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Before and After Rowing Machine Results – Here’s What You Can Expect (Plus Real Case Studies)

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Are you motivated by some rowing machine before and after photos?

Do you want to know how a rowing machine transforms your body? We have got the answers to your questions.

A man trains on a rower machine to compare before and after results
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In this article, we will be covering what is a rowing machine, rowing machine benefits, and real before and after results.

Prefer video? Here’s a great one we just did on that topic:

What Is a Rowing Machine?

A rowing machine is a training device that targets over 80% of the body’s muscles, thus it helps you work out your whole body effectively. Whether you’re going to do squats or pull-ups, rowing is a great way to warm up or cool down, or even if you need a good cardio workout. Also, you can scale the resistance up or down as needed to get the rowing transformation that you are looking for.

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

Rowing is safe to use at home because of the low risk of injuries. It is also an ideal workout for people of all ages and all fitness levels to try. But before starting this aerobic exercise make sure to learn all rowing techniques. Also, check and adjust the indoor rower for your feet.

Rowing Machine: Benefits, Before and After Results

Before using any exercise machine, the first thing you are curious about is how it can help you. So how will a rowing machine transform your body? Do you visualize the benefits to rowing? Here are 6 rowing before and after transformations you will experience after rowing for a month.

1. You Will Lose Weight

Weight loss is the major benefit of using a rowing machine. The American Fitness Professional Association found that rowing stroke depends on 65-75% leg work and 25-35% upper body work. It maximizes workout efficiency and helps burn more calories in less time. 

If you can’t do things from a standing position, it can be tough to boost your metabolism. The row machine supports many body types because you take a lot of stress off of the joints when you place your legs into a horizontal plane. Making it easy to lose fat, rowing also helps tone the core muscles. 

2. Your Posture Will Improve

Can you say that you have an excellent posture? If not, you must be living a sedentary lifestyle that makes your back muscles useless.

Poor posture is now becoming a prevalent issue. This is due to the excessive use of computers and mobile devices that cause cervical vertebral problems. Sitting in one position all day affects the spinal mechanics and causes pain in the mid and lower back areas. The best approach to solve this problem is to roll regularly

Regular rowing is a simple but efficient way to improve your posture. This closed-chain exercise reduces stress on the spine. It also strengthens the muscles of your back through extending and flexing. You stretch out almost every unused muscle of your body, which improves your posture. 

Pay attention to the movement patterns to enjoy this benefit. Start with some stretching, then keep your foot in the right position, and manage the back straight. Avoid any bent or imbalance sitting during exercising, as it can disturb your whole posture. 

people exercising on rowing machine to compare before and after transformation
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3. You Get More Strength and Endurance

If you want to increase your stamina and build muscle strength, a rowing machine is the best option. Rowing is a type of resistance training that increases muscle synthesis and improves strength. This effective exercise engages the core muscles, boosts metabolism and reduces fat content. Thus, it makes you appear more muscular. 

As we wrote earlier, as compared to other exercises, rowing takes relatively less time. You may feel exhausted at first, but, with consistency, you will feel the change. Over time you will get rowing body transformations. If you add this cardiovascular fitness to your daily exercise routine, you will feel your body fitter and more powerful.

4. You Will Improve Your Mental Health

The professionals of the Mental Health Foundation did the research. According to it, you can improve your mental health and well-being through physical activities like rowing. Regular exercises also help you prevent the development of mental health problems. They improve your quality of life and boost your self-confidence.

The most common mental health issues, anxiety, and stress can be efficiently relieved through rowing. This is because short sessions release beta-endorphins which are the hormones of well-being. Increasing the level of these hormones in the blood makes you feel satisfied and thus relieves your anxiety. This exercise is excellent for relaxation, meditation, and sound sleep. 

Rowing regularly also reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. Another benefit of rowing is that it transforms your mental strength. Through rowing, you learn steadfastness, consistency, and dedication. It can help you face every situation courageously. 

5. Your Heart and Lungs Become More Efficient

The rowing machine is a simple yet effective device that can help strengthen your heart and lungs. This cardio exercise improves your cardiovascular system. Thus, it improves your heart rate and normalizes blood pressure.

Rowing is a low-impact exercise that compels every single muscle of the body to work. By pumping extra blood from your heart, it increases the overall oxygen demand of your body. The heart not only keeps in check the additional transport of blood but also increases its strength in this process. 

The role of the lungs is also important. They provide the blood with all the extra oxygen. In times of exercise like rowing, the lungs work strenuously to filter blood and remove carbon dioxide and supply oxygen. All this workload ultimately strengthens your lungs and increases your capacity.

6. Your Bones Will Get Stronger

We have got good news for you – rowing is a low-impact, joint-friendly training that is good for people of all ages and fitness levels to try. Unlike other resistance exercises, rowing is a smooth rhythmic motion that puts minimal load on your joints. This is due to the sitting position in rowing that is suitable for exercising with joint issues. A common myth about cardio exercises is that they have little effect on bone density. 

But research by the University of Washington doesn’t support this thought. This study indicates that rowing benefit bone mineral density in the whole body, including the lumbar, spine, and femur. This is because exercises put stress on bones that simulate extra deposits of calcium. It ultimately strengthens your bones. Rowing also builds lean muscle mass which is positively correlated to bone mineral density. 

a woman is training on a rowing machine to get a stunning before and after transformation
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How Many Calories Do You Burn on a Rowing Machine?

Many factors determine the number of calories burned on a rowing cardio machine. For example, age, body weight, duration and intensity of activity. According to British Rowing, a rowing workout helps burn 400 to 1000 calories per hour depending upon your pace and body weight.

Harvard Medical publications also did some research on calories burnt by rowing. Researchers found that on average a 185-pound person burns about 300 calories with moderate rowing for 30 minutes. With vigorous rowing, a 185-pound person burns 440 calories.

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

How Long Does It Take to See Row Machine Before and After Results?

This cardiovascular workout burns an equal amount of calories with less effort than a treadmill or cycling. Foremost, you get the instantaneous results of feeling empowered and energized. You can expect to notice more definition in your muscles within the first week of daily rowing machine workouts. It takes about 90 days to get an amazing rowing body transformation result.

Rowing is a learned movement. It’s not a natural movement. The rhythm makes rowing efficient. Practice rowing so that you can get comfortable with the movement. Spend the first two months using 80% of your time to focus on mechanics and 20% of the time on volume, intensity, or whatever you want. 

Don’t just jump into volume and intensity, because by doing that you’re surpassing that great learning time when you haven’t developed bad habits yet and you can learn from scratch. If you spend the next six months putting in volume and intensity, you may have to unlearn some of the habits that you inherently put in because you didn’t know the difference. 

Real Before and After Pictures

Here’s what you can expect if you hit the rower consistently:

1- @bravo7343

A Youtuber Rowed every day for 30 days, here are the results:

image 5
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2- Billy Brendan

Here’s another case study with a great timelapse to show his results.

image 6
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3- “HairyBull”, a Reddit user

This guy achieved great results after rowing consistently for 7 months, for 15-30min per day:

image 7
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So, yeah, rowing can drive amazing results, you just need to be consistent.=

Tips for Getting Better Rowing Before and After Results

We are going to teach you the absolute basics. So that you can avoid a lot of the common first mistakes that people make when they’re on this machine. There are some important foundational steps that you need to take to get on to the row machine for the first time. They’re not complicated, they are setups that are going to make all the difference for you as you get started. 

1. Connect Your Feet to the Rowing Machine Properly 

There are three things that we need to focus on when it comes to the feet:

  • The straps should be running across the widest part of your foot;
  • Use your whole foot when you need to deliver power. By putting the whole foot down, you access both the posterior and anterior chain meaning your quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, and trunk;
  • And the final piece is mobility. Spend some time working on ankle mobility to get greater access to foot position and for better body positioning on the machine.
a man uses a rowing machine to compare before and after progression
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2. The Catch Position

The catch position is the front end of the stroke, right as you’re about to take the stroke. That position is really important especially if you want to become a pro rower. It’s also critical to make sure that you can apply as much force as you can through the stroke. So don’t shy away from spending a healthy amount of time learning that catch position. 

You’re creating a rigid chain from your hands and shoulders to your trunk, hips, and legs, connecting to the foot stretchers. That then transfers up your whole body into the handle. If you miss the catch, you’ve missed the stroke entirely, and that’s your opportunity to correct course on the next stroke. So getting that catch right is the first thing that you need to start training. 

3. The Drive

The drive is the only moment in time when you can do work on the machine. So executing a proper drive is critical. As we said, a proper catch allows you to get a strong drive. Rowers can develop the drive in many different ways. 

Take the catch and then use the legs to be your primary driver. From there, you’re going to swing the hips open and finally, you’ll snap the arms to the body at the end. But it is foremost a big push of the legs. That’s where all your power comes from. 

Do you ever notice how much thicker your legs are than your arms? Bigger muscles, more force production, use them to your advantage. Don’t get stuck into this pulling through the arms. That’s not how the rowing stroke works. It’s all about that push through the legs. Then you’re going to allow the hips to swing open. Finally, you’ll snap the arms into the body.

4. Recovery

For the rowing stroke, recovery is the movement after we have finished that drive and we’re moving back to the catch position. Collect yourself to get into the right position so that when you arrive at the catch, you’re ready to go and take the next stroke. 

The drive should be quick and snappy. The recovery should be long, relaxed, and about the position, not about energy expenditure. So learn to get the recovery right through pacing, relaxing, and organizing your body.

5. Your Nutrition Affects Your Results

Training the upper and lower body simultaneously, rowing challenges your body. It’s perfect physical training for people who want total body conditioning while valuing time. But remember: rowing only can’t help you lose weight unless you take care of your diet. So make sure you follow a healthy diet to reap faster rowing machine weight loss results.

When we’re talking about muscle gain, our body needs the energy to function properly. That energy comes in the form of calories. So make sure you have enough calories to perform in your training sessions for muscle gain. 

A man trains on a rower machine to compare before and after results
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Keep going

Rowing is a great cardio workout that targets the whole body. It requires learning and can be difficult to use for beginners. But, by rowing regularly, you will get considerable rowing machine before and after results. 

We are hoping that this article motivates you so that you can achieve your fitness goals. To get more related information, read our article Rowing 101.


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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