Belly size reduction is probably on everybody’s fitness checklist. But belly fat stays unless you do something about it, like starting a rowing routine. The question is, can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

An indoor rower lets you burn calories and tone your muscles. In turn, you also reduce your body fat percentage and belly size.

However, the key to successful belly fat loss is a consistent workout routine. There are also tips you can apply to shed belly fat faster.

Keep reading and gather all the details you need to achieve that slimmer waist in no time!

Why is an Indoor Rower Good for Belly Fat Loss?

There are plenty of exercise machines that can help reduce your belly size. But why is it better to lose belly fat on an indoor rowing machine?

1. It burns more calories.

Compared with other exercise machines, working out with an indoor rower leads to a relatively higher caloric burn.

Specifically, a 30-minute rowing session can burn 210 to 294 calories.

A Harvard Medical School research even shows that rowing at moderate intensity was among the exercises with high caloric expenditure.

It’s also one of the top calorie-burning exercises in intense or vigorous mode.

These findings are crucial, especially if you want to get results within a shorter period.

2. It involves several muscle groups.

A rowing machine works your lower and upper body, making it efficient in burning calories and fat.

Moreover, using lots of muscles can boost your metabolic rate.

When this happens, your body continues to burn calories even after your rowing workout.

That means you’ll speed up your weight loss and see results faster.

Another crucial fact is that rowing works your core better than treadmills or exercise bikes.

As you pull the handlebar close to your rib cage, your abdominal muscles activate by keeping your body stable.

This targeted rowing exercise is perfect for getting that smaller and flatter belly. Learn more about which muscles do rowing machine tone from this article.

If you are worried that you will look bulky after using a rowing machine, this article may alleviate your concern.

3. It is low impact.

If you are overweight or obese, your knees and ankles take most of the load from your body weight and physical activity.

And so, performing high-impact exercises makes you prone to workout injury.

In this case, a low-impact routine like rowing is safer.

It is gentler on your joints as you’ll be sitting down while performing rowing strokes.

With an indoor rower, you can lose stubborn belly fat and get all the cardiovascular health benefits without hurting yourself.

Ideal Rowing Duration to Lose Belly Fat

How Much Should I Row to Lose Belly Fat?

We know that we can lose belly fat on an indoor rowing machine.

But that doesn’t mean you have to do intense rowing for hours to get results.

Before you trim down your waist, you need to lose weight first. That means boosting your caloric expenditure and controlling your energy intake.

You can do this by pairing your routine with a healthy diet.

As for how much you should be rowing, you can start with a moderate session for 30 minutes, five days a week.

This recommendation also matches the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline, where adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly.

Once you get used to this cardio workout routine, continue challenging your body and try other variations.

You can also extend your exercise time from 45 minutes to 1 hour.

People who are short on time can also try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

For belly fat reduction success, make it your goal to avoid doing the same exercise repeatedly.

That way, you’ll keep losing weight and prevent a fitness plateau.

How can I Shed Belly Fat Faster?

Aside from a balanced diet and constant exercise, there are other ways to lose belly fat on a rowing machine more effectively.

Here are a few tips you can incorporate into your rowing routine.

Wear a heart rate monitor

Rowing as fast as you can is not an efficient way to burn calories and fat. Heart rate training is the best way to do it.

That means rowing at an intensity level that should keep your heart rate beating at the ideal level.

And you can track this more easily if you wear a heart rate monitor during your rowing machine workout.

Boosting our heart rate means increasing the number of calories we burn.

But the best heart rate zone varies from person to person, depending on age and exercise intensity.

So, before starting, compute your heart rate zone first, so you can row smarter.

How to Lose Belly Fat Faster on a Rowing Machine

Keep your core engaged in every stroke

I know that spot reduction is a myth. And no exercise can exclusively target the belly.

The best formula is still to burn enough calories to lose weight and, eventually, reduce your belly size.

But incorporating an ab workout while rowing mobilises your midsection area. This extra move can help shape your waist.

Plus, working another muscle group means you’ll be boosting your caloric expenditure.

When you do this, make sure to apply the proper form and technique while rowing.

Do some effective lifestyle changes

While you can lose excess belly fat on a rowing machine, your routine will not be as effective if you do not remove or improve certain habits.

So, once you start exercising, complement it with:

  • Healthy eating. Cut back on food and drinks high in added sugars, salt and saturated fats. Then, increase your vegetable, fruit, seafood and whole grain intake. Go for low-fat or non-fat options when applicable. Try to control your alcohol intake, too.
  • Sufficient sleep. Longer waking hours likely mean you’ll eat more without increasing your physical activity. And a study shows that this habit redirects fat to the visceral compartment, or inside the belly. So, eat within ideal mealtimes and get up to 8 hours of sleep daily.
  • Smoking cessation. Excessive smoking is never good for our health, particularly our lungs. But did you know that it adversely affects weight control, too? Research shows smoking tends to put fat around the waist, particularly in women.


It’s not easy to trim down your waistline. But you can lose belly fat on a rowing machine.

A flatter midsection needs more than a good exercise machine, though.

Burning belly fat will be more successful when paired with efficient rowing, a healthy diet and better lifestyle habits.

With effort and discipline combined, you can bid that stubborn belly fat goodbye for good!

Check out my rowing machine reviews and buying guide to start your belly fat-busting workout.

1. Why is it difficult to lose belly fat?

The belly area has a high concentration of beta fat cells. These are resistant to fat breakdown or lipolysis. If fat resists this body mechanism, it becomes more difficult to lose and be absorbable. The subcutaneous fat covering the belly also limits blood flow in this area. Low blood flow, in turn, makes it harder to burn off and mobilise fat.

2. Can rowing give me abs?

Rowing can burn calories and target your core muscles to some degree, resulting in a smaller belly but not a six-pack. Combining moderate-to-vigorous rowing with an improved diet can help you get there. Doing other exercises that bring your legs to your chest also helps. Some sample moves you can do are crunches and knee or leg raises.