How To Blast The Fat Away On A Rowing Machine

Ask 10 people their reasons for working out, and 9 out of 10 will mention burning fat and calories as one of their primary reasons for keeping at it.

It seems that the unending quest to burn fat has resulted in people always looking for the latest and greatest way to shed extra pounds and tone their body -- sometimes to mixed results.

Rowing machines have been gaining in popularity over the last decade, and many are now realizing how effective they are at burning fat, among other things.

So, if you’re thinking about hopping on that rowing machine at a gym, or buying a rowing machine yourself, here’s how to make sure you’re burning the fat off as best you can, getting the most out of each workout.

Understanding How To Burn Fat

In order to burn fat more effectively, you must first have a proper understanding of how to burn fat, and what that even means in the first place. Without going into a full-blown science lesson, I'll just break it down like this.

burn fat with cardio workouts

Fat gets stored up in your body when consuming excess calories, while also remaining in a sedentary lifestyle most of the time. While diet is a major component of this as well, exercising is the best way to burn this stored fat, since fat is still a crucial part of the fuel we need to function.

When we begin to exercise more, a hormone called lipase begins to break down the stored fat, and then our muscles and liver begin to metabolize it and remove it from the body. The more you exercise, the more this process works.

A good measurement of this process is how many calories you burn. As a rule, the route to losing weight simply involves burning more calories than you consume, creating a deficit that eventually causes weight loss.

This all works hand in hand to burn fat. When exercising, choosing workouts that burn a high amount of calories makes the workout more efficient and thus leads to faster weight and fat loss.

How Many Calories Do You Burn On A Rowing Machine?

This is the natural follow-up question. While the actual amount of calories burned depends on the intensity and type of rowing machine, there is still a general range rower can burn.

rowing machine cardio assumption

Rowing on the water in a consistent manner is actually one of the highest calorie-burning exercises there is. When rowing, you can expect to burn around 800-900 calories per hour, which is a lot.

Rowing machines are just a little less intense than real rowing, but still very similar. When using a rowing machine, you can burn around 700-850 calories an hour.

Again, this will depend on the intensity of your workout, which I’ll touch on shortly.

Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercise

In terms of general fat-burning throughout the body aerobic exercise is the best way to burn fat. Aerobic exercise is broadly defined as repetitive motions that help to build cardio health.

aerobic group workout

Walking, running, and jumping rope are all common examples of popular aerobic exercises.

Anaerobic exercise is a bit different, as it refers to more targeted exercises meant to build strength and muscle in certain parts of the body, such as lifting weights, doing squats, etc.

Most of the time, anaerobic exercise is used to pinpoint development in a particular area.

Rowing machines have the rare advantage of offering both types of workouts. The pushing back and forth with the legs, combined with the repeated rowing motion makes rowing an aerobic exercise.

This means you can build endurance and better heart and lung health with rowing workouts.

The anaerobic aspect comes from the resistance in the handle portion of the rower, and also the moving of your body weight up and down the rower on the seat.

Rowing provides a great workout for your back muscles, arms, and chest, while also engaging your core and legs. All of this works to help you burn calories and fat, while also toning your body.

Low-Impact HIIT

Another big benefit of rowing machines is the fact that they can offer a high-intensity workout with virtually no impact at all. This means those with joint and bone problems can quickly burn fat and get a great cardio workout without any impact on their knees, feet, spine, etc.

HIIT training with rowing machine

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is training that alternates between regular intensity for longer periods, periodically broken up with short bursts of intensity that are a lot harder.

This is by far the best way to burn fat with any type of workout, whether you’re on a bike, a treadmill, a elliptical, or whatever else.

A good example of doing HIIT on a rower would be 5 minutes of regular-intensity rowing, with 60 seconds of you going as hard and as fast as you can, preferably with the resistance turned up higher in possible.

Repeat over the course of 20-20 minutes, and you’ve done a HIIT workout on the rower, with no impact whatsoever.

So, if you’re looking for the best way to burn fat on a rowing machine, follow a simple HIIT routine each time you get on, and you’ll be well on your way to burning off excess fat, without having sore knees and feet the next day.


Rowing machines have a ton of benefits and uses, and burning fat is definitely one of the biggest ones.

Whether you’re thinking about giving a rowing machine a try at the gym or ordering one for your home, know that you’ll always be getting a great workout, while blasting away unwanted fat, all while having a good time in the process.