When experts are asked regarding the benefits of rowing machines, they are often divided because some say that it is only good for a cardio or toning workout. Others say that it is a great fat-burning workout machine. Rowers also argue its benefits and what areas of the body it focuses on.
However, both experts and rowers agree that when it comes to abs, a rowing machine will definitely give your abs a workout. When you row, your core moves in sync and thus creates a full-body workout.
But does a rowing machine work your abs… really?
You cannot easily see the impact rowing has to your abs without peeling off the fat in the body covering it. However, you will be able to feel it when you feel how toned your stomach has become.
In order to get your rowing machine to do miracles for your abs, you need to be able to adjust your rowing technique to get the proper results, especially when you do your strokes.
Here are some of the things you need to remember when doing your rowing.
- While in the rowing “catch” position, your abs should be occupied; bend your upper body forward, extend your arms
- When in the “drive position” or when you slowly straighten your legs, and pull the handle close to your upper abdomen, you must keep your upper body active, and keep yourself upright. In this position, you will notice that your abs are tightened
- When you get into the “finish” position, you should notice that your abs are keeping you stable; slow your momentum as you go, and sway backwards.
- When you go back to the catch position, your abs should bring your torso forward and they should still be active when you go back to the catch position.
In order to maximize your rowing strokes to sculpt your abs, here are some extra tips to remember:
- Rowing requires more than one part of your body, namely your arms. Do not exert all your strength when pulling the handle forward and back because you will just injure yourself. Remember: Rowing uses 60% leg movement, 20% core strength and 20% arm movement
- When rowing, do not slouch and keep it straight up. Not only does slouching cause injuries, it makes it difficult for your abs or core to be engaged and slowly tightened by rowing. You must also make sure that your shoulders are not curled forward; pull them back to support your arms as you row
- Rushing your rowing does not earn you any benefits if you believe it would give you faster results that way. In rowing, you need to let your recovery sit in longer, then you follow it with your drive. When transitioning your rowing from the drive to the finish stance or from the recovery to catch position, move your core to stabilize your rowing and slow you down
- When rowing, it is important that your hands and feet are always connected to the machine. Heels should be firmly planted. Just make sure that your core is active in every row, and when you finish the stroke, you should be in a stronger position
- Adding an extra lean into your finish phase is quite tricky, however, if you do a crunch at the right moment, you would be able to get a great ab workout
- You can also do high-intensity workouts to get the abs you want with a rowing machine. When you row harder, you are better able to strengthen your core. Do not focus on just doing a cardio workout to get your ab targets, combine it with your selected high-intensity workout to get the best results.
There are also different rowing machine exercises that you can do to focus on your abs without having to row in the usual method.
Here are some examples.
- Use the rowing seats similar to how you would use an ab roll-out wheel. For an added bonus, you can use a Bosu ball to hold your feet as you do an ab rollout
- You can also use the rowing seat similar to how you would do a mountain climber workout. Simply put your feet on the seat and then do your pushups.