A lot has been said about the rowing machine, the popular strength and cardio machine used by men and women alike. Folks say it’s better than treadmills or ellipticals. We can go on a debate, but one of the most interesting question is whether an indoor rowing machine can improve your abs.
There are two ways to improve your abs.
One is tone the core and ab muscles. This is a function of core and ab training.
Second is to reduce the amount of fat covering the abdominal region. This is a function of both diet and cardio workout.
Where does the rowing machine fit in?
Rowing is one of the best exercises out there. It trains your entire body. It may seem as though that you’re only moving your arms and upper body. But you’re actually engaging all your large muscle groups. That’s a good thing both from a strength training and fat loss point of view. If you want an exercise that hits both your muscles and fat, then rowing should be part of your routine.
You may be discouraged to think that the rowing machine directly hits your lats, biceps, quads, and calves. It hits the abs and obliques, too, though indirectly. Don’t fret. If you’re rowing in the proper form, you got nothing to worry about.
The right form hits the abdominals hard!
That’s right. Any exercise done with the wrong form will be inefficient. When you’re rowing in the right form and using your stabilizer muscles, you’re hitting every major muscle group, including the abdominal muscles. Your core and abs are working to stabilize you while you catch and drive. In other words, you’re not only building your back, arms, thighs, and legs. You’re also building your core!
The perfect cardiovascular tool
What does cardio have to do with your abs? Well, your abs won’t show no matter how toned it is until you shed off that layer of fat that’s covering it. How does the rowing machine help you with that?
The rowing machine is essentially a cardio machine (that has strength building benefits). By cardio means it trains your cardiovascular endurance. That also means it burns fat! Anyone who wants to lose weight has to include cardio in their regimen. Cardio burns fat all over the body, including that which is covering your abdominal muscles. Rowing can burn 800 calories in an hour.
Wrapping it up, yes, a rowing machine can improve your abs.
Practice proper form starting in the low setting.
Engage your entire body, not just the arms.
Use your core to stabilize you.