What Muscles Does A Rowing Machine Work?

If you want to search for a full body workout, which can offer you great cardio too, then a rowing machine will meet your need. The rowing machine can work with all of your vital muscle groups; however, some can be more significant than others. Your back, shoulders, core, legs will get a noticeable development when you use the rowing machine regularly.


At the beginning of the stroke, your full body should be still and braced, with just your own legs applying all of the forces. If you think about a true rowing boat, which can weight over 1000 kilograms (a boat for 8 persons, a cox, and the boat’s weight), then, the strength level required to move it up to needed speed will only originate from your legs. Imagine you can leg press or squat how much weight against the number of bicep curls.

The breakdown of your leg strength originates from the quads and the glutes as well. All of them are needed to link your leg strength with your lower back and your hamstrings, which are required to smoothly pull you back and forwards.

Midsection Muscles

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The force, which is generated by legs, should be transferred to the rower’s handle through your arms and back. When your lower back collapses, it will lower the rowing power of you and enhance the risk of your back injury. To protect your lower back from this, the core muscles, which surround the midsection, must contract in order to stabilize your lower spine and lumbar. Your core muscles consist of erector spinae, oblique, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis. The erector spinae also helps extend the lower back whenever you lean backward moderately.

Lower Back / Hips

This is such an explosive unit of the rowing stroke. The oar/handle is ready to move and you are required to take that from the slow start and accelerate it thoroughly. Think about the power clean, where you may gradually lift the rower’s bar off the floor and explode to get it up to the chest.

Upper back

A powerful upper back is required to carry on to add more power once the back has been open and to add extra aptitude at the end. Then, you need to consider that you draw the shoulder blades back while you are sitting up right,

Pull your shoulders and arms back when you draw the handle of your rowing machine into the midsection involves some muscles around shoulders and upper back. Your upper rhomboids and trapezius, which are located between the shoulder blades, will pull the shoulders back whilst the latissimus dorsi, which is located beneath the armpits and shaped unlike wings, will pull the upper arms into extension and back.


There is not so much power wise that your arms can make an addition to the rowing stroke apart from the last contraction at the stroke’s end. You also need to be neat and tidy around your whole body when you carry out your recovery part and then move back to the first step.

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Sources: therowingmachinereview.com

Deltoids: The full rowing motion will work on your deltoid muscles, especially when releasing the rower’s handlebars. Those are muscles of your shoulders, which are linked with collarbone, shoulder blade, humerus, and are an essential part in your arms’ range motion.

Triceps: After pulling the rower’s handles towards the whole body, the triceps muscles will then take over, especially when you start to extend and release your arms.

Biceps: Those are muscles, which are located in the upper arm’s front. They are mainly used whenever you bend the arms at your elbows when pulling handlebars towards yourself.

Hip Muscles

Slide forward and ready to do another movement is the outcome of momentum when driving the arms partly and forward because of the contraction of the hamstrings and hip flexor muscles. The hip flexors muscles, which are located in the front of the hips, also known as iliopsoas, will work alongside your rectus femoris, (or one of the quadriceps) in order to flex the hip and pull you forward into the next stroke. The hamstrings will contract to bend the knees and make an addition to the forward momentum of you as well.


Erector Spinae: This muscle is very vital to the lower back, which is also top most typical areas that are injured easily. The erector spinae will work whenever you bend and straighten your back and whenever your legs are pushed and bent.

Oblique: Those typical muscles, which are located at the side of the midsection, are used when you stabilize your whole body so that you’re straight rather than twisting.

Abs: Whilst the rower is aimed at target your back, arms, and legs, any kinds of whole body motion will work the abdominal muscles. Whenever you bend your whole body moderately forward and straighten up, the abs muscles are constantly used.

Whilst the fundamental movements of all rowing machines are similar, there are a great number of models, which have distinctive kinds of features. Each of them can offer a little bit different kind of workout, relying on what you are looking for.

Layout: This’s only one different point of different rowing machines. The layout will let the rower to be put up and folded up easily whilst others may take up much space. A rowing machine may have handles, which are fixed to the bars on other sides of rower or connected to the cable in other to offer rower more motion.

Resistance: The rowing machine brings many benefits, it works on the resistant concept. Generally, this means that if you pull it harder, it’ll be harder for you to pull it. Thanks to this, it permits you to workout. And as consequence, the harder it becomes, the stronger you will be. Getting the resistance may be gained in some ways. A simple rower uses 2 pistons, which are linked to handlebars. There’re also some rowing machines, which utilize the fan wheels to create the air resistance, and there’re some, which are able to offer you additional resistance by means of using the magnets. Finally, there’re some kinds of rowing machines, which use the tank of water along with the paddles inside in order to give rowers realistic feeling and water resistance as well.

Before purchasing a rowing machine, you should make sure to carefully research about many kinds of machines available on the marketplace so that you’re able to have a wise selection. You had better read the reviews, ask who you trust as well as pay a visit ti the local shops for more options and opinions. The price may be an important factor for your selection; however, the vital thing that you must consider is your workout’s quality. Do you want your friends to know what you’ve searched for? Share this article.