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Rowing Machine for Back Fat

Last Updated on October 28, 2021 by Jeff

Rowing Machine for Back FatA rowing machine is a fantastic way to lose weight and build muscle through a full-body workout, but you might be questioning whether it can specifically help reduce back fat. 

The emphasis on the arms and shoulders in the rowing machine exercise motion might lead you to believe that it solely works those areas, but it’s actually a full-body workout. Once you give it a go, you will experience the burn (and sore muscles the next day) from tip to toe, feeling like you’ve done a full circuit when you’ve just done one exercise. 

We explore whether a rowing machine is an adequate exercise option to lose back fat, and how exactly you can use it to ensure maximum calorie burn and fat loss. 

Does a Rowing Machine Get Rid of Back Fat? 

You can use a rowing machine for weight loss, and it can reduce fat throughout the body when done regularly, including back fat. It is not possible to target specific areas of desired fat loss, such as using a rowing machine to lose belly fat or back fat. But, general exercise and cardio, paired with a healthy diet, will lead to overall weight loss and toning. 

A rowing machine offers an effective cardio workout, which if done regularly, will lead to fat loss. If you spend 30 minutes rowing, between 250-400 calories are burned on a rowing machine in that time, depending on your body weight and the intensity/resistance of your workout. 

It is also a strengthening exercise, as the motion works both the upper body (arms, back, shoulders) and the lower body (thighs, glutes, calves), while also engaging the core. 

The most prominent benefit is this muscle building and toning, as this will result in more sustainable weight loss that won’t be too easy to undo. 

Once you are a few weeks into a disciplined rowing machine routine, you will start to see the back – along with the other parts of your body – slim and toned up.

This is not just a physical benefit. Having a stronger back provides a sturdier foundation for your entire body, lessening the risk of long-term injury and muscle issues as you age. An extra benefit is that the exercise results in an improvement in your general posture, which not only betters your physical appearance but also keeps the back in good condition. 

How To Use a Rowing Machine To Lose Back Fat

A rowing machine is an exercise machine that allows you to mimic the movement of rowing on a boat, complete a sweaty cardio session and strengthen muscles throughout the body. 

The total-body workout makes a rowing machine for home a perfect, convenient addition to your space. You can work all parts of your body in one place, and it enables you to exercise at your convenience. You do not have to worry about the weather, or getting out to a gym, and you are more likely to get that workout in if it is within arm’s length. 


does the rowing machine burn fat

Despite its far-reaching engagement of muscles, it is one of the most low-impact exercise forms you’ll find if used correctly.

To use it, you firstly need to ensure your feet are firmly flat against the pedals and strapped in well. You then grab the handlebar and extend your legs to move backward, as you pull it towards your chest. Next, you bend your legs to slide forward and extend your arms. 

For proper form, your feet must be flat against the pedals throughout, and your back must be straight. This prevents foot or back pain or injury and maximizes the efficiency of the movement. 

The resistance on a rowing machine can be adjusted, with a higher resistance working the muscles more intensely. This is a good way to increase fitness levels and maximize fat burn and muscle building.


To ensure fat loss on the back, it is important to maintain a healthy diet in a caloric deficit – this means burning more calories than you consume. Remember, not everyone is built the same – the number of calories that you would need to burn/consume should be calculated using online tools, or from a dietary professional. 

Depending on your overall exercise routine, you should spend between 20-60 minutes on the rowing machine, for 3-6 days a week. Use your discretion on this – it will rely on whether you are doing other exercises, and what your fitness goals are. 

A 1-hour rowing machine workout might be ideal if it is your sole form of exercise, while a 20-minute workout is sufficient if you are incorporating it into a varied routine. 

High-Interval Intensity Training (HIIT) makes a good addition to your regular exercise, especially if the goal is weight loss. It is a type of interval training whereby you alternate between high energy, high-speed periods with slower, lower energy periods. 

For example, 30 seconds of fast, high resistance rowing followed by one minute of slow, low resistance rowing, recurring for 10-20 minutes. 

Incorporating HIIT workout also results in calorie burn for hours after you are done with your workout, and maximizes the calorie burn during the workout due to the constant raising of the heart rate, making it an effective way to lose weight and fat. 

Extra benefits

A rowing machine also improves your heart health with its cardiovascular form, as well as reduces stress, and aids with mental health. 

Its low impact nature makes it an ideal choice for those in recovery from an injury, or for an active recovery exercise. This is also a good feature for beginners to exercise, who may want to start with a controlled workout. 

Rowing Machine for Back Fat (FAQs):

Is rowing hard on your back?

Rowing can be an effective way to strengthen your back and reduce the risk of pain or injury in the process, but poor form can have the opposite effect. If you do not sit up straight while rowing, this can harm your posture and overall back condition. Similarly, rowing for excessive amounts of time can lead to pain in the back muscles. 

Can walking get rid of back fat?

Like rowing, walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. It also cannot spot reduce back fat, but if done regularly, it can contribute to general weight and fat loss all over the body, which will include the back. A surefire way to ensure back fat loss with walking is to pair it with a good eating plan, and do it regularly alone, or alongside other exercise routines. 

Does rowing make your thighs big?

No, rowing alone is not an intense enough workout to bulk up your thighs significantly. While it will strengthen your legs, this will be more in the form of slight toning, rather than bulking. The cardiovascular impact of the exercise will also result in calorie burn, which will work alongside the muscle toning to ensure that your muscle mass does not shoot up. 

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