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Best Rowing Machines for Working Abs

Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by Jeff

rowing machine absEveryone would like rock-hard abs and a toned physique. A rowing machine is one of the best machines to help you get the abs of your dreams. A rowing machine is the way to go for your body transformation goals

Rowing is one of the best Cardiovascular exercises that you can do to get your heart rate up and burn fat. This is the best way to define your abs, by losing some belly fat. The best thing about a rowing machine is that you can tone your abs by doing other abdominal exercises besides rowing. 

These exercises are done in a plank position and include the following: Planks, mountain climbers, pikes, and push-ups. These are ab-specific exercises used to tone and strengthen your core. This makes the rowing machine a great investment for anyone who is looking for a rowing machine for home or any commercial gym. 

Rowing Machines and your Abdominal Muscles 

A rowing machine can give you a great full-body workout. A rowing machine helps with muscle gain as well. Just rowing at a low resistance for a few minutes will work your abs. But there are other non-rowing exercises that you can do on a rowing machine that can target your abdominal muscles. 

Burning calories is a great way to help you get rock-hard abs. But for optimal results, you will need to incorporate ab-focus exercises with your cardio. A rowing machine can offer you both cardio and ab-specific. Abdominal-specific exercises are designed to only target and work your abs

You can do other exercises apart from working on a rowing machine. This gives the rowing machine a dual-functionality. Cardio and Core. The most important thing to remember while rowing is to always keep engaging your core with every stroke. 

How to Use a Rowing Machine to Tone your Stomach 

Oblique Twist

This is a more traditional ab workout. Position yourself on the seat of the rowing machine the same as you would do before you start rowing with your feet placed in front of you. Bend your knees slightly. 

Lean a bit backward and rotate your arms from left to right. Keep your core engaged. You can enhance the exercise by including a weight. Move the weight from left to right and repeat this a few times.  


The plank is your starting position for all the other core exercises that follow. It is the most basic and very important that you can plank comfortably before you move on to more advanced movements. Otherwise, you might risk injury. 

Stand behind the machine, facing away from it. Place both your feet on the seat, where your butt would be. Place both your hands on the floor. You are now in a standard plank position. Your shoulders should be over your wrist, spine neutral and bell button contracted. Your hips should never fall below your shoulders. Keep contractions in your stomach. 

Hold the position for 30- 60 seconds and repeat five times. 


Start with your basic plank position as mentioned above. If you feel any pain or discomfort in this position do not continue with any of the other exercises. 

Pike your hips up moving both your feet towards your hand. The aim is to have your hips above your shoulders. Slowly move your feet back. Try to keep control of the return. Repeat this 10 to 15 times. 

Mountain Climber

Start with your plank position as described above. Lift your right foot off the seat. You can keep the leg in the air or put it on the floor next to the rowing machine. Keeping your leg in the air is a bit more difficult. If you feel off-balance or unstable, rather put your foot on the floor. 

 Pull your left knee towards your right armpit. Repeat this movement a few times and repeat it on the left side. Remember to keep your core engaged. This will help with the pull motion. 


Once you have mastered all the above moves add a push-up at the end of the sequins. A push-up with elevated feet requires a very strong core. Do not try this if you do not feel strong enough. 

To make sure you are strong enough try to do a push-up with your feet on the floor. If you can do a normal pushup comfortably move your feet in the elevated position. 

Start with your plank position, hand flat, and firm on the ground. Add a push-up and move through the sequins. Plank for 30 seconds, 1 pike, 1 mountain climber, and 1 push-up. Repeat a few times. 

Why Does Your Core Matter?

rowing machine good for absYour core is a very important part of your body. It helps you to sit upright, walk straight and even get out of bed in the morning. A lot of people underestimate how much of our everyday activities are done by using our core. 

This will help to prevent injuries and chronic back pain. The rowing machine offers a great way to exercise your core while doing cardio. This is why a lot of personal trainers recommend rowing machines. 

Why Use a Rowing Machine for your Abs?

A rowing machine is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. The rowing machine also gives you a full-body workout. The rowing machine engages glutes, arms, and abdominal muscles. This will help you to lose weight which makes the rowing machine great for toning

But, some rowers focus too much on pulling the handlebars with all their strength. This can lead to injuries. Try to remember that 60% of rowing will come from your legs, 20% from your core, and the other 20% from pulling your arms. 

Benefits of using a rowing machine for your abs

  • Rowing burns fat over your whole body including your abs. 
  • Rowing helps to stimulate your abs 
  • To do a full, proper rowing stroke in an upright position, you need to engage your core every time. 
  • rowing machine make arms smaller and more toned 

Cons of a rowing machine for your abs 

  • If you do not row with your whole body and too much with your abs, it can lead to injuries 
  • Some people may feel that it focuses too much on your arms. 


Rowing is a great cardio machine. Better than the treadmill and elliptical, The only other cardio that can compete is jumping rope. The rowing machine can be used to do ab-specific exercises and not only cardio. Rowing machines are great to tone shoulders and arms

Some people have the misconception that a rowing machine will give you bodybuilder arms. Rowing machines are not bodybuilding machines. A rowing machine gives you a full-body workout, it does not only focus on your arms. The rowing machine will not make your arms bulky

This makes it an ideal investment for anyone who has their gym at home and is looking for a cardio machine. Ab-specific exercise needs to be done to get super toned abs. The rowing machine offers the best cardio and abdominal exercises. 

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