Rowing Machine

If you're like most people, when you think of the rowing machine, the first muscles that come to mind are the ones in your arms and shoulders.

And while those muscles do get a good workout when using a rowing machine, they're not the only ones that benefit from this type of exercise.

Here's a list of eight muscles that are not getting exercised during rowing.

1. Pectoralis Major

A chest muscle is the pectoralis major. One of two primary muscles that power pushing movements like a bench press or lat pull-down, this muscle runs from your shoulders to your upper arms.

Although rowing on a rowing machine does not target your pecs directly, it does offer a rigorous cardiovascular workout that improves strength throughout your entire

2. Coracobrachialis

The coracobrachialis is one of the muscles that isn't targeted by a rowing machine. This muscle allows you to flex your arm inward, similar to how it helps you swing your arm inwards toward your body while doing a biceps curl, for example.

It's one of those muscles that assists pull at whatever weight you

3. Triceps Brachii

The rowing machine focuses on your lower body and upper body, but it does not work your triceps brachii. To work your triceps brachii, use free weights or push-ups instead of a rowing machine.

Because you can utilize heavier weights with free weights than on a rowing machine, this can result in more muscle mass and strength.

4. Middle back Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is a large, flat muscle that extends from each side of your lower back to your shoulder blade.

Because it isn't an easily visible muscle, the latissimus dorsi is sometimes neglected in fitness programs. However, owing to its size and flatness, the latissimus dorsi is important for good posture as well as overall strength. 

Pull-ups (or resistance bands) can be used to work out your lats without even realizing it! But when you're using a rowing machine, those muscles don't get as much activity—which means you may be efforting without seeing benefits in that region.

5. Teres Major

Rowing Machine

The teres major is a muscular prominence in the upper back. The teres major's primary function is to rotate your shoulder joint, especially when you raise your arm to the side.

This makes it crucial for sports like baseball pitching and golf swing. The teres major draws upon your scapula (shoulder blade) and tilts.

When you're performing that action, you'll probably experience a tugging sensation in your back just below the point where your neck and shoulder meet—that's where teres major lives!

This muscle isn't as often targeted as the rest of your back and shoulders.

6. Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL)

The TFL is a muscle on the outside of your hip. Its main goal is to keep your hip stable while also bending your knee.

So, when you're using an upright row machine and rows with dumbbells or barbells, you're not utilizing your TFL at all! This can lead to poor posture and a high risk for injury.

Instead, try Romanian deadlifts or squats, which allow you to feel the tension in your TEFL throughout each rep.

Additionally, foam rolling TFL before training can help improve blood flow while minimizing tightness and muscular hyperactivity, ensuring that it is happy!

7. Deltoideus Clavicularis

The deltoideus clavicular muscle is found in your upper arms. This muscle enables you to twist your arms and bring your hands behind your back.

These muscles are not exercised by rowing, so if you want a complete body workout, another sort of exercise may be a better option.

Concentrate on including additional muscle-building and toning exercises into your routine. Always stretch beforehand and afterward, even when working out with weights or machines like rowing machines.

8. Biceps Brachii (long head only)

The long head of your biceps brachii is responsible for bending your arm at the elbow and moving it closer to your body.

The elbows move in this case not because you're rowing, but rather because you're pulling on an object outside of your body and away from yourself using your elbow extensors.

Because they aren't engaging their long heads while rowing, many people find that rowing doesn't give their biceps a good workout.

If you want to work both heads of your biceps, substitute some more basic exercises that call for bringing whatever you're working out toward your body (such as dumbbell curls).


Are you looking to buy a rowing machine for home usage? There are many different types and features to consider, and it's beneficial to know what workouts you'll be able to perform with your equipment.

As you row, your arms are in motion on any rowing machine. However, yes and no. Your legs do help propel you while you, but the focus of this article is on which muscles you're not working when using a rowing machine.

In general, a rowing machine is considered to be whole-body exercise equipment. Smaller muscles in specific areas of the body, on the other hand, do not receive as good a workout as larger muscle groups.

This is why it's critical to include a variety of exercises and equipment into your routine. You can develop muscle imbalances if you don't hit certain muscles, which raises your risk of injury.

Here’s a highly rated rowing machine on Amazon which has over 600 positive reviews.

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