Is a Rowing Machine Good for Weight Loss?

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is rower good for weight loss?

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you are consuming. It’s easier said than done, you say, but that’s the formula.

The best way to lose weight is to do an aerobic activity that brings your heart rate up to 85 percent of its maximum, and you can do that with a rowing machine. By holding your heart rate at that maximum for more than 15 minutes, your body is forced to burn fat as fuel. So, yes, rowing is a terrific cardiovascular workout that will help you lose weight.

Of course, you still need to eat a healthy diet and cut back on calories. No machine will magically burn fat if you continue to follow an unhealthy diet and eat junk food.

Take a hard look at your diet and do the necessary steps to improve it, and you’re halfway there.

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Want to know more about rowing machine workouts and losing weight? Keep reading!

How Good Are Rowing Machines for Losing Weight?

In one word? Very!

We all know that losing weight involves burning more calories than you consume. So even if you don’t reduce your calorie intake, burning them through exercise (in this case, a rowing machine) is one way to help you drop those persistent and stubborn extra pounds.

is rowing a good way to lose weight

You may not be aware of it, but extra pounds creep up on us gradually. It’s impossible for a person to gain 10 extra pounds overnight.

Unfortunately, losing weight is also a matter of creeping. Extra weight needs to come off slowly for it to stick. Many people want those love handles to come off in a short amount of time, so they overdo it on some high-impact workout, hurt themselves, and quit.

Using a rowing machine is cardio and strength training in one. If you commit yourself, you will see significant weight loss using a rowing machine workout.

Rowing machines are low-impact as well, so you won’t hurt yourself by rowing for weight loss.

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How Long Should You Use a Rowing Machine to Lose Weight?

Harvard Health says that an “average” person will burn approximately 400 calories for every 30 minutes of rowing. You can burn more than that if you are very overweight or if you row with vigor.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is another way to burn even more calories. This type of rowing workout involves short periods of very intense exercise, followed by a short period of resting or dialing down the intensity. By alternating high intensity with low intensity workouts, we keep our body guessing, cause it to go into overdrive, and supercharge calorie burn.

instructor pushing rowing class to maximize weight loss

You need to maintain proper alignment when you row to prevent back pain and to get the most out of your rowing workouts. So if you’re new to rowing, be sure to watch some of the available instructional videos. Sit taller and don’t slouch as you do your power strokes – you’ll get the hang of it!

However, it is far more crucial to perform the strokes correctly than to worry about your speed or intensity, especially when you’re a beginner. Your speed, or strokes per minute, will naturally improve as you become accustomed to rowing.

Generally speaking, you should row between 20 and 30 minutes, 5 to 6 days per week to get the most calorie burn and at the same time, give your body a great workout that will make you proud of the way you look and how hard you have worked!

Always remember to give your body one day of rest per week.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Rowing?

You will be happy to know that it doesn’t take very long!

The actual amount of time it takes before you see results will depend on how overweight you were when you started and how much effort you put into your rowing workouts.

If you did both rowing workouts and ate fewer calories so that you created a calorie deficit, you could see results in as little as one week!

For most people, however, the results of rowing machine workouts will take two or three weeks to be noticeable or measurable.

That’s really not that much time, if you think about it. While 3 weeks seems like a long time before your rowing routine pays off, you’re only spending a few minutes out of most days.

Let’s assume you’re rowing 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That means you spend 2.5 hours a week rowing. Over a 3-week period, you’d spend 7.5 hours on your humble rowing machine. That’s not even one full workday!

Don’t forget that the number on your scale isn’t everything, and you shouldn’t focus on that alone. Muscle weighs more than fat, so even if the scale hasn’t moved very much, I’m betting that you will see the difference in your muscles!

Once you’ve built more muscles, you’ll increase your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest! How can things go better than that?

You can burn loads of calories and get a tight, toned body by spending just a few minutes a day with a rowing machine.

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When Do You Breathe When Rowing?

Creating the right breathing rhythm will help your rowing workouts and endurance training.

Most people who row at a lower intensity, which can also be good for weight loss if you do the longer endurance style rows, take one breath per stroke.

Once you hit a higher level of intensity, you will want to change to taking two smaller breaths per stroke.

Exactly when you make this change from one to two breaths is a personal choice, but this video will help explain it in more detail:

 

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Is There One Type of Workout That Will Help Me Lose Weight Faster?

Actually, I’m going to let you in on a little secret- there are three types of rowing workouts that can help you with weight loss and give you that full-body workout you need to look good naked, or even with your clothes on.

Rowing Workouts for Weight Loss

Workout #1- Slow and Steady

You don’t always have to go all out for weight loss. A rowing workout that keeps a steady but moderate pace (whatever pace feels comfortable to you) and one that you can maintain for 30-45 minutes is not only working all major muscle groups but also burn calories like a furnace!

Workout #2- The Ramp It Up Workout

Start at your comfortable pace and hold that for about 5 minutes. Now, add one stroke per minute. For example, if your comfortable pace is 25 SPM (strokes per minute) and you’re set for a 30-minute workout, that means you should be hitting 50 strokes per minute at the end of your time.

The cardiovascular system should be working at 85 percent of its maximum to ensure major calorie burning, not to mention major weight loss and big muscles.

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Workout #3- Ramp It Up One Minute More

Every day that you use the Ramp It Up workout, try adding just one minute to your time. Let’s say you’re going to ramp things up every other day. This means on day one, you will row 31 minutes, the second day, 32 minutes. The following week, it will be 33 minutes, and so on. Keep going until you’re doing 60 minutes per workout.

If you find that you can’t keep up the pace that quickly, try adding just one minute every week or even every other week. These higher-intensity workouts will not only burn more calories but also give you that long, lean silhouette that everyone longs for.

How Rowing Helps with Cardio and Strength Training

While rowing helps you with weight loss via a cardio and aerobic exercise, adding strength training (also called resistance training) will push you ahead of the game.

Rowing workouts will help you burn calories quickly, while strength training or weight lifting has been shown to help you burn calories for hours after you stop working out.

You can focus your weight lifting on the upper body, or other parts of the body to help you reach your weight loss goals.

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The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the humble rowing machine will help you burn more calories than a long workout on a treadmill, or doing other exercises.

Combining a rowing workout with weight lifting will pay off in huge amounts of calorie-burning, more than you ever thought possible.

Commit yourself to a simple formula of rowing 5 or 6 days a week and you’re sure to reach your weight loss and fitness goals.

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