Do Rowers Work Well for Shaping the Body & Losing Weight?

Row Your Way To the Body You Have Always Wanted.

Row Your Way To the Body You Have Always Wanted.

Rowers can help you shape your body and lose weight. They work the major muscles and elevate your heart and breathing rates. Regular use of a rower with sufficient intensity and proper technique will enable you to lose weight and tone your muscles effectively while minimizing the risk of injury.

Rowing To Improve Your Shape

The American College of Sports Medicine notes that rowing is a low-impact activity that simultaneously works your arms, shoulders, upper and lower back, abs, legs, hips and butt. This ability to engage so many different muscles makes rowers very effective at shaping and sculpting your body without excessively stressing your joints. You may adjust the resistance according to your fitness levels and desired intensity level.

Rowing To Shed the Flab

Because you simultaneously engage the major muscles of your upper and lower body, rowers expend a significant amount of energy and thus help you burn fat for weight loss. The number of calories burned depends on your level of intensity, which is determined by the resistance on the machine and your rowing speed. According to Harvard Health Publications, if you weigh 185 pounds and row with moderate intensity for 30 minutes, you will burn 311 calories. If you row with vigorous intensity, you will burn 377 calories.

Workout Frequency for Optimum Results

To effectively lose weight and shape your body, you need to use your rower regularly. Follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular exercise or 75 minutes of vigorously intense cardiovascular exercise a week. For example, five times a week work out at moderate intensity for 30 minutes or workout three times a week at vigorous intensity for 25 minutes. Moderately intense activity noticeably raises your breathing rate and heart rate, while vigorously intense activity strongly increases both. Increase the frequency of your rowing workouts as you become fitter and stronger.

Keeping Your Technique Tight

The American College of Sports Medicine stresses the importance of correct technique when using your rowing machine, particularly if you have lower back problems. Keep your head up and your back straight throughout the rowing motion. Don't bend your knees before the handle passes over them. This causes you to lift the handle over your knees and may cause injury. A high resistance places more stress on your lower back. Use steady rhythmical strokes. Pulling as hard as possible on a single stroke can cause lower back injury. Always warm up at a low resistance for about five minutes to minimize risk of injury.

 

About the Author

Ollie Odebunmi's involvement in fitness as a trainer and gym owner dates back to 1983. He published his first book on teenage fitness in December 2012. Odebunmi is a black belt in taekwondo and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.

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