Rowing machines offer a full-body, muscle-building, fat-burning workout.
But just how many calories can you burn on a rowing machine? Three key factors are your weight, duration, and intensity.
What Impacts Calories Burned on a Rowing Machine?
These three things can be used to determine calories burned on a rowing machine.
The heavier you are, the harder your body has to work to perform the same job.
And the harder your body has to work, the more calories you’ll burn. So while a 200-pound individual burns 336 calories in 30 minutes of moderate rowing, a 120-pound person burns just 168.
How long you row will play a factor in how many calories you’ll burn. Engage in any exercise longer and you’re bound to burn more calories.
The intensity with which you exercise is a factor, as well.
If you weigh 150 pounds, rowing moderately hard will burn 239 calories in a half hour, while rowing vigorously will burn more than 50 additional calories.
You may find it tough rowing vigorously, but maximum effort over maximum time will yield maximum burn — or the same burn in less time.
Calories Burned Rowing Charts*
Moderate effort (100 watts) for 1/2 hour:
Vigorous effort (150 watts) for 1/2 hour:
Very vigorous effort (200 watts) for 1/2 hour:
HIIT vs. Steady-State Rowing
Playing with the dials of duration and intensity will yield different workouts — and different results.
(Even while you’re in the shower, driving home from the gym, or asleep that night.)
To apply HIIT principles to a rowing workout, you could “sprint” (row as hard as you can) for 30 seconds to a minute, and then row slowly for a minute (or until your heart slows to around 60 percent of maximum).
You would then repeat that cycle for the duration of your workout.
Rowing steadily at moderate intensity can build endurance if you’ve got time for a longer workout.
While this range is technically known as the “fat-burning zone” because fat is emphasized more as an energy source while operating within it, there’s actually greater overall fat-burning upside to HIIT once you factor in the aforementioned afterburn effect.