11 Best Rowing Machine Workouts to Gain Muscle: Complete guide!

When it comes to burning fat, the rowing machine is known as one of the best cardio machines that give you the answer so quickly. But, is it also an efficient method for those who have considered building muscle by using this machine?

The answer is a big yes. Rowing machines are one of the main parts of the play to build muscle and in the following, first, I will talk about the relationship between rowing and building muscle. Then, I’ll introduce you to the best 11 rowing workouts that you can rely on for your building muscle plan.

Rowing Machine Workouts to Gain Muscle:

Do Rowing Machine workouts Build Muscle or Burn Fat?

According to Lisa Niren, Peloton’s original head fitness instructor, “Exercising with a rowing machine is a whole-body workout that uses most of the muscles and joints in your body during each stroke. It burns fat while providing extreme cardiovascular fitness and ridiculous muscular endurance.” So, Rowing workouts are a substantial strength training type.

Before continuing, there is something to know about the difference between endurance training and resistance exercises. Resistance exercises aim for the ultimate amount of muscle fibers to engage rather than a short duration to grow muscles. Muscle gaining training will act as a numeral repetition per number of sets, with the weights run up by each set.

In an anaerobic exercise like this, a linger occurs between the time of atmospheric oxygen’s (O2) diffusion through the lungs’ bronchioles into the bloodstream through the veins which by the primacy goes to the muscles that are under serious effort.

On the other hand, endurance training in which Rowing is practically incorporated doesn’t aim to build muscle precisely as much as resistance weight training does. It’s just about the focus that one action promotes to the body. Although, rowing is dependent on its rapidness and weight (in high weights with a short period). A simple supplement with weight training will facilitate the use of muscles, and all together can pretty much be a good strategy for gaining muscles.

Last but not least, among all other aerobic workouts that go for burning fat and calories, rowing goes for being the most effective of them all and takes the first place. And one trick that you can use is taking coffee or brewed cinnamon which ascends the body’s metabolism speed and takes a shorter road to a fitness goal.

How Much Time You Should Put into A Rowing Machine to Build Muscle?

The answer depends all on your ideals, either it is 5 minutes or 1 hour. It all connects to your time frame and goals. Although I can give you a rough estimate, you need to answer some questions that will clear out how much time you need to use a rowing machine. What are your goals? How many calories you’re willing to burn? Are you willing to build muscle meanwhile?

After you answered all these questions, you can customize your training plan. There is no BEST for everybody. Professionals suggest that high-intensity rowing workouts around 20 minutes in length are great for gaining more muscles. But, if you have other different movements in your plan, a 10 min rowing workout would be enough for you.

What Muscles Get Toned from Rowing?

According to Tuttle fitness and the English institute of sports, rowing machines use 86 percent of the body’s musculature and activate nine groups of muscles. It’s kind of a total-body workout and depending on what stroke you are going with.

The training focuses on different muscles which target the calves, shoulders, chests, abs, wrists, triceps, glutes, hamstring, and back muscles. The posterior chain such as glutes, calves, and spinal are used during the drives, and in the pull, lats, forearms, and the quads are mainly focused.

Can You Build Muscle on Rowing Machine?

You should consider adding rowing workouts to your exercise routine if you’re intended to grow muscles or seek God-toned muscles. Despite it being formally known as an aerobic machine, from what the English institute of sport has figured out, rowing will engage 85% of your muscles during any kind of training and induce the muscles to grow.

The particular benefit that using a rower offers you, is its sort of strength training that improves the resistance of the muscles while burning fat and building muscle. Cranking up the strengthening and growing the muscle together, while shedding extra fat, will take your building muscle process to another level. This also makes your muscle grow faster and be seen as more toned and defined. Following are some of the best rowing machine workouts that you can add to your exercise plan and see their fast results.

11 Best Rowing Machine Workouts

1. Oblique Twist

Rowing Machine Workouts to Gain Muscle:

Workouts For the Muscles Of Torso, also known as core workouts, are more of a traditional stroke among the following that we are going to discuss, and especially, they focus on the strengthening of the core, obliques, and transverse abdominal area and the lower back.

With your feet and palms facing you, get yourself on the seat of the rowing machine exactly like the way you use it for rowing your feet in front of you. With your hand on the standard placement of the handles, lean back. Then, go further, bend your knees slightly and as you lean a bit backward, rotate to the right and bend the left knee. Twist your body on the left and bend the right knee (think of your body going in a shape of a rainbow as it rotates).

For improving your rowing workouts to the next level, you can grab a weight and move it from right to left as you twist your body.

2. Plank

Plank is one of the most basic and important rowing positions for abs and stomach muscles. However, you have to do it correctly and very comfortably to avoid injury. After that you can move on to more advanced training.

Push the seat to the front of the machine and stand behind it. Place both your feet and butt on the seat with your palms placed beyond the end of the rail on the ground, hands shoulder distance apart. Now, you are in a standard plank position. Hold it as much as it keeps contractions in your stomach, up to 30 seconds or one minute, and repeat it a few times.

3. Pike

Rowing Machine Workouts to Gain Muscle:

Again, you need to get into the plank position, and if you feel uncomfortable or pain in any part of your body, you should get your doctor’s advice. Push the seat to the front and face away from the machine. Place both your palms on the ground with your toes on the seat where your butt is and get the standard plank position.

In pike, getting your hips above the shoulders is the main objective. Do a 10 to 15 times exercise by Piking the hips up with your toes going forward to your palms, then with maintaining the control, in slow motion move your feet back and go again.

4. Low Row for Legs

This fantastic training requires a reverse, a supine position, and your legs stretched out. You should sit down and pull the handle towards the bottom of your stomach. As your rowing movement is reduced, you can target your legs with ease.

5. Hinge for Legs

For hinging, keep your legs untangled in order to row with only arms. After grabbing the handle on the traditional placement and fixing your upper body part at a 90-degree angle, hinge forward with your two palms to reach the ideal stretch for your hamstrings. Here is a video that shows you how to do hinge correctly.

6. Bicep Curl for Arms

There are no weights required for bicep curls! Curl upwards and downwards while standing on your Strength Machine, with palms facing up and a reverse supine grip. Remember to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and shoulder height. In this variation, concentric curls help lengthen and strengthen the biceps. 

7. High Rows for Arms

You can either position your legs straight out or with a slight bend. To move the handle, only pull it inward at shoulder level while moving your arms. The lats and the rear delts are actively engaged in this move, which allows you to focus on correcting your posture while activating your traps and lats.

8. Single Pull for Arms

Between your index and middle fingers, place the band attached to your handle. Your legs should be extended and your arm should be pulled back as you bend your knees and reach forward. After that, go for the other side.

9. Straight Raise for Arms

Ensure you are standing straight out or bending your knees slightly. Grab handles, lift to a 45-degree angle and back down to shoulder height while your arms remain straight. You should be holding your arms out straight with palms facing down.

10. Wide Pulls for Chest and Shoulders

Rowing Machine Workouts to Gain Muscle:

The feet should be resting on the footplates and your knees should be slightly bent as you sit down. Hands wide and palms facing down, hold the bar at chest height with both hands. As you draw the bar into your chest, make sure to keep your elbows wide and high. Then re-position your arms in the beginning position.

11. Pulls for Triceps

Your feet should be on the footplates and your knees should be slightly bent when sitting on the seat. With your hand facing down, Hold the handle with both palms with shoulders width distance. Bend the elbow and lay them on the knees. Now stretch your arms and bend them back to the first position and repeat 15 times each set.

Final Thoughts

As you saw, many muscles are engaged while doing rowing workouts. To grow muscles or shred or burn fat, it all depends on your daily schedule, time, and the action you’re taking on the rowing machine. It even might be the most efficient way to activate a larger variety of your muscles and also be the least risky strategy if you are happened to have an injury. A completely impactful and also, the perfect fat burner and muscle builder.

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