Calorie consumption while rowing – does rowing live up to its reputation?

Rowing machines are probably the most efficient cardio machines when it comes to burning calories and tumbling the pounds. This is because rowing uses all the major muscle groups in the body – unlike many other endurance sports that only focus on the lower body.

As with all cardio machines, the best way to increase the number of calories you burn is to increase the duration and intensity of your exercise.


Correct rowing technique takes a little practice because so many joints have to be set in motion at the same time. You can only develop your ideal technique when the muscles and joints are in harmony with one another.



Calorie consumption while rowing

According to Harvard Health Publications , the publishing body of Harvard Medical School, 30 minutes of moderate rowing burns around 210 kcal in a person weighing 56 kg. A person with a body weight of around 84 kg burns an average of around 310 kcal.

For faster rowing, the calorie consumption when rowing was 255 and 377 kcal in the same time.

Well-known calorie calculators indicate a calorie consumption of 300 or 450 kcal for very fast / intensive rowing with otherwise the same variables.

As you can see, the calorie consumption when rowing depends on the factors of the individual being examined. The easiest way to burn more calories in the same amount of time is to increase the intensity of your exercise.

The most important key figures in rowing training


The most important key figures for measuring the intensity of rowing are the number of strokes per minute and the distance traveled.

The number of strokes per minute indicates how often you have performed the complete rowing movement per minute.

The course times correlate with the number of strokes, but are also dependent on the power distribution per rowing movements. A perfect performance curve is an indicator that your train is more efficient and your “boat” is therefore traveling faster.

With the same number of strokes, the perfect force curve always ensures higher speeds and thus faster route times than an unevenly distributed force curve. Fast track times are, in turn, an indicator of high intensity and correct technique.

Tips for weight loss through rowing

Put simply, the theory of the negative calorie balance describes a state of the body in which it burns more calories than is supplied to it in a given period.

Without delving too deeply into the calorie balance debate, rowing can significantly help increase the body’s energy expenditure (calories are burned). Depending on the desired calorie consumption, you should adjust your training intensity, duration and course.

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