Rowing is an extremely popular form of cardio exercise. The rowing machine, in particular, is one of the most fundamental pieces of cardio machinery available and it provides a great workout. There are different ways to train with it too, like short and speed focussed distances, against huge distances rowed over time. So can it help you use it to tone up?

Cardio Exercise

Ma using a rowing machine in a gym

First and foremost, the rowing machine is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout. The exercise is best used as a steady rate exercise to raise your heart rate and get the blood pumping at a good rate. This lets you strengthen your heart and your lungs while improving your stamina at the same time.

Fat loss

Like any cardio exercise, it's a great way to burn fat. The constant elevated heart rate means that you're going to be using a steady rate of calories, so depending on the length of your workout, you're likely going to be burning fat. Half of the battle that is toning up revolves around losing fat levels to give you more muscle tone and definition that is hidden behind it. A good start.

Upper and Lower body exercise

The movement of the exercise itself means that you need your whole body to do it. The pulling back of the chain with your upper body means that your back, arms and shoulders are all getting a good workout through the constant use. Your lower body too, particularly your quads and hamstrings, are also a big part of the movement as you extend your legs to push you backwards. You’re using a large amount of energy there too! This is all great for muscle tone.

Resistance variability

Woman training on a rowing machine

Rowing machines have the awesome feature of adjustable resistance in their build. You can keep it low to build up your general fitness, or turn it up to give yourself a real challenge and work your muscles way harder to keep a good pace. Adjust your workout to get the best results for you. You can start low to be able to strengthen your upper body as you work up to the more difficult weights, or change the intensity of your exercise in the same workout to get the most of every benefit it has to offer. It's completely down to you.

Balanced workout/nutrition

Ultimately, toning is reliant entirely on your calorie consumption. If you want to tone up, you need to be creating a calorie deficit daily, however appropriate, so that you are losing any fat excess fat you may have before training for muscle growth too. You still need to eat well to build muscle, but the right foods with the right exercise should have you there in no time.

If you keep all of these in mind and you are training in the best possible way for your needs, toning is going to happen. The rowing machine is an excellent piece of apparatus that allows you to do so much more than most other cardio machines can offer you, with a lot of different types of them available to suit your personal needs too. If you train properly and eat right, toning is more than achievable.



Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.