Which muscles to work with a rowing machine?

If sport allows you to build muscle and improve your physical condition, you must nevertheless know the parts of the body to work on to achieve this. To have a flat and toned stomach, you must, for example, build your abdominal muscles. Due to a lack of knowledge, it often happens that many athletes forget to work certain muscles during their sessions. However, to burn fat effectively, it is necessary to solicit almost all the muscles of the body during the exercises. With the rowing machine, a complete device that imitates the movements of rowing, it is easier to achieve your fitness goals. Very popular with athletes, it solicits about 90% of the muscles of the body, according to experts. So which muscles should be worked with a rowing machine?

Strengthen your back muscles with the rowing machine

Do you want to develop your back muscles to have better posture and avoid lower back pain? Do you dream of strengthening your back to impress your friends or participate in a sports competition? Then bet on rowing exercises. This equipment allows you to burn superfluous fat when you get serious about it. It is estimated thatone hour of rowing burns about 680 calories. During the exercises, in a seated position, it is necessary to move back and forth which stretches the back. You may not know it, but pulling too hard on the spine can be dangerous. You must therefore adopt a good posture to avoid injury.

There are different models of rowing machines on the market that do not all offer the same results. Some equipment is versatile and is the perfect accessory to refine your figure or keep in shape. Do you want to buy yourself a device to do exercises at home? Don’t hesitate to form an opinion on the rowing machine Kettler Coach, one of the most efficient devices on the market, trying it on your next session. Whether installed in a gym, an apartment or a garden, the rowing machine is ideal for working all the main muscle groups of your body. It allows you to perform more than 16 exercises including:

  • fitness,
  • cardio,
  • knees crossed,
  • chest pull,
  • posterior pull-ups,
  • endurance,
  • speed, etc.
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The areas of the back solicited during exercises with this material are the latissimus dorsi, lumbar, trapezius and rhomboids.

The latissimus dorsi

If your back has the shape of a V, it is thanks to the presence of the latissimus dorsi. It is the largest and broadest muscle in the body. It is stressed by all the exercises of the rower, especially when pulling on the handles of the equipment.

The lumbar

Like the latissimus dorsi, the lower back are also used during rowing sessions. These muscles play a vital role in the support of the spine. Working the lumbar helps to avoid back problems.


In addition to stabilizing the arms, the trapezius muscles are involved in the movement of the neck and shoulder blade. These muscles are therefore involved in all rowing exercises.

The rhomboids

As for the rhomboids, these are 2 muscles that are located under the trapezius, between the spine and the shoulder blades. If you have a curved back, it is most likely due to a problem with the rhomboids. Use the rowing machine for you help correct your posture.

Work your arm muscles with the rowing machine

The arms are used throughout a session on a rowing machine. They work intensely when you pull the handle of the machine. This effort makes it possible to gradually eliminate the fat lodged below your arms. The rowing machine allows you to work more precisely:

  • the deltoids,
  • the triceps.
  • the biceps.

Triangular in shape, the deltoids are part of the muscles that control the movement of the shoulders. They are used when the athlete performs the circular movements that allow the stroke of the oar. When you return to the initial position, bringing your arms back towards the axis of your body, you call on the triceps. These muscles are found in the posterior compartment of the arm. Working this area of ​​the body will allow you toavoid elbow injuries.

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Smaller than the triceps, the biceps sit between the shoulder and the elbow. During rowing exercises, the closer your elbows are to your chest, the harder these muscles are working. They contract when you bring the handle back towards your body.

Train your legs with the rowing machine

If the rowing machine is considered a complete device, it is because it allows work several areas of the body at the same time. The movements performed in a seated position are ideal for working all the leg muscles:

  • the buttocks,
  • quadriceps,
  • the hamstrings.

The muscles of the buttocks contract when performing movements with the rower. They are solicited during the two phases: propulsion and recovery. The quadriceps support a large part of your body. They help the body move and are therefore solicited with each back and forth. The hamstrings then work as you push your body backwards.

Work your core while rowing

When exercising on the rowing machine, the abdominal muscles play a very important role. They stabilize the spine, allowing you to have good posture and maintain balance. The abdominal strap is involved in almost all movements. It is especially solicited after the propulsion phase, when the back is inclined at 45 degrees. The abdominal muscles that work when using the rowing machine are:

  • spinal erectors,
  • obliques,
  • abdominals.

The presence of spinal erectors balances the lower back. The comings and goings allow strengthen this group of muscles. The obliques are at the angles of the abdomen. They stabilize the body during exercises on the rowing machine. Contracting your abdominal belt during the sessions allows you to work your abs effectively.

Tone your core with exercises on the rowing machine

Like the biceps or the abdominals, the heart is a muscle that must also be worked to be in shape. The rower is precisely a ideal machine for cardio training. When you row, your heart rate and body temperature increase. Regular exercises will allow you to improve your endurance and perform better.

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Exercises to do with a rowing machine

You can perform many exercises on a rowing machine. Before you get started, consider making warm-ups to prepare your body. Here are 3 exercises that will help you improve your physical condition:

  • fitness (for beginners),
  • cardio,
  • speed (for professionals).

These exercises each have their particularities and depend on the physical condition of the athlete.


Adopt a good posture on the rower, then when it comes time to pull, put enough strength into it. The effort must be intense, but the return must be done more slowly, without brutality. Perform this exercise for a short period of time, between 3 and 5 minutes, in moderation with a steady pace. Take the time to blow for at least 3 minutes between each series. Choose the number of sets you want based on your stamina.


The pace is more accelerated in this exercise. You should perform between 22 and 24 rowing movements in one minute. Beginners can do the movements in 2 sets of 4 minutes. The techniques for doing cardio remains the same as that of fitness. We pull intensely on the rudder bar, then we perform a gentle and less brutal return.


The first step of this exercise is to do 60 rowing strokes in 3 minutes. We then continue with 24 rowing strokes in 3 minutes, following a fairly moderate pace. We finally finish with the same number of strokes, but with a high rhythm. Take time to breathe for at least a minute between each set.

You are now ready to work every muscles in your body with a rowing machinewhatever your sporting level and your physical condition.

* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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