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What You Need to Know About the Rowing Machine and Your Abs

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

The Rowing machine is a great piece of exercise equipment that will work your abdominal muscles and give you both cardio and full-body workouts.

Many personal trainers suggest that a rowing machine is one of the best choices for optimal core training

a man using rowing machine to get abs
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And, if you’re looking to develop a strong core and get six-pack abs, rowing can be a great way to help you reach your goals. Here’s what you need to know about rowing machines and your abs.

Does the Rowing Machine Work Your Abs?

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The short answer is yes, rowing machine exercises work the abdominal muscles.

Rowing machines are great for working out your abdominal muscles. These muscles are located in the midsection between your rib cage and pelvis.

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The primary muscles that are being worked are the rectus abdominal (six-pack muscle), which is one of three major groups of abdominal muscles. The other two groups are the obliques and transversus abdominis. The rectus abdominis runs vertically along the front of your torso from rib cage to pelvis and is responsible for manipulating your spine as well as flexing and extending your trunk at all levels of activity.

When you perform core exercises on a rowing machine, you’re working all these muscles at once because they all work together to support movement throughout the lower body. However, some exercises will work certain areas more than others do.

Reasons Why the Rowing Machine is Perfect for Your Abs Workouts

Rowing machines are one of the most effective ways to do abdominal workouts. They are designed to work the entire core and can be used for different rowing workouts.

Rowing is a good cardiovascular and strength-training exercise that comes with a lot of health benefits.

Using a rowing machine for abdominal workouts can improve core strength, which supports all movements throughout the body and helps prevent injuries during daily exercise and everyday activities.

The rowing machine’s resistance makes it an ideal choice for people who want to build muscle mass without putting on too much weight. The resistance work for each muscle group while rowing.

Rowing is a low-impact and non-weight-bearing exercise that can tone your muscles and increase flexibility.

The best thing about using a rowing machine workout is that it burns both body fat and calories, so you will start seeing results quickly.

Rowing machines are great for all level of fitness, from beginners to advanced users

Can You Get Six-Pack Abs from Rowing Machine

Yes, you can get six-pack abs from rowing machine workouts, but it won’t happen overnight, it takes time and dedication. You have to row consistently for months before you’ll see results.

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The reason why the rowing machine works out your abs more than other exercise machines is that it requires more core strength and muscles in your torso area which are responsible for holding you upright while walking or running. The result of doing this type of exercise will be visible in a few months and during that time you’ll need to do some extra work on your core muscles to achieve impressive six-pack abs.

Tips On How to Properly Work Your Abs While Rowing

The starting position, the catch, the drive, the finish and the recovery are the steps to a proper rowing stroke and these movements allow you to properly engage your abdominal muscles without putting unnecessary strain on your joints.

The Starting Position

The first step to proper abs engagement while rowing is to get into a good starting position.

Beginner rowers, lower the resistance, while you determine your form, then gradually increase it on subsequent rows.

Use the foot straps to attach your feet to the foot pedals to keep your feet from slipping.

Raise your knees and sit on the rower’s seat. Hold the handle but not too tightly.

Pull the handle along as you slide backwards. Make sure your legs are straight, but your knees should be slightly bent and not locked.

Slightly lean backwards with your hands pull up to your chest, grab the handle and make sure it is below your breasts, with your elbows facing down.

That’s the correct position where you should start your workouts, and It is also your final position once you have finished a full stroke.

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The Catch Position 

First of all, move out your arms and then move out your upper body. Make sure your back is always in an upright position with shoulders back and core muscles involved as you row.

When your arms extend and your body leans forward, slide your body forward onto the seat while bending your legs. Your arms are completely extended and your legs bent once you are on top of the tower.

The Drive Position 

To return to your finish position, push with your feet first, and make sure your legs are straightened with your arms stretched out and your body slightly leaning forward

While you keep pushing with your legs, move the top of your body to start leaning backwards.

The Finish Position 

Your arms are the last part of your body to get back to the finish position; when the upper body tilts backwards, pull on the handle and bend your arms until the handle ends backwards and touches the front of your chest, just the same way you started.

Don’t squeeze the handle too hard; power has to come from the leg muscles and using excessive force when pulling on the cable may lead to blisters and back problems.

The Recovery Position 

Use your abdominal muscles instead of your shoulders to get back to the starting position when leaning slightly forward.

Advantages of Using a Rowing Machine for Your Abs Workouts

Rowing machines are a great way to get full-body exercise, improve your fitness and build your abdominal muscles.

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Rowing machines offer several advantages over other types of exercise equipment:

  1. Rowing machines can be used for both cardiovascular and strength-training exercises
  2. Rowing machines provide a full-body workout and help tone your whole body, including your arms, legs, back, and abs.
  3. Rowing machines are low-impact meaning they are easier on your joints than some other types of cardio machines.
  4. Rowing machines are versatile and can be used for a variety of regular rowing routines.
  5. Rowers are relatively affordable fitness machines and can be found at most gyms.
  6. Rowing machine users can be people of all fitness levels.
  7. Rowing relieves stress and promotes blood circulation.
  8. You can burn belly fat and calories while having fun.
  9. Rowing will help improve your posture, balance and coordination.
  10. Rowing helps you build a leaner body and strengthens your lower back muscle
  11. They’re portable — it’s easy to move them around if necessary
  12. They don’t require much space — you can use one even if you live in a small apartment
  13. It increases cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving lung capacity


If you would like to build your abdominal muscles, it makes sense to use the rowing machine regularly to achieve your goals.

When it is properly utilized, the rowing machine can give you a beautiful six-pack and can even help you lose weight.

However, if you don’t use it correctly you may be setting yourself up for an injury.

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