benefits of rowing for your ab muscles

The Benefits of Rowing For Your Abs

I’m often asked about rowing machine abs benefits.

People want to know if rowing is effective for building stronger, leaner abdominal muscles.

The short answer is “yes, you can get leaner, and build muscles while rowing”.

However, it’s not that simple.

The long answer is that it takes hard work over time, nutrition also plays a role in getting a flat stomach and 6-pack abs.

We’ll dig into that below.

The Reason Why Rowing Benefits Your Abs

Rowing benefits your abs in two different ways.

First, rowing works to stimulate your abdominal muscles.

When you’re using a rowing machine, your core is engaged throughout the exercise. I would argue that the abs are one of the secondary muscle groups used while rowing, however, through sheer repetition alone, rowing can build a strong set of abs.

Second, rowing burns calories.

Burning more calories than you eat is how you lose bodyfat. As much as it seems like there has to be some miracle elixir out there for burning bellyfat, the real key is calorie consumption.

If you’re having trouble losing bellyfat, you’re probably eating too much food. 

Now, quick note, some people have hormonal problems that affect their body’s ability to burn fat. Those rare cases should consult their doctors to advise a route for getting back to health. That being said, the majority of us can lose weight by simply eating less food.

If you eat at maintenance (i.e. you eat the amount of calories that your body requires for its daily energy) you’ll stay at the same weight. Add a couple of hundred calories and you’ll start gaining weight. If you cut out a couple of hundred calories, you’ll start losing weight.

A rowing session can burn hundreds of calories. So, if you eat at maintenance + do a rowing session 5 days a week, you’ll be well on your way to losing excess fat.

As you can see, rowing has major benefits for your abs!

How To Build Abs While Rowing

Simply rowing won’t do everything for you, you need to make sure that you’re using correct technique and that you’re getting a full contraction with your ab muscles.

Read our article on rowing technique here.

As a quick overview, the key is to maintain a flat back and to brace your abs hard as you pull the rowing handle towards your chest.

This is the key to engaging your abs while rowing.