Can You Lose Belly Fat on a Rowing Machine?

Can You Lose Belly Fat on a Rowing Machine?

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: February 22, 2021

Has your interest been piqued by the recent trending popularity of rowing machines? Wondering if they provide as good of a workout as treadmills?

Belly fat is a concern of many.

If you suffer from stubborn belly fat, you’re likely trying to find the exercise machine that can effectively target it the best. Most know the benefits and limitations of treadmills. After all, they’ve been popular for a long time and they simulate running which is a well-known cardio exercise.

Rowing isn’t something we all do throughout our lives. Therefore, you might not be fully aware of all of the benefits that it can offer.

In this article, you will learn about what makes rowing special and why it could be the answer you are looking for in regards to targeting stubborn belly fat.

What Exactly Is a Rowing Machine?


A rowing machine is exercise equipment that will simulate the entire movement your body uses while rowing out on the water.

You will find a variety of different rowing equipment available that will allow you to simulate this movement. Some may restrict your movement some and some will allow for a full range of motion.

Why Should You Use a Rowing Machine For Fat Loss?

1. It Offers a Full-Body Workout

There was a study conducted by the English Institute of Sport that showed that a rowing machine is capable of targeting as many as 86% of the body’s muscles [1]. Thus, it is an exercise machine that is not limited in its potential impact. Any machine that is capable of working 86% of the body’s muscles is one that will deliver a full-body workout.

Getting a full-body workout ensures that you are not wasting your efforts. Something like a treadmill is limited in its capacity to benefit your body because it is only going to be working your lower body. After all, you don’t have to move nor work your upper body at all during your running sessions.

With rowing, both your lower body and upper body have to work together in synergy. The rowing motion requires both your lower half and your upper half to work which ensures you are getting the most complete workout.

2. Your Core Section Is Constantly Working

One of the keys to finding the perfect exercise for targeting belly fat is finding exercises that require the use of your midsection. Finding an exercise that requires core strength is key.

Rowing is an exercise that will certainly work your core muscles. During the rowing motion, your core will be constantly engaging and disengaging. This will work your abdominal muscles to the point where you can build muscles in that area.

As we all know, muscles can burn fat at a higher rate. Therefore, the more muscle you can build in that area, the better your ability to burn stubborn belly fat.

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3. Similar Calorie Expedenture

While running on a treadmill is likely to result in slightly more burned calories, that’s not the only thing that you want to worry about when targeting stubborn belly fat.

Despite this, you can count on burning nearly as many calories with a rowing exercise as a treadmill exercise.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your efforts being less efficient than running on a treadmill. You will still be able to burn a similar number of calories which should give you the confidence you need that you are going to be able to achieve your weight loss goals with a rowing machine.

4. Improve Muscle Composition

One of the biggest benefits that you will be able to get from getting a rowing machine and using it to reduce belly fat comes from its effectiveness at improving your muscle composition. As mentioned, a rowing machine is a great way to target more muscle groups.

It is a good way to get more of your muscles working together. This can help you build more muscle and get stronger in different areas. Not many exercises are going to activate your back muscles the same as your arm muscles. Likewise, not many are going to target your core muscles and your legs.

By improving your muscle composition, you will naturally improve the rate of fat loss in your mid-section which is where your stubborn belly fat resides [2].

5. Low Impact

One of the standout reasons to consider using a rowing machine over something like a treadmill is because it is a very low-impact exercise in comparison. A treadmill can be very detrimental to the overall health of your joints. A lot of people struggle to use a treadmill for longer periods due to the amount of wear and tear it places on your joints.

The best way to avoid this is by opting for something that requires less impact. Having something that isn’t going to cause the same wear and tear on your joints will enable you to work out for longer.

It will also allow you to work out harder. A rowing machine isn’t going to require you to consistently slam your feet down on a sturdy surface. Therefore, your knees and ankles won’t be screaming after a long workout session.

Instead, you will be able to get in a highly effective workout without stressing your joints to the point of severe pain.

6. Get’s Your Heart Pumping

Any exercise that is going to get your heart rate going is one that is going to help you burn calories and fat. A rowing exercise can get your heart going as well as any other cardio machine. You will be able to get your heart rate up and pumping which can help you get a highly effective workout in a short period.

Measuring your heart rate is one of the best ways to see how intense your workout is. To burn fat, you want to keep your heart rate in a specific zone. This will vary depending on your age. However, experts recommend that you keep your workouts to targeting 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate during periods of vigorous activity [3].

A rowing machine is a good option for reaching these levels because you can not only increase the intensity at which you are rowing, but you will also be able to increase the resistance levels to go along with it. A lot of the rowing machines you will find will have plenty of room to navigate in regards to the rowing intensity you can reach and the resistance you can use.

This should make it a very effective workout machine to target your optimal fat-burning heart rate. This is needed if you want to get rid of the stubborn belly fat that you are having difficulties shedding.

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At the end of the day, a rowing machine is one of the most effective pieces of workout equipment you will find available. A rowing machine is capable of targeting your stubborn belly fat. It’s one of the best tools you can use to improve your body’s muscle composition.

If you are looking to get rid of excess fat, a rowing machine is certainly one of the best machines to use. Not only will it help you burn calories at a similar rate to something like a treadmill, but it requires the activation of over 80 percent of the muscles found in your body.

Therefore, you will be able to build strength and muscles which can further enhance your efforts to lose fat.