I get a lot of queries about the advantages of rowing machines for abs.
Specifically, I’m curious if rowing is a good abs workout.
While I’ve always had an opinion based on how a rowing machine affects me, I chose to delve deeper into this topic.
I wanted to experience firsthand how a rowing machine might help abs.
I began by reaching out to a variety of beginner rowers and asked them what specific abs and rowing questions they had.
They came up with the following two questions:
“Can rowing give you a flat, toned tummy or a six-pack?”
“Can you tell me what method or workouts you need to use to get there?”
Rowing can and will burn fat from your midsection without a doubt. It accomplishes this by providing a total-body workout that burns up to 800 calories every hour.
The core and abs are engaged throughout the rowing stroke, but the major question is whether the abs are a fundamental muscle used while rowing or a secondary muscle that gets less attention.
While most rowers believe that the abs are used as a secondary muscle, I’ve put up a list of strategies to completely use your core while rowing.
In addition, I include a variety of workouts to complement your rowing program that will surely result in the six-pack abs you desire.
Our Editors Choice
Top 10 Best Rowing Machines For Abs (2021)
It’s difficult to top a rowing machine or the best rowing machine for a full-body, low-impact cardio workout. These fitness machines, also known as rowing ergometers, imitate the sensation of racing in a sweep or ‘crew’ racing shell — the four- or eight-person rowing teams you’ll occasionally see powering along winding rivers in sleek, fast boats.
To minimize space, most rowing machines fold up or store upright. Rowing machines can be among the quietest and most strenuous types of home cardio equipment, depending on the type of resistance they utilize. If you’re seeking for equipment to utilize at home while gyms are closed — and beyond – this is a win-win situation.
Which rowing machine is best for you? Continue reading to learn about the top selections for budget, resistance type, durability, and user experience from a retired personal trainer and masters coxswain.
Do you want to expand your fitness options? Check out our best home gym equipment lists.
Rank #1: Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine
This rowing machine is highly recommended, as its D design allows the entire body to be worked effectively with low impact. Its flywheel makes the routine feel smooth while being very quiet. It is also very ergonomic thanks to its adjustable footrest and soft-grip handle. It supports up to 227 Kg, and its seat is at the height of 35.5 cm.
It brings a performance monitor 5 with which you can control all the training variables easily, and that also brings pre-programmed routines very useful, especially for beginners.
This rowing machine is very practical to store, as it is divided into two pieces and incorporates sliding wheels.
It includes a quick start guide, and we recommend that you look it up on Amazon and buy it before it runs out.
What do other buyers think?
“By buying these machine oars you can achieve an excellent price-quality ratio. It has nothing to envy to other models for professional use, and it is very economical. What I like the most is that it is easy to store as it appears in the description. I would buy it again “
- Performance tracking monitors time, strokes, calories, heart rate and distance.
- With the turn of a knob, resistance adjusts.
- Consistent resistance through the whole stroke.
- Smooth belt drive without repair.
- The HR monitor and calorie count that are included are not as reliable as other rowers.
Rank #2: JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine
If you are looking to have the same variety of machines at home that a gym can offer you, you should buy this model. The Body Sculpture rowing machine allows you to work your arms, chest, back, shoulders, lats, and abs, thanks to its special design with Gym function. It perfectly simulates the paddle’s movement, allowing you to work up to 84% of your muscle mass.
It has a computer that shows you the time, the number of movements, the calories burned, among others, so that you can take better control of your performance.
You can exercise sitting or standing on this machine, so you never get bored of using it.
It is very compact since you can fold it completely. And it brings an instructional DVD so that you can get the most out of it. Look for it on Amazon, at a very affordable price.
What do other buyers think?
“I bought it to start exercising and I am very happy. I had never used this type of machine and at first I was doubtful about buying it. But now I would not change it for anything. It is very quiet and easy to fold. It works perfect for me.”
- Folds up for quick storage.
- 16 magnetically regulated resistance levels.
- 600 lb of gross user weight accommodates bigger athletes comfortably.
- Big, broad saddle.
- The HR monitor and calorie count that are included are not as reliable as other rowers.
- Some owners reported clutch bearings issues.
Rank #3: FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine
This is a conventional rowing machine, with which you can perfectly simulate the movement of rowing and exercise your whole body, developing your muscle mass. It is a very resistant device since it is made of railway aluminum, and the footrests are made of thick non-slip rubber with thick feet to prevent movements.
Also, the fan wheel’s resistance system makes this machine a very durable device that does not produce annoying noises.
The handle is non-slip and ergonomic, so you can keep moving for long periods without discomfort. Bring a very friendly center screen, where you can check all the variables of your training.
This rowing bench is foldable, and you can buy it on Amazon at a very affordable price.
What do other buyers think?
“I give 5 stars to this rowing machine, it is perfect for training at home, very resistant and at the same time compact when folded. If you want to train your whole body, this machine is the best choice you can make.”
- Unlike many others, it quickly folds up for storage, plus it has front and back transport wheels.
- 24″ off the floor, quick to get on or off, doesn’t feel like sitting on the floor.
- Well packed, well designed, and simple to assemble.
- Console programs aren’t intuitive.
Rank #4: MaxKare Water Rowing Machine
This rowing machine is among the best on the market as it is very easy to use. It folds up quickly, but at the same time, has the robustness of any gym machine.
You can perform an optimal routine. Your corded rowing system is very quiet, and the folding rail is of very good quality.
It is also very versatile since it has a control that brings eight different levels of resistance, which will allow you to increase your performance to achieve better results progressively.
The non-slip footrests and its ergonomic seat will make you feel very comfortable even during long routines.
And its central console will help you control heart rate, time and calories burned very easily.
You can buy this rowing machine on Amazon at a great price.
What do other buyers think?
“I am very satisfied with this machine. It is very easy to fold, you just have to remove the safety and fold. It feels very stable when using it, which for me is very important, because I can concentrate on exercising. I recommend it”
- Resistance stays constant through the whole stroke.
- Quiet belt-driven action during each stroke, with a fun water swoosh effect.
- Retains upright without leakage.
- The seat easily glides on ball bearings.
- It lies low on the field.
- Not made, like many other water rowers, of wood.
Rank #5: HouseFit Rowing Machine
This is the ideal rowing machine for beginners, as its design is very easy to use and fold by its design.
With it, you can exercise shoulders, back, arms, and legs, and get results in a short time.
Its latex traction cable system makes it feel very soft when using it, and the movement is very fluid. Therefore, it provides a true sense of comfort.
The wide, slip-resistant, strap-on footrests are perfect for longer workouts, and their design keeps your heels from touching the floor.
It comes with an easy-to-read central screen, where you can see all the variables of your training and observe your progress.
You can adjust the resistance level thanks to the side knob, which is very easy to use.
We recommend that you buy it on Amazon and get the best price on the market.
What do other buyers think?
“This is a very good machine. I do everything you need to exercise comfortably. I have no complaints. It’s stable and when you fold it it doesn’t take up much space, I put it behind the door and it doesn’t get in the way.”
- A quieter row is achieved by belt drive and magnetic resistance.
- Console with 7 displayed data metrics, plus exercise plans, including a race program.
- “Sits 19.5” off the floor for quick escape and boarding.
- Simple folding and storage.
- No HR control or link to ANT+.
What should you consider before buying a rowing machine?
Type of rowing
This factor is closely related to how you plan to use your rowing machine.
There are those on the market that have a conventional cable system that moves in only one direction, and also those that are more versatile and allow you to move the paddle in different ways so that you can do the more varied routine.
Ultimately, it will depend on how you want to exercise. However, you should bear in mind that, if you are one of those who get bored easily when performing the same type of movement.
It would be better to acquire a machine with more versatile rowing and, if possible, to bring pre-programmed routines.
When purchasing a rowing machine, you must consider that it is a team capable of supporting your weight and staying stable.
Therefore, you must verify the type of manufacturing material and the characteristics of the product, in terms of resistance.
Likewise, the cable system must be of high quality, since they are the most important part of this machine type.
Another point to consider is the quality of the rail, which should offer a smooth and silent glide so that you can get the most out of your exercise routine.
Simulating the movement of rowing is a complete exercise, which allows you to develop all the muscles.
However, doing it for prolonged periods can cause injury and stop your performance in conditions that are not comfortable.
Therefore, it is essential that, when buying a rowing device, you look at the comfort it can offer you when using it.
The seat must be ergonomic and allow you to support your buttocks fully.
The footrests must also be non-slip and much better if the design prevents the heel from touching the ground.
The handle should be ergonomic and non-slip so that you can have the best possible grip.
If the machine does not offer any of these features, you should discard it from your list of options.
The factor that makes a rowing machine perform so well is precisely the type of resistance it brings.
If you are a beginner, you can start with a more basic rowing machine with air resistance.
This will allow you to get used to the sensation gradually, and you can achieve your desired muscle development.
On the contrary, for those who already have a little more experience, magnetic or electromagnetic resistance is better, which offers a more realistic sensation that will allow you to increase your capabilities to the maximum.
Easy to fold
Rowing machines are products designed to be used at home, so it is very important that they bring a folding system that is very easy to use.
At this point, machine oars that are fully foldable are highly recommended, and that comes with a simple to remove insurance when folding them.
It is also desirable that they incorporate sliding wheels to facilitate their transportation.
Another point to consider is the materials since there are finishes that make the machine much heavier, which can be uncomfortable, especially if you are a woman.
In this post, we have brought you several models that perfectly meet this characteristic.
This product requires an investment, so it is not easy to find a cheap device that meets your expectations 100%.
Therefore, if you have already decided to buy a rowing machine, you must verify your budget.
And if it is not enough, we advise you to look for another option to train yourself.
In this post, we have presented a series of machines that offer you an excellent price-quality ratio, so that you can plan a good purchase and get a machine that suits your needs.
Best rowing machine brands
- Body Sculpture –This British firm with a presence in the market since 1965, is dedicated to the manufacture of fitness equipment and accessories for all ages, and with very innovative high-quality designs. Its line also includes treadmills, exercise bikes, among others.
- V-Fit –Also of British origin, this brand manufactures and distributes gym equipment. So it stands out for offering high standards of quality and durability, in addition to the use of the latest technology. Its catalog includes, among others, elliptical machines and professional gym equipment.
- Ultrasport – The products of this brand are always among the best sellers in online stores, as they offer high quality and designs specially designed for sports activities. Its catalog is very wide and includes running, cycling, camping, and hiking.
What is a rowing machine?
It is an exercise device that simulates the propulsion exerted on water paddles to train certain areas of the body to achieve toning.
The design version of these machines is very similar to the small boats in which this sport is usually practiced.
How to choose the best rowing machine?
These machines can be used for different types of workouts and to exercise various muscles of the body.
For this reason, to make the best choice, it is necessary to take into account some of its characteristics:
It can be regulated with one or two hydraulic pistons responsible for the regulation of all levels or using a magnetic traction system that combines with air force regulation, the latter being of better quality.
Some are a little more solid than others, allowing greater stability in the structure and, therefore, better training.
As it is an appliance for domestic use, it should be considered that it can be easily closed for storage without taking up a lot of space.
The steering wheel
They generally weigh between 4 and 13 kilograms, but what if it is necessary, is that the flywheel weighs enough to maintain stability.
They are digital. It is essential that they are seen in total clarity and sharpness.
Those who train can observe screen characteristics such as time, duration, movement, heartbeat, distance, and calories burned.
That way, you can keep track of your training. Others include different extra functions such as date, time, alarm, temperature, and recovery tests.
The heartbeat measurement system is performed by a touch sensor or by a chest belt.
Who uses it must have a maximum weight of 150 kilos and a minimum of 80 kilos.
The chair and footrests
These elements must be both ergonomic and comfortable for the person who is going to train, to avoid any discomfort that makes the exercise routine difficult.
Concerning the footrest, it slides thanks to adjustable straps.
Most of these machines’ manufacturers offer a guarantee of up to 3 years, making it very convenient for those who use it.
If it notices a problem you have, as long as it is a factory defect and not due to misuse, you should let your supplier know.
This point is very important because you must calculate the budget available for your purchase.
The price of some of these models of appliances will vary depending on their brand, quality of materials, and functions.
Types of machine rowing
Until now, there are four types of rowing machines on the market, each with different characteristics and functions, which are:
- Magnetic resistance: this machine uses electromagnets that provide greater resistance during the movement. The resistance is measured using an electronic LCD screen that the user can adjust to his taste or needs and the type of exercise he wishes to perform.
- Air resistance: it works using a cylindrical fan, which when pulling the blanket, the fan blades begin to rotate, generating air. In this case, the resistance is regulated according to the force that is exerted through it.
- Resistance by pistons: they are hydraulic and in pairs, which are independently connected to the oars, and it is they who will determine the resistance. Since its handlebars or oars are fixed, they offer a shorter type of movement.
- Water resistance: they have resistors that, inside, contain a water tank or reservoir. When pulling the handlebars, the type of resistance that will be used can be determined by the water, giving the sensation very similar to that of when you are rowing on the water with a boat.
Benefits of using a rowing machine
Exercising brings with it a series of advantages and health benefits. Rowing machines are not far behind, as they provide the following:
It is one of the best ways to burn calories. It allows both the muscles and the joints to work in a complete and balanced way. You can burn up to 500 calories in just 1 hour of training.
Prevents joint pain
By working the muscles on these machines, other sports’ stresses tend to put on the joints can be relieved.
It is a good option for those who want to improve their body health and cardiovascular endurance and people who already suffer from joint pain.
Because it is a high-intensity exercise and various parts of the body are worked, resistance is put to the test, which will improve with each training.
It is a refreshing
It helps to tone various parts of the body, such as the legs, arms, and back. In this way, these muscles will be well defined and free from flaccidity.
Eliminate stress and tension
Although most exercise machines help relieve stress, this one is special, allowing you to burn much more adrenaline. Using it for a few minutes daily can correct the tension and pain caused by poor posture.
Provides greater coordination
With this activity, you can maintain complete body coordination and a greater awareness of yourself.
How to train with a rowing machine?
Before starting a complete and definitive training, several exercises must be performed on the same machine, which as the days go by, they must be intensified, to perform the following:
- You should start with a low level of resistance and make sure you are comfortable enough to increase it later.
- The posture to be taken has to be comfortable and stably place the feet on the pads.
- Keep your back completely straight throughout the workout, as well as your arms should be extended, grasping the handles of the row.
- Control and maintain the sequence in each movement. The correct form must be legs-hips-arms, arms-hips-legs.
- Please do not get up from the seat; it would not be working well.
- While leading the legs, the elbows should be kept in a straight position.
- When riding backward, you should not shrug your shoulders; it is important to check the movements.
- Another fundamental is breathing; it must be kept in tune with each movement, inhaling, and exhaling.
Techniques to use in a machine row
Exercising on this device seems like a simple task, but the reality is different. At the time of putting it into practice; it is very different because it needs certain techniques to achieve it perfectly:
- The Attack: starting position, where the trainer leans slightly forward until forming an angle of 85 °. Back and arms straight, knees bent.
- Pass Phase: here, you must begin to generate pressure on the footrest until the legs go from being bent to being completely straight. Keeping your back straight and contracting your trunk, you should lean back, bringing your arms to your chest.
- Starting Position: in this phase, the legs should be straight, the chest and trunk should be back, the elbows bent and placed behind the back, and the fist should be located at the same level as the sternum. United shoulder blades, straight back.
- Recovery: the same movement is made as in Attack but reversed. The arms should be stretched forward, the body also leans slightly forward, bending the legs to return to the Attack position.
What muscles are worked with a rowing machine?
These devices provide a comprehensive training guarantee, managing to exercise at least 80% of the muscles of the entire body, but specifically:
- Arms: biceps, triceps, delts.
- Legs: quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Abdomen: abdominal, erector spinal, and oblique.
- Back: rhomboids (between shoulder blades and spine), traps, and latissimus dorsi muscle.
How to use a machine row without injury?
Any physical exercise that is performed incorrectly can cause injuries. For this reason, you must know what the secret is to do so avoiding injury:
When sitting down, the knees should not be reached as far as possible, as there is a risk of injury.
Do not flex the thoracic, lumbar, and cervical areas. The top area should be slightly back.
Do not raise shoulders, elbows bent, hands at the sternum level; look straight ahead, without lowering it.
The knees should be extended to work the lower limbs well, the elbows extended towards the sternum, and leaning back a little.
Perform the force with the hips, knees, and ankles forward. Take the heels off the pedals.
Exert force by flexing your bottom back and forth. Glue the heels on the supports provided by the pedals.
Where to buy the best rowing machine?
Thanks to the increase in online stores on the web, you can buy the products you want through them, easily and safely, without having to leave the comfort of your home or office:
Rowing machine at Amazon: in this store, you can find different rowing devices, not only from the best brands on the market but also from different models of excellent quality and at the best prices.
Carrefour’s rowing machine: this platform has a catalog with various models and recognized brands, ranging from high, medium, and low range.
Final Talk : Best Rowing Machines For Abs
While a balanced diet is still required for a shredded waist and toned obliques, don’t underestimate the benefits of eight minutes of hard work done on a regular basis. Even if it’s concealed behind a few pounds, you’ll see a tighter, stronger torso in only a few weeks if you’re consistent.
Strengthening your abs has several advantages beyond merely looking good. Even if you don’t have a definite six pack, having a strong core will help you perform better in almost any exercise. A strong midsection, for example, aids in the maintenance of appropriate running form, resulting in increased running efficiency. You’ll be able to hold yoga positions for longer periods of time and with more ease. A stronger core can also contribute to better posture, which can help you avoid back problems.
There are four major muscle groups in the area in concern. When most people think of abs, they think about the rectus abdominis. These are the muscles that give you that hot six-pack. The transverse abdominis (or TVA), external obliques, and internal obliques are the other three muscle groups. Exercises that target all four should be your goal.
Core equipment is far more cheap and easier to store than other home-based training tools. This opens up the possibility of owning multiple pieces, which is fantastic because it pays to mix things up. So, when 8 Minute Abs isn’t cutting it anymore, use these great tools to get the toned midsection you’ve always wanted.