An indoor rower may not be as widely known as treadmills and exercise bikes. But this compilation of rowing machine facts and frequently asked questions might convince you to give rowing exercises a go.

So, if you’re looking for a new fitness machine or just curious about indoor rowing, here’s a rundown of the essentials you need to know.

1. Are rowing machines good for weight loss?

An indoor rowing machine can help you lose weight. And there are two ways how this piece of equipment can do that.

First, indoor rowing is a low-impact cardio exercise that helps you increase your metabolic rate, which, in turn, burns excess calories.

You can even do rowing variations and add other exercises to your fitness routine to maximise the calories you burn on an indoor rower.

Second, exercising with a rowing machine involves a lot of muscles with every stroke.

While your legs will do most of the work, your upper body gets to shape up, too.

But you do need to master the proper form for maximum results. Make sure to know the correct way to warm up and cool down.

It also helps if you complement your rowing routine with a healthy diet and, of course, a reliable rower.

2. How long should my rowing workouts be to see weight loss results?

According to Harvard Health Publishing, 30 minutes of moderate rowing can burn 210 to 294 calories, depending on body weight. This caloric burn is enough to start noticing results within 3 to 4 weeks.

And your progress becomes more evident after weeks 6 to 8.

But even if this is a rowing machine fact, you do not have to start or stick to a 30-minute routine.

You can also start with a 10-minute workout at a comfortable pace if you are a beginner.

Once you gain more strength, stretch your rowing time or intensify your strokes for more health benefits.

Then, complement your workouts with exercise variety and a healthy diet for optimum results.

Rowing Machine with Treadmill and Exercise Bike

3. Which is better for weight loss: rowing machines or treadmills?

Both rowing machines and treadmills are excellent for burning calories and weight loss. But they have distinct features that make one better for your fitness goals and status.

For instance, you can adjust your treadmill workout intensity to burn more calories.

But eventually, your weight loss progress will slow down and reach a plateau.

When this happens, you should shift to a new routine that centres on muscle development and toning.

By increasing your muscle mass, you can continue burning calories and maintain your healthy weight.

And in this case, an indoor rower can help you more.

While it is a fact that rowing machines target more muscles, the comparison between these machines also emphasises the role of workout diversity in weight loss.

So, don’t settle on one fitness equipment or routine.

Do exercise variations instead to keep your body challenged.

You can check out this exercise bike vs rowing machine comparison, too.

4. Can rowing machines burn belly fat?

An indoor rower lets you burn calories and tone your muscles. In turn, rowing also leads to body fat and belly size reduction.

But before trimming down your waistline, you need to lose weight first.

It’s a rowing machine fact that applies to all other forms of exercise or equipment since body fat spot reduction does not work.

You can start with a moderate session for 30 minutes, five days a week. Then, pair your rowing routine with a healthy diet.

Rowing within your heart rate zone, boosting core engagement during exercise, and adjusting your lifestyle habits can also help you shed belly fat faster.

Cranking up your workout intensity, like a 20-minute rowing machine HIIT, is another technique for better caloric and fat burn.

5. Can rowing make me bulky?

Indoor rowing will not make you bulky, and there are reasons why.

One is because a rowing machine can only tone your muscles. Rowing exercises do not involve lifting heavy weights, which are necessary for bulking up.

Weightlifting produces micro tears in the muscles, which, when healed, result in muscular growth.

Hormones and gender are also contributors to muscle building.

Specifically, testosterone, a male hormone, is responsible for muscle growth.

That means, unless injected with steroids, women will not become too muscular from indoor rowing.

Diet is also another factor. Eating more muscle-building foods will naturally increase your body’s bulk.

But this will not happen if you stick to regular balanced meals.

All in all, making your body bulky is an intentional fitness outcome.

You would have to take multiple measures for this to happen.

Elderly Woman on a Rowing Machine

6. Is indoor rowing good for seniors?

It’s a fact that rowing machines allow low-impact, full-body workouts. And these make indoor rowers ideal for seniors.

It is a seated exercise, making accidents during workouts, such as tripping or losing balance, less likely.

In addition, seniors can gain crucial health benefits from a regular rowing routine.

These include improved bone density, stronger muscles, better cardiovascular health, and lower disease risks.

Indoor rowing is an exercise that they can safely do every day as long as their doctors give them the go-ahead.

People 65 years and older should be good with 30-minute moderate rowing sessions five days a week.

But they can always start with a shorter routine, then adjust when ready.

7. What are the different kinds of rowing machines?

One of the vital facts to know about rowing machines is that they come in various types.

These are the magnetic, air, water and hydraulic rowers.

Each rowing machine type has unique features to match individual user needs and preferences.

Magnetic ones, for instance, are compact and quiet, making them ideal for apartment dwellers. A quality magnetic rower is also best for beginners.

Air-driven machines fit experienced rowers and athletes for their infinite resistance levels.

If you prefer the whooshing sound of real-life rowing, then a water rower is for you.

But if you have limited space or a tight budget, consider a hydraulic rower.

8. Why do rowing machines have weight limits?

Weight limits represent the capacity of an indoor rowing machine to support a particular load.

Depending on the construction and design, rowing machine weight limits can be between 133 kg and 159 kg.

Assessing rowing machine weight limits is necessary to keep your workout effective and safe. It also ensures your machine’s quality and lifespan to prevent costly repairs.

However, choosing a rowing machine is not all about weight limits.

A high-capacity rower should suit your space, preference and budget, too.

Rowing Machine at a Gym

9. Does an indoor rower take up space?

It’s a fact that rowing machines generally require more floor space than other cardio machines.

And it is mainly because of their seat rail length.

An average indoor rower is about 211 cm long and 56 cm wide. And that means a dedicated space is often necessary to have one at home.

However, despite their size, most rowing machines today are foldable. Some also allow upright storage.

Either option is excellent for small home gym owners or apartment dwellers.

If you want a rowing machine in an apartment, it’s also best to choose one with a low noise level, like a magnetic or hydraulic rower.

Go for compact yet durable models that are not too heavy for a multi-storey home.

10. Are rowing machines expensive?

Like other exercise equipment, rowing machines are available in budget, mid-range and high-end price categories. So, you’ll have good options without going over your limit.

After all, getting fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to get the most expensive model available.

Consider looking for mid-range models if you want balanced machine features and costs.

Quality rowers within this range cost between $1000 and $1900.

And that’s it! Hopefully, this rowing machine fact and FAQ list answered your main concerns.

But don’t stop your research here.

Jump to my rowing machine reviews and buying guides next to learn more.