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Rowing for Weight Loss

By Wade Harle

Rowing offers an effective workout for the whole body. The website Sport-fitness-advisor explains that rowing is one of the most physically demanding sports that you can participate in. You will burn a high number of calories in a challenging rowing workout and it can help you lose weight.


When you watch rowing in the Summer Olympics you'll notice that many of the rowers are extremely lean and muscular. Fritz Hagerman, Ph.D., in an article at the website Rowing for Health explains that a competitive rower burns double the calories in a 2,000m race that a 3,000m steeple chase runner burns.

Aerobic Work

When doing a rowing workout, you have the option to train steadily over a long distance. Sport-fitness-advisor explains that you can perform a test to make sure you're not going too hard. You need to be able to carry on a conversation without running out of breath. This type of training is similar to a distance runner's.

Rowing Movements

The catch, the drive, the pull and the recovery make up a successful rowing stroke. Begin your stroke with the catch by getting the oar into the water. The catch works your quadriceps and biceps effectively. Next, the drive gets your legs into the stroke. The drive requires power from your chest, trapezius and quadriceps. The pull, utilizing the glutes and abdominals, involves pulling the oar with arm and shoulder movement. Lastly, the recovery starts the stroke again. That is just one stroke, and you have already utilized several different muscles.

Rowing Machine Workout

If you don't have a boat available for outdoor rowing, a rowing machine is a great substitute. Rowing machines mimic the stroke movements used on the boat. The website Calorie-Counter explains that just 10 minutes on a rowing machine sheds over 80 calories. Also, a rowing machine develops your aerobic fitness reducing your risk of heart disease. If you're looking to try a new workout to challenge your whole body and it's too cold outside for rowing, a rowing machine is a great starting point.


Don't spend a large amount of money on a boat and oars if you're not going to use it often enough. Purchase a rowing boat only if you're interested in participating in the sport fairly frequently. Also, make sure to eat healthy and follow a diet if you're trying to lose weight.

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