One of the best ways to lose weight and build lean muscle is through cardiovascular exercise, and rowing machines are some of the most effective ways to do this.
Whether you’re looking to tone your belly or build up your leg muscles, rowing machines can help you get there faster than almost any other workout tool in the gym.
But can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine? Or are they best used only by people who already have good cardio fitness? Read on to find out!
What is a rowing machine?
If you're unfamiliar with rowing machines, they look a lot like exercise bikes but instead of sitting in an upright position, you kneel on padded boards in a low-to-the-ground crouch.
Your knees are bent at 90 degrees and your feet are locked into metal footrests.
Your arms extend straight up to handles that pull back slightly so that you can push them forward when rowing—hence rowing.
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How good is a rowing machine for losing belly fat?
A rowing machine can be both low intensity and high intensity exercise. The lower your stroke rate, or how fast you move your arms back and forth, is what determines how much energy you expend per minute.
High-intensity intervals on a rower are great for burning belly fat because they are very intense but only last for 10-15 minutes.
Low-intensity workouts on a rower are also good for belly fat loss because they are less intense but last longer than high-intensity intervals do—about 20 to 30 minutes—which means more total calories burned.
The more calories you burn, the more fat you lose.
Benefits of losing fat with a rowing machine
Rowing is a full-body exercise which aims to increase muscle mass, coordination and gets your heart rate pumping like no other cardio machine.
All these factors contribute towards burning fat and getting that toned stomach you're wanting.
Research published in Clinical Cardiology found that overweight women who worked out on a rower for 30 to 40 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks lost more belly fat than those who performed cardiovascular workouts that didn't involve resistance training.
This is because muscle mass is thermogenic, this means that muscles generate heat and burn more calories at rest.
As a result, rowing regularly will not only burn hundreds of calories during the workout but it will also burn more calories at rest. So again - the more calories you burn, the more fat you lose.
How much do I need to row to burn fat?
The first question you need to ask yourself is, how much do I need to row to burn fat? That said, if you're new to rowing and fat loss in general, it can be hard to know where to start.
Fortunately, there are some really easy ways to build your aerobic capacity—meaning you'll be able put out more effort over time as your body becomes more efficient at using oxygen—and lose belly fat.
Firstly, just start. Sit down on a rowing machine and row. If you're doing it for the first time, make sure to track the and intensity so you get to know your starting point.
Then, simply increase the intensity or extend the duration of the workout each session to build up on your aerobic capacity.
How long should my workouts be?
The most important thing to consider when looking at how long you should work out is your overall goal.
Do you want to build endurance and stamina or do you just want a lean body that’s burn more fat during physical activity?
If it’s endurance and stamina you’re after, plan to train for about an hour a day, five days a week. However, since you;re here to burn that belly fat, I'd say you should aim to use the rowing machine for 20-30 minutes every second day amongst other workouts.
Other benefits of using a rowing machine
Rowing can reduce stress
Exercise is a natural stress reliever and works for both physical and mental stress. Your body releases hormones when you exercise that make you feel good, which is why it's often called exercise high.
Rowing can burn calories and reduce your stress levels. Feel better about yourself by losing weight and sculpting your muscles with a rowing machine.
It also allows you to get out of a stressful situation or take time away from work to focus on yourself instead of other people.
Tones the full body
Rowing machine is great for toning the full body and not just stomach. It tones your legs, butt and back muscles too.
The smooth action of the rowing machine makes it great for beginners who can’t get to a gym.
It will provide great shape for your whole body in just about any room that you want to put one in. They come with seat and foot rests so you don’t have to worry about getting on the floor to workout like you would with free weights.
Builds power and endurance
The rowing machine involved explosive movements through the workout which builds your power, endurance and stamina. With rowing, you will feel stronger, more powerful and confident in no time.
Frequently asked questions
Should I use the rowing machine in the morning or night?
If you’re just starting to lose weight with a rowing machine, it’s probably best to aim for morning sessions.
If you’re already fit and are looking to shed a few extra pounds, evening sessions might be better.
Morning workouts have an invigorating effect on your body and mind, while late afternoon workouts tend to be more relaxing.
Is it normal to sweat as I start working out on the rowing machine.
Most of us think that sweat is a sign of being physically fit, but sweating as you just start to exercise on a rowing machine may not be normal at all.
If you’re breaking out in sweat as soon as you start to row, it could indicate an underlying health problem.
The most common problems that cause people to sweat profusely are dehydration and overheating.
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly; when your body temperature rises too high, your muscles will overheat and begin to break down.
Both conditions can take a big toll on the body, so if you find yourself sweating during every workout session, see a doctor right away.