Does Rowing Machine Build Muscle

Which muscles are affected by the rowing machine? In the reviews we made on, we often talked about the different benefits that the use of the rowing machine as a training tool brings .

Among the various gymnastic equipment that I can use at home, the one I love most is the rowing machine as it puts very little strain on the joints, greatly reducing the possibility of injury.

The position during training is also particularly useful for all those who are overweight as it allows you to carry out very intense workouts without overloading the joints .

But that is not all! Another feature of the rowing machine is the high energy expenditure during workouts . I am sure this will be something that will make you happy. Consider that a 75kg person can lose between 400 and 800 calories per hour during their workout simply by doing intense or only moderately intense exercise.

These results are far greater than those that can be achieved with other exercise equipment such as stationary bikes or treadmills.
The benefits illustrated so far make the rower a tool suitable for all ages and all weights , each obviously according to their abilities and needs.

Are you wondering how it is possible to have all these advantages enclosed in a single tool?
Read on, I will show you both the rowing technique and the different types of workouts that can be done with the rower, moving on from the analysis of the rowing phase.


All muscles affected by the rowing machine

The rowing machine is so damn effective because unlike other exercise equipment, it involves both the lower and upper body .
This unique feature allows you to work on both strength and heart system at the same time!

Do you know how many muscles are involved in this type of training?
About 84% of the muscles in the body!
In fact, during a full stroke, both the heart and 10 muscle groups are involved : quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lats, shoulders, triceps, biceps, abdominal and back muscles.

Many men go to the gym and train only and exclusively the upper part of the body trying to get muscular pectorals and arms, however if the lower part of the body is not trained also muscle imbalances are created.
Furthermore, if the antagonist muscles are not trained as well, as the pectoral muscles develop, the posture will tend to curve forward.

This incorrect posture leads the shoulders to stretch forward, away from the ideal central position and greater compression; all this translates into a reduction in the degree of freedom of the shoulders and a greater chance of injury

Correct rowing technique

Another thing not to be underestimated is the learning time. The rowing machine has very fast learning times that will allow you to get to work from the very first minutes.

Here is a video for you that shows the exact execution of a row

Have you noticed the posture of the back, pelvis and shoulders?
Here are the tricks to perform a perfect movement :

  • The pelvis must not sag as you must always be careful to have a correct alignment of the spine;
  • When performing the movement towards the front of the apparatus, the shoulders must precede the hip;
  • In the attack phase, the shoulders must not bend forward; the chest must be kept “out”.

Don’t worry if you don’t master the technique right away, as your muscles gain tone and power, it will be easier and easier to maintain correct posture.

The phases of rowing

A little above we wrote that the rowing machine involves 84% of the muscles of the body as it involves the heart and 10 muscle groups :

  • Quadriceps;
  • Hamstring muscles;
  • Buttocks;
  • Hamstrings
  • Abdominal muscles;
  • Back muscles;
  • Shoulders;
  • Triceps;
  • Forearms;
  • Biceps.

The muscles involved phase by phase



The attack is the beginning of the rowing movement. The knees are bent, the shins are vertical, the arms are straight, and the body is tilted slightly forward. The muscles involved in this part of the stroke are the following:

  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Forearms
  • Trapezium
  • Abdomen
  • Ischiorural
  • Abdominal



It is a phase that consists of several phases, with the legs, with the back moving into a vertical position, and the arms starting to pull the dumbbell towards the chest. The muscles involved in this part of the stroke are the following:

1 Phase
  • Deltoids
  • Trapezium
  • Big round
  • Spial erectors
  • Quadriceps
  • Buttocks
  • Hamstrings
  • Gastrocnemic muscles
  • Solei muscles
2 Phase
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Brachial muscles
  • Spinal erectors
  • Quadriceps
  • Gastrocnemic muscles
  • Buttocks
3 Phase
  • Biceps
  • Trapezium
  • Bibs
  • Posterior deltoid
  • Teres minor muscle
  • Brachialis muscle
  • Brachioradialis muscle
  • Extender
  • Great dorsal
  • Quadriceps

The end


The back reaches its maximum stretch position, the legs are extended, and the rower handle is pulled against the lower ribs. The muscles involved in this phase are the following:

  • Trapezium
  • Posterior deltoid
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Great dorsal muscle
  • Brachialis muscle
  • Buttocks
  • Quadriceps

The recovery


The recovery (recovery) begins by stretching your arms: you begin by extending your arms, and then you begin to bend your knees back to the meeting position. The muscles involved in this phase are the following:

  • Trapezium
  • Triceps
  • Muscles behind the thigh
  • Deltoids
  • Muscles of the forearms
  • Abs

Training with the rowing machine

Depending on your goal, here on you will find convenient training cards  that will allow you to fully exploit every aspect of your  room rower.

Goal: Weight Loss and Anaerobic Capacity Improvement
– Warm-up = Continuous 500m
– 500m Sprint with 1min Interval
– Repeat 5-10 times based on experience level
– Record time and try to improve workout after workout

Goal: Cardiovascular Endurance
– Longest distance for 20-40 minutes
– Work aerobically just below the anaerobic threshold for optimal results.

Do you want to push your body to the maximum during training?
Then try one of these methods:

– Set a goal to reach before starting, such as a specific time to complete a specific distance.
– Look for training partners to compete with.
– Create a cool playlist to keep your motivation alive.



The muscles involved in the rowing machine

Presenting all the best rowing machines on the market reviewed by, we have often talked about all the physical benefits of physical activity allowed by the rower, whatever model or category you will find yourself choosing, but with this second of ours guides from it’s time to see specifically which muscles are involved in the rowing machine and how they are trained.

The real peculiarity of the rowing machine, compared to all other possible sports equipment derived from specific sports, is that it allows you to really use many different muscle groups of both the upper and lower motor systems, with a continuous and constant involvement of the abdomen.


It can be said with good reason that the muscles involved in the rowing machine are far greater in number and intensity of exercise than in any other possible machine, especially if we only look at those tools that we can comfortably put in our homes by finding really suitable ones to any need and wallet.

As for the affected muscle groups, we can see a strong exploitation of all the muscles of the arms, biceps and forearms in the first place, as well as of the entire back and shoulder muscles.

Although in a less intense way, among the muscles involved in the rowing machine we can certainly also consider the pectoralis major, kept constantly in activity by the opening and closing movement of the body. As we said, also abdominal muscles are found to accompany the whole training, exactly as happens also for the lumbar muscles.

Speaking then of the lower motor system we have a practically total involvement of all the muscles of the legs, which are trained as a whole by the continuous rowing movement, which are fundamental to stabilize the body and keep the exercise rhythm.

In short, as we have said, the muscles involved in the rowing machine are so many and are used so intensely as to lead to an almost immediate toning of the whole body that will immediately respond to your desire to feel good and to see results very quickly even in front of the mirror.

Continuing with the training, constantly increasing its intensity based on our progress, we will gradually arrive at an increase in strength and above all in the resistance of the muscles, which will also gain in elasticity and in the quality of the fibers that compose them.

It is in this way that the use of the rowing machine makes possible a real recovery of the desired optimal state of form, and it is from this that all the other benefits, including the simply aesthetic ones, that the best rowers on the market chosen and reviewed for you from are ready to offer you at any time.

The general muscle toning, but in particular that of the legs and buttocks, also allows an extremely effective action against the level of cellulite, which visibly begins to decrease as soon as the pace of training becomes constant.

And this also happens because the rowing movement, with its constant intensity, benefits primarily the general microcirculation: the muscles involved in the rowing machine are used in such a constant and active way that the circulation is found to benefit from it up to the capillary level.


This last aspect obviously favors any cardiovascular dynamics, making the use of the rowing machine completely suitable even for anyone who simply needs to monitor or rehabilitate any heart disease or criticality, taking advantage of all the advantage of the aerobic potential that makes the rowing machine an absolutely tool. complete that leads to the much sought-after weight loss, which takes place in a really correct way, slowly seeing the fat mass being replaced with the lean one of the always perfectly toned muscles.

But as we discussed in the first of the guides, weight loss, although often the real reason that leads us to choose to buy one of the best rowers and start training, should always be considered a positive but natural consequence in that which is the activity carried out, because in any case it will happen even when the goals we set ourselves are athletically more valid: you just need to want to increase your training time, or the intensity of exercise, which shortly after the needle of the scale will begin to drop already showing the first pounds lost.

But the most important aspect both to get the most out of the muscles involved in the rowing machine, and to preserve all the rest of the body, is to focus on always maintaining the correct posture.

A correct posture allows an ergonomically perfect movement and a training that is always correct from a physiological point of view, while training in a posturally wrong way causes an incorrect use of the muscles and a totally useless and deleterious body fatigue, which is why it is important to put a strong emphasis on this aspect.


The fact that our site finds itself selecting only the best rowers on the market is obviously also very linked to this aspect, because all the products that we found ourselves reviewing guarantee a priori perfect ergonomics that require the correct posture during the training, finding themselves helping the healthy development of the body instead of being the first threat to health itself.

All the brands handled and the models proposed are the result of a careful design phase and a level of engineering expressly dedicated to making you get the best in a reliable and safe way.

In any case, it is good advice to remember to always train in the right way, always paying the utmost attention to your posture and to the correct execution of the exercises, always using the right logic aimed at achieving both the short-distance goals that you will set yourself and , of course, to the more general ones of well being of life.

And so concludes the second of our short guides of dedicated to the muscles involved in the rowing machine, one of the most important elements to know to train with extreme awareness and knowledge of the facts to be able to quickly bring out the best from the rowing machine between the ones we reviewed that you will find yourself preferring.

We therefore suggest that you continue reading the site and put yourself in a position to start training effectively and happily as soon as possible, never forgetting that the key to well-being is in your hands and that to achieve it you just need to dedicate a few minutes a day to yourself, without even having to leave the comfort of your living room.


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