Best Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss – Burn Calories Fast

Rowing is an excellent full body exercise, great for a gym warm up, increasing cardiovascular levels, strength, and for burning fat.  That why we are going to discuss the best rowing machine workouts for weight loss.

Although there is no weight loss program that’s guaranteed, exercise is the one thing that has consistently proven to be the most effective way for long term weight loss.

Here, we will talk about some proven rowing routines to get you started on your weight loss journey.

Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine

If used correctly, rowers are one of the best home workout machines for an intense workout.  They are at the top of the exercise equipment food chain, right up there with stationary air bikes and vertical climbing machines.

Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss  - woman with muscular stomach

A rowing machine and weight loss go hand in hand, but this important exercise brings more advantages than just calorie burn.  In case you hadn’t thought about all of the rowing machine benefits, here are a few of them.

  • Gives you a full-body muscle activation
  • Safe from injury and is a low impact exercise
  • Ab and Glute workout all-in-one
  • Excellent for muscle toning
  • Great for HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training)
  • Easy to track progress and improvements
  • Rowing workouts are quick
  • Use rowing machines for the home gym
  • Easy to learn and anyone can benefit
  • Burn fat, better endurance, build strength and muscle

Rowing Machine Warm Ups

When starting any type of weight training exercise routine, it’s important to warm up your body first to help avoid injury.  The Rowing machine is excellent to get a full body warm up and stretch.

It’s recommended to warm up for 5-10 minutes when preparing for your workout.  While doing this, simply take long even strokes, with no sudden pulling.  Set the rowing machine resistance level to easy or somewhere in the middle.

For your warm up, start out with arms only while keeping your body and legs straight.  After a short time, start moving your upper body back and forth along with arm rows.

Then start sliding down with your knees at the same time, going just halfway to a full squat.  Next, gradually do a full slide row to compress legs all the way forward.

At this point, you will be doing your full body row.  Push yourself a bit harder to get into your full rowing rhythm while getting the full stretch.  Make sure that your pace is slow enough to make it at least 5 minutes without being out of breath.

Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss - Rowing machine at gym

Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss

Rowing machines provide such a complete full body workout that they will produce calorie-burning results no matter how it is used.  But, here are some specific rowing exercises for weight loss to get you started.

Slow and Steady

Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss - man showing weight loss

This is similar to the warm up exercise above, so you will simply continue with a full row for about 30-45 minutes.

Find a comfortable rowing pace.  A slow but steady row can burn up to 500 calories in this time duration.  I recommend listening to some good music or watch your favorite Netflix documentary for this.

If you can’t make it too this time goal, simply push yourself a little harder every time and you will get there. 

While exercising, it’s important to keep your heart rate elevated for at least 30 minutes to get the best weight loss results.

Slowly Ramp Up to a Faster Pace

Another rowing machine fat burning exercise is to, speed up approximately one stroke per minute for every minute.  Instead of wearing yourself out all at one time, this gradual approach will enable you to get in a longer workout.  This method also has the potential of a more prolonged fat burn.

You will steadily be increasing your heart rate and pace in an easy and simple way.  If you get to pace that you can’t keep, then start slowly go down one stroke for every minute.  Going up and then back down may also help to keep it more interesting.

Slowly Increase Your Rowing Speed or Time

To burn more calories and lose weight with a rowing machine, there are two major ways to challenge yourself.

Time:  Aim to row one more minute longer each rowing workout.  You will slowly increase your endurance and your calorie burn.  Shoot to eventually get 60 minutes or more.

Speed:  To get faster, first focus on pushing more with your legs than pulling with your arms at the beginning of your row.  This will give you increased efficiency.

Plan on rowing for the same amount of time, but increasing your power and speed.  Ramp up on your strokes per minute slowly, just enough to keep it challenging.  When rowing faster, you will be burning more calories in the same amount of time.

Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss - Crossfit with rowing machine

Combine Rowing with Another Exercise

Here is my favorite method to use a rowing machine for weight loss.  The opportunities for this type of functional workout are endless, but be prepared for a grueling exercise session.

When at the gym, you may have seen workout classes doing some of these similar programs.  However, you don’t need an instructor or have to pay for a class to do this.

The idea is to row for approximately 5 minutes, jump off, and do a set of any exercise that you wish.  Then jump back on the rower.  Continue to do this series back and forth.

Cross-training like this keeps things interesting and forces you to keep moving.  Most importantly, this is a very effective weight loss method from burning calories at a much higher rate.

Keep your variations simple, and take a couple of minutes to rest when you need one.  Here are a few possible combinations that you can use to rotate between sets and rows.

  • Rowing and push-ups
  • Rowing and pull-ups
  • Rowing and bodyweight squats
  • Rowing and kettlebell swings
  • Rowing and lunges
  • Rowing and burpees

You can make up hundreds of fat burning workouts with different rowing exercise combinations.  Here is just one example:

  1. Row 100 meters as fast as you can
  2. Bodyweight squat – 10 reps
  3. Pushup – 10 reps
  4. Split Squats – 10 reps
  5. Back to #1
Rowing Machine Workouts for Weight Loss - Man using rowing machine

HIIT Workouts

High Intensity Interval Training is another proven exercise method for burning calories, aerobic endurance, and cardio.  And a rowing machine is the perfect way to perform this.

The acronym Hitt sounds complicated, but it’s actually a simple method.  The intensity part will be to row as hard as you can for a short amount of time.  For you, it could be 30 seconds or maybe one minute.  Then, scale back to an easy pace for the same amount of time.

You will perform this series of intervals back and forth several times.  HIIT is challenging, gives results, and can cut down on how long your workouts are.

For an all-in-one machine to combine rowing with other exercises, check out the Total Gym.

Rowing Machine Workouts Weight Loss Finale

Unfortunately, there isn’t any one exercise that concentrates only on belly fat.  However, some workouts are much better at fat burning than others and the rowing machine is one of the best.

The largest benefit is that you can burn calories while getting a full body workout.  And that’s not all.  At the same time that you are burning fat, you will also get toned, build muscle, become stronger, and increase your cardiovascular health.

There are many rowing machine models made especially for a home gym setup.  This is a smart way to get in a quick row whenever you have the time to burn off some calories.

⇒ If you have any questions or comments on the best rowing machine workout plan for weight loss, please leave a message below.

Check out the Latest Posts on Exercise Equipment

Leave a Comment