Burn Calories With a Rowing Machine: The Best Ways to Get Stronger and Slimmer Quicker


Rowing machines are excellent pieces of fitness equipment. They make exercising more entertaining and offer you an easy way to burn calories and lose body fat. While we think they’re nearly perfect as it is, there are some ways to burn calories with a rowing machine that can help you reach your desired results even faster.

We’ve put together a quick and easy guide on how to burn calories with a rowing machine in the fastest and most simple way possible!


Burn Calories With a Rowing Machine

  • The Basics of Rowing
  • Burn Calories Faster with HIIT
  • Count With Metres
  • Row With a Challenge


The Basics of Rowing and Burning Calories with a Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are a smart choice when it comes to burning calories and losing weight. Some of the benefits of using a rowing machine include:

  • They give you a full-body workout
  • It’s an efficient cardiovascular workout
  • It works out muscles including your abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles, arms, hands, wrists, glutes, calves, and quadriceps

So, as you can see, not only does using a rowing machine help you burn calories, but it also helps you increase your physical strength.

One of the best things about the rowing machine is that they’re easy to use! All you really need to do is sit on the platform, grab the handlebars, adjust your footing (and strap your feet in!) and row away!

Despite the ease of use, there are a few things to keep in mind about your rowing technique. The first important thing to look out for is your posture. You should not be hunching your back, as this puts too much pressure on your shoulders. Instead, open up your chest and push your shoulders back and down.

You should also be careful not to raise your arms too high while you row. They should fall just below your chest when you pull the oar towards you.

Holding the handlebars/the oar with too tight of a grip can also cause problems. This can cause tension in your forearms, preventing you from getting all the benefits that the rowing machine can have on your arm. Start using a three-finger grip to prevent this.

Finally, you’ll need to keep an eye on your knees. You should never be letting them drop to your sides as you row. They should be more in line with your hips. Focus on your inner thigh muscles to force your knees to stay closer together.

A moderately paced rowing session for 30 minutes can burn as many as 377 calories, depending on your weight. However, we’re more eager to teach you about the more intense paced sessions! This will help you burn calories with a rowing machine faster.

Vigorous rowing can burn as many as 450 calories or more per 30 minutes depending on your weight. Let’s see how you can do it!


Burn Calories Faster with HIIT

You may think that simply rowing faster will help you burn calories faster. While this is partly true, there are more complexities involved. For example, if you go too fast you’ll burn yourself out too quickly and prevent yourself from burning an optimal amount of calories.

The key to burning calories faster is to be efficient. The best way to do this is to utilise a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout.

Start your HIIT rowing workout with a quick 3-minute warmup. This should be at a moderate pace. You can judge this by how easily you can hold a conversation. If you can’t hold a conversation, then you’ll know you’re going too fast.

Following your 3-minute warmup, you’ll spend the next 60 seconds rowing as fast and intensely as you can. Follow this up with 120 seconds of moderate rowing, and repeat the process without the warmup.

Once you start to feel exhausted from your HIIT rowing workout, complete a 2-minute cooldown. You can increase the number of sets that you complete as you grow stronger throughout your fitness journey.


Count With Metres

Many rowers will make the mistake of planning their workouts in terms of timing. However, making a plan to row for 20 minutes can be ineffective. By using this measurement, you don’t have any rules for exertion.

Instead of counting your rowing workouts with time, count it with metres. Plan a set amount of metres that you want to row and start rowing! Knowing that you only have to get through a certain length will encourage you to go faster.

We recommend starting at 2000 metres. Challenge yourself to increase your speed as you go along, ultimately shortening your workout but maximising the number of calories that you burn.


Row With A Challenge

Creating challenges to conquer while rowing is a fun way to encourage yourself to work harder. One of our favourite challenges is the calorie interval challenge.

Start rowing with a calorie goal in mind. We recommend starting at 5 calories. Aim to reach this goal within your first minute of rowing. By the time you complete these 60 seconds, repeat it with a higher calorie goal. If you found 5 calories too easy, increase it to 7.

Increase your calorie goal every minute. Once you start to get tired, go in reverse and slow down, burning fewer calories.

You can increase your starting calorie number every few workouts until you can burn calories with a rowing machine with ease!

If you’re a fan of the simple challenges, you can also set metre goals for every minute. Start slow with less than 500 and work your way up, progressing to your fastest speed before going back down to burn even more calories.


As you can see, using a rowing machine efficiently is not as simple as you may have thought. Despite this, it’s worth your while! Learning how to burn calories with a rowing machine in a fast way will boost your fitness gains and give you more time to spend doing the other important things in your life.