Belly fat is the nemesis of women across the land. It can seem like the whole of your body is improving -- leaner arms, tighter thighs, more sculpted shoulders, yet that small ring of fat still encompasses your mid-section. There's no secret to burning belly fat though, it's simply a case of burning more calories. One way you can make your cardio workouts even more calorie intensive is to switch over to the rowing machine.
The Myth of Spot Reduction
While it would be great if there was some magic exercise that would instantly reduce belly fat, unfortunately it doesn't exist. The notion that training troublesome body parts directly will burn extra fat from them is false. Therefore no matter how many situps and crunches you do, you won't be getting stomach-specific fat burn.
Calorie Burn from Rowing
If spot reduction is a myth, then the only way to get rid of that stubborn belly fat is to increase your calorie expenditure to burn fat faster. According to Harvard Medical School, 30 minutes of rowing burns between 210 and 277 calories, depending on your body-weight and how hard you work. This is higher than stationary cycling, aerobics, weightlifting, walking, jogging and gymnastics, making rowing an effective cardio workout for burning calories.
Getting More from the Rower
Government guidelines state that you need to do at least 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate cardio every week, but you can elevate your results further with interval training. High intensity interval training burns more calories in less time and has a far bigger impact on your metabolism, writes trainer Amanda Vogel in "Oxygen Magazine." Try alternating short 20 to 30 second sprints on the rower with 90 to 120 seconds of moderate paced rowing for 20 minutes.
Rowing won't necessarily burn any more belly fat than any other activity you perform, as there are no specific exercises for targeting stomach fat loss. However, what makes rowing so effective is that it's a high intensity activity, so it burns more calories than other forms of cardio, which can lead to quicker overall fat loss. Combine your rowing plan with strength training and a calorie-controlled diet too, for optimal results.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.