How Many Calories Do You Burn On A Rowing Machine?

Last Updated On June 10th, 2020

A rowing machine or rower is excellent for your health because it can improve your cardiovascular endurance. It is also great for weight loss because it can tone your body and burn off a large number of calories. In fact, if you use the rowing machine properly, you’re using one of the most efficient calorie-burning pieces of workout equipment in the gym. Naturally, when hopping aboard the rowing machine, you want to be sure you are burning as many calories as possible so you achieve your goals faster. In this article, we find out how you can make the most out of your rowing machine workouts and maximise your calories burned while rowing.

What Is a Calorie?

woman eating an apple after her workoutA calorie is a unit of energy. Specifically, it is the amount of energy required to heat 1 gram of water to one degree Celsius. Your body is using calories at every moment, day and night. This energy is needed to fuel all your bodily functions, from your heartbeat to blinking your eyes.

While you need a certain number of calories to keep your body healthy and functioning, if you consume more calories than your body needs over a period of time, then these excess calories will be stored by your body as fat.

Daily calorie intake differs by gender. If you’re a man, you need to consume around 2,500 calories per day, whereas women need only 2,000 calories per day. If your goal is weight loss, using a calorie calculator can help you keep track of your food intake. This is easier nowadays because the number of calories contained in food and drinks are now often listed on the labels.

If you want a better way to lose weight and be healthy or you simply want to feel less guilty about that slice of chocolate cake, then you should try using a rowing machine to burn calories.

However, the number of calories burned on the rowing machine will be different for each individual as we will see in the next section.

How Many Calories Does A Rowing Machine Burn?

Working out on the rower usually means you burn between 400 and 1000 calories an hour. This is such a wide range because each individual will burn calories at a different rate when using the rowing machine, or any other kind of equipment for that matter.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any simple calculator computation for “rowing calories per hour” that will apply to everyone. However, there are a few factors you can use to determine how much calories are burned during your workout.

Factors That Determine the Amount of Calories Burned

Let’s take a look at some of the major factors that can influence the rate at which you will burn calories on the rowing machine.

1. Age

older man working out to stay fitYounger people under the age of 25 in the peak of health will more easily burn more calories than their older counterparts.

This is because young people tend to naturally have more muscle mass than older people. Your muscle mass starts to decline gradually once you hit your 30’s or 40’s.

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.

2. Fitness Level

If you’re already a fit and active person, you may not burn as many calories as the new gym member that just walked in.

That’s because having a higher fitness level means the body is more efficient. Therefore, fit people will have a lower heart rate at exertion and burn fewer calories than unfit people.

This can be great if you’re just starting out, as you may see noticeable weight loss relatively quickly. However, as you get fitter, you will need to keep pushing yourself to see more results.

3. Workout Intensity

Now for the simple part – the tougher your workout, the more calories you will use up.

For example, your calories burned rowing 1000 meters will entirely depend on how quickly you covered that distance.

If you get on the rowing machine, take it easy and barely raise your heart rate, your calorie burned will be lower than it should be.

On the other hand, if you get on the machine and really work up a sweat, you will be rewarded with a much higher calorie burn which you can be proud of.

How to Burn the Most Calories During Your Rowing Machine Workout

With the above factors in mind, you are probably wondering how you can best burn calories when using your rower.

There are a number of things you can do to maximise your individual calorie expenditure. By following our simple steps below, you can significantly increase the number of calories that you will burn during your rowing machine workout.

1. Duration

people working out while their coach times themIt may go without saying, but increasing the duration of your workout will increase the number of calories that you burn and therby increases your weight loss. If you’re new to the rowing machine, start off with short intervals and slowly increase the length of time day by day as you get fitter.

Gradually increasing the duration like this will enable you to stick to your workout program for a longer period. A lot of people try to do too much, too soon and consequently get put off when it becomes too difficult for them. It’s good to push your limits, of course, but don’t try to run before you can walk.

2. Alternate Power Strokes

After warming up, add bursts of intense activity in the form of power strokes to your routine.

This will help you to burn off many more calories on the rower than remaining at a steady tempo. It will also help you to move up a gear when you’re ready.

Start slowly, then keep your strokes just below your regular pace. At an interval that suits you, perform 5 power strokes to really get your muscles and heart rate going. Drop back to your previous pace and repeat.

3. Intensity Drill

woman pushing her limits in the gymWarm up and start with a low stroke rate. Once you’re ready, increase your speed with each stroke until you’re at your maximum. Push your limits before gradually working your way back down.

This high-intensity workout uses sprint aerobics to burn a maximum number of calories. It also helps you to step up your workout to the next level.

4. Keep It Varied

Vary your workouts and compose different programs to keep yourself interested and challenged. Example of which are rowing machine HITT workouts. It combines sprint sessions, where you’re at your maximum effort, and lower intensity sessions that will help you to improve your all-around health and performance.

You should also set yourself motivational goals and alter your routine to keep your body from getting used to your sessions. If you repeat the same program every time, you will experience a weight loss plateau which is when your body stops working as hard as it used to and burn fewer calories than before.


Rowing machines provide a great total-body workout and the number of calories burned rowing can reach up to an amazing 1000 calories per hour.

As we have seen, there are a number of factors which contribute to how many calories you will truly burn as an individual; such as age, fitness level and workout intensity.

However, If you work hard, switch up your routines and keep setting yourself new goals, the rowing machine is one of the best ways to stay healthy, torch calories and lose weight fast.

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