When you want to lose weight, you know that you need cardio. While most people hit up the treadmill or the ellipticals, the truth is that rowing is one of the proven ways to burn body fat, even stubborn belly fat, and burn a major number of calories.
Rowing works as much as 86 percent of your muscles, which means that you don’t have to do a separate workout to exercise the upper body. You can do everything in one 20-30 minute rowing session and lose weight like crazy.
Whether you’re a rowing newbie who thinks about buying one to go with your fitness equipment at home, or a seasoned pro, you will get a full-body workout, burn calories, and burn fat all in one easy-to-use machine.
In today’s article, I want to show you some tips for helping you get the most out of your rowing machine so you will meet not only your weight loss goals but your fitness goals as well.
Did you think I was joking about burning 900 calories an hour? No way! It’s true! Of course, the actual amount of calories you burn will depend on your age, current weight, gender, and how hard and how often you work out, but the 900-calorie mark is totally possible.
If you’re looking to change your life, you can do it by losing weight with a rowing machine.
Want to know more? Keep reading, and I’m going to spell out all the details for you.
How Much Weight Can You Lose with a Rowing Machine Workout?
Let’s face it, weight loss is hard to accomplish and sustain.
Think about it. People who want to quit smoking can just quit. No one needs a cigarette. If you want to stop drinking alcohol, you can simply stop. However, when it comes to food, you can’t just stop eating!
This is why you need to engage in regular cardio and strength training exercises if you want to lose weight. Of course, you still need to cut your calorie intake, but when you’re burning more calories than you consume, your body has no choice but to lose weight.
Rowing machines are well known as one of the best types of aerobic exercise. Even rowing workouts done at a moderate pace can burn more calories than just about any other exercise, other than jumping rope.
Then why not just jump rope? If you see yourself jumping rope for an hour a day, then well and good. Unfortunately, not everyone can do that, especially people with joint issues.
Anyway, how many calories you will burn using a rowing machine depends on many factors, including your age, sex, and how much you weigh now.
Regardless of how many pounds you want to lose, the fact is that rowing is one of the best workouts anyone can do.
Losing weight and getting those long, lean muscles can literally be life-changing. Who doesn’t want to feel confident when wearing a bathing suit or look good naked?
How much weight can you lose with a rowing machine workout? More than you ever thought possible.
Which Burns More Calories, Rowing or Running?
The answer to this question depends on several variables, including your age, weight, and the intensity of your workouts.
Someone running a 5-minute mile will burn more calories than someone doing easy rowing strokes at a comfortable pace (read more).
Generally speaking, both running and rowing are excellent ways to burn fat and create a calorie deficit, but there is one thing about running that no one tells you; it’s not a full-body workout.
While running will help you lose weight, what it won’t do is give you those beautifully toned arms, shoulders, and abs. You will still need to do weight lifting or some other type of workout to engage your upper body muscles.
Rowing is great for weight loss and it works nearly every muscle in the body. Maybe it won’t work your face, but that’s about it. Nothing is perfect, right? 🙂
How Long Does It Take to See Results from Rowing?
Rowing machines are terrific pieces of exercise equipment when it comes to burning fat and building more muscle.
How long it takes to see results will vary from person to person. If you feel like nothing’s happening, don’t be discouraged. The weight will come off if you commit yourself to rowing at least 5 days per week. If you use a HIIT rowing workout, you will find that the weight comes off even faster.
Generally speaking, even if you don’t do power strokes, a rowing workout that provides a heart-pumping workout should allow you to see results in about 2 weeks. Nearly everyone will see results within 30-days.
How Long Do I Need to Row to Lose Weight?
For beginners, it’s important that you start slowly and row steadily while you maintain proper alignment. This will prevent you from hurting your back.
If you have never used a rowing machine before, take a class on how to row properly or use some of the available online videos and use a mirror so you can see your form.
Proper form is much more important than hard strokes or fast strokes. You will become faster with time and will be burning more calories than you will with a plain exercise bike.
Unlike running, rowing machines offer a low-impact workout, which means it is easy on the joints. Ideally, you should commit yourself to rowing at least 5 days per week, but if you decide to row 6 days a week, be sure to give your body a rest day so that it can repair itself and build new muscle.
** Please note above figures will vary depending on your weight, height & age.
For beginners, you should find a workout routine that makes you tired but not one that wears you out so much or leaves you so sore that you don’t want to go back.
How long should you row to lose weight? Most people find that 30-45 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to burn calories. You can do a long workout slower or you can do a faster HIIT rowing workout. Whatever type of workout you choose, you need to stick to it!
Will a Rowing Machine Change My Body?
Yes, it will, and for the better.
As I mentioned earlier, rowing workouts use about 86 percent of the muscles in the body. This means that you can do shorter workouts and the number of calories burned will be the same (or even more) as someone who is doing only an upper-body or lower-body only workout.
You will discover that your legs become stronger and leaner, like a dancer’s legs. Your shoulders will be strong and that underarm jiggle may completely disappear.
Remember that exercise isn’t everything. You also need to eat a healthy diet to see progress. If you continue to eat more calories than you need and/or eat junk food, you will lose a bit of weight initially, but you will quickly reach a plateau.
You should also keep in mind that the number on the scale is just that – a number.
As you lose weight, you’re also building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, but the good news here is that muscle burns more calories that fat does, and that’s true even if you aren’t working out.
On average, muscle tissue burns 7-10 calories an hour, while fat only needs 2 or 3. If you think that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, consider that there is more than one muscle in the body. And if you multiply that with the number of hours a day and 365 days each year, you will see how everything adds up.
Your body is about to become a super-efficient, calorie-blasting machine when it comes to weight loss, improving your overall health, especially your cardiovascular system.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, we would all like to eat as much of whatever we want, but unless the beach ball body look (I didn’t say beach body, hey!) is appealing to you, I don’t recommend it.
I have discovered, however, that when you do cardiovascular exercise regularly, such as rowing, you can actually eat more calories than if you were just a couch potato.
Weight loss is hard, but it isn’t impossible. It only needs a commitment to work out 5 days a week, about 30 minutes at a time, and, oh yes, pay attention to your diet. Do these two things and watch the weight just fall off.
Change your life forever by adding rowing to your exercise plan, and I guarantee that you won’t regret doing this.
Here’s to you, your good health, and happy rowing!
If you found this article helpful, feel free to pass it along to others who might benefit from this information.
Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.