences Association, rowing machines use up to 86% of your muscles with each stroke.

Thus, the body will spend much more energy because it will be working almost the entire muscular system of your body. When rowing, you activate and work the major muscle groups such as your core, lats (latissimus dorsi), upper back (rhomboids), quads (quadriceps), hamstrings, and biceps.

Muscle building is your friend if you want to lose weight. Here are two reasons; First, it will allow you to burn more calories at rest and during the workout. That’s right, during the same activity people with more muscle mass, burn more calories than people with less.

In other words, you’ll increase your metabolic rate, which is the number of calories burned at rest by the body to perform essential functions such as breathing or pumping blood.

Secondly, muscle keeps the fat away, and prevents the skin from creating stretch marks. This is paramount to help you feel comfortable in your skin even after you lose your belly fat.

You should always opt for a gradual weight loss rather than a rapid one. Turn the discomfort you feel in your skin right now into your willpower to build the body you want without causing any damage to it.

All in all, burning more calories and working your entire body with each rowing workout will not only burn belly fat but make those abs pop.

Water resistance rowing machine

The Indoor Rowing Machine as a Conditioning Exercise

Conditioning exercises aim to increase athletic skill and physical fitness by combining different techniques to challenge the body to adapt. That said, going for short intervals of rowing at different levels will help condition 86% of your muscular system.

You’ll fire up your weight loss journey in stubborn areas as well. A 2010 study found that interval training with conditioning exercises will ramp up both muscle building and fat loss simultaneously.

Through conditioning, rowing will guarantee a more gradual but sustainable weight loss.

Group of people working out with rowing machines

How Long Should You Row to Lose Belly Fat?

By now, you should know that the rowing machine allows you to get a great full-body workout without the need for much space or other more complicated equipment.

Your indoor rowing workout to lose belly fat depends on a lot of factors: what’s your eating regime, workout history, how much belly fat you have, how much muscle mass you have, your age, gender, etc.

For example, if you haven’t trained in ages, or never, but have decided that it’s time to lose that belly fat, you can start with 10 to 15 minutes of indoor rowing each day.

Even though you might think 15 minutes it’s too little effort and won’t have any result, remember that first and foremost, you’re trying to build a long-lasting habit. For this reason, it’s better to make up your mind that you won’t lose weight overnight.

So, you must prepare to commit every day and gradually increase your workout time and intensity. Regular activity helps not only fasten up your weight loss but also to keep it up for good.

Moreover, you will be healthier, increase your life expectancy and improve your cardiovascular health.

Here’s how the rowing machine will benefit your health!

Then, you’ll want to double the time spent rowing in the next three weeks. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, every adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workout or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout per week.

When you’ve mastered the rowing stroke and already have built endurance and strength, you have two options: to either go for 30-45 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity, or 15-25 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity.

4 Top Tips to Maximize Your Belly Fat Loss When Rowing

Working out with a water rowing machine on a deck

1. Switch Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts 

As said, in the rowing machine, you can perform aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

Most rowing machines have different resistance levels you can switch to. For anaerobic exercise, you should row on levels 3-8. For example, rowing 2 minutes as fast as you can at level 5, and then rest for two other minutes.

Although high-intensity interval training is great for weight loss, as the study by Sports Medicine indicates, it’s better to switch it up. As a result, you can divide your workouts into anaerobic and aerobic days. This will keep your body guessing, optimizing its ability to lose weight faster.

An option is performing 3 days of endurance (aerobic exercise) and three days of high intensity per week.

For aerobic workouts, you should aim for a moderate rowing stroke for a longer period. If you’re a beginner, 15 minutes of uninterrupted rowing should be your first milestone. Meanwhile, people who are used to physical activity can row for up to 45 minutes.

2. Warm Up Correctly

First, in addition to warming up your entire body, you should focus on warming up your abs and trying to activate them sufficiently. This will play to your advantage if you want to burn belly fat.

Three to five minutes of warmup will increase your core temperature and prepare it for the workout.

By recruiting more muscle fibers from the core muscles, you ensure that the areas are well supplied with blood. This will help break down the muscle tissues faster and build more muscle.

3. Learn the Proper Rowing Technique

Proper technique will keep you away from injuries and help you get the most out of your workout. Also, you’ll maximize the number of calories you burn each stroke. You’ll activate your body better, build muscle, and as you shed fat, your abs will start to appear.

Mastering the rowing technique will also make you enjoy the workout more and make it possible to row for longer distances.

4. Track Your Heart Rate to Ensure You’re Not ‘Cheating’

Are you working out hard, or hardly working out? This cliché statement is very important in weight loss because many people go to the gym every day. But, at the end of many months, they don’t see any difference. Now, why can that be?

Because they don’t have a plan, and they are clueless about whether the workout they’re putting in is efficient. But the most common mistake is choosing a workout that is too easy for them to the point where it doesn’t challenge their bodies at all.

How to know if your workout is efficient and is helping you burn more calories? You can measure your heart rate by using a heart rate tracker or a smartwatch.

A moderate to vigorous workout puts you at 55 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which you can calculate by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you’re 30 years old, your heart rate tracker should show 190 beats per minute.

But if you don’t own a heart tracking device, you can simply do the ‘talking test’. To find out if the workout you’re doing is challenging enough, try talking out loud. At 55-85%of your maximum heart rate, it should be difficult for you to keep up with a conversation.

How Many Calories Does a Rowing Machine Burn?

The number of calories you burn in a minute while rowing depends on many factors. Age, gender, levels of fitness, muscle mass index, and fat mass index, will either maximize or undermine the number of calories burnt.

Nonetheless, physical activity is one of the factors that count toward weight loss. And, besides dieting, regular exercise is the most effective way to increase the body’s caloric expenditure when losing weight.

According to Harvard Health, a 155 pounds person can burn up to 260 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity rowing. This number surpasses the calories spend during most aerobic workouts, making the rowing machine a very efficient exercise to burn calories and lose fat.

Of course, as you build muscle or ramp up the intensity of your workouts you’ll be burning more calories.

Calculate the calories you’ll burn based on your weight here.

Treadmill vs. Rowing Machine to Burn Belly Fat: Which One Is Better?

Among many cardio machines, the treadmill is always seen as the most efficient and popular one to stay active and burn fat. Let’s compare the treadmill and the row to find out which cardio machine is the best to burn belly fat.

Rowing is a low-impact exercise, making it one of the most compelling reasons to choose it over a treadmill. Treadmills can be very harmful to your joints, especially the knees and ankles. Many people stop using them after a while because it causes joint wear and tears.

So, treadmills might undermine your progress, forcing you to quit working out due to this risk. And this does happen more often to beginners, and people who like to go fully in from the first day.

With a rowing machine, this risk of injury is almost zero, due to its low-impact nature. Low-impact exercises are fluid and gentle with the joints because they reduce the force going through your body.

Moving forward, a rowing machine makes for a full-body workout and focuses on building tremendous strength in all the core muscles. The treadmill mostly works the lower body, so if you’re looking to engage your core more, you’d have to increase the intensity quite a bit.

With a rowing machine, the core is already one of the main areas that get engaged all the time.

While the treadmill only has a few variations, with the rowing machine you can not only switch to different paces but also ramp up the resistance to work your muscles.

As such, the rowing machine makes for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, meanwhile, the treadmill is very much restricted when it comes to anaerobic exercise.

Other than the fact that the treadmill is more popular and easier to use, all the facts indicate that the rowing machine is far superior not only in weight loss and muscle building but also activating and building a great 6-pack.

Conclusion: Is the Rowing Machine the Best Exercise to Burn Belly Fat?

The rowing machine can help you lose belly fat efficiently and sustainably. By offering a full-body workout that improves both cardiovascular endurance and strength, indoor rowing engages all the core muscles and helps you lose weight and slim down your waist areas.

Nevertheless, you should still take care of your diet and daily energy intake. If you follow the tips and workouts in this article, maintain a consistent diet, and exercise regularly, your belly fat will be a thing of the past, in a matter of months.

When it comes to any fitness goal, the rowing machine is a more affordable and reasonable choice because you can accomplish a lot with just one piece of equipment.

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