Which Muscles Does a Rowing Machine Target?

Those who are in search of ways on how to burn a lot of calories in just a short amount of time should consider working out with a rowing machine. Aside from promoting cardiovascular fitness, this workout training could also tone up the major muscles of your body. Likewise, due to the fact that it’s a low impact exercise, it’s perfect for those who aren’t allowed to perform strenuous activities, such as running.

Rowing Movements

Rowing motions are very effective if you want to develop the muscle groups in the upper body. As we pull the handles toward our torso, the rhomboids, lats, and biceps in the arms are being used. Not just that, it also provides a full-body workout as it ensures that all of our body parts are involved in the exercise.

Without further ado, allow us to answer the question, “what muscles does a rowing machine target?”

Leg Muscles

Obviously, we have to move our legs when using a rowing machine, and the rowing strokes we’re going to make will require a powerful leg push. Also, the hips and knees should be extended and this only implies that the largest muscles of the body will be utilized– this includes the hamstrings that are located at the back of our thighs, the quadriceps that are located on the front of our thighs, and gluteus maximus, that are located on the back of our hips

Core Muscles

It’s important to follow the proper form while rowing, because this will ensure that the core is also affected by the entire workout. The abdominal muscles are important for the powerful movements needed to row the machine. Furthermore, it’s also an essential component for coordinating the lower and upper body to complete the movement properly.

Back Muscles

This workout greatly affects the muscles located at back, such as the rhomoboids, trapezius, as well as latissimus dorsi muscles. Wherein, the rhomboids, together with the trapezius bring together the shoulder blades during a workout training. On the other hand, the latissimus dorsi plays a vital role as it allows the arms to perform a power stroke– similar to swimming.

Arm Muscles

Aside from the legs, the arms are also used during this workout training. Our posterior deltoid muscles are active and used together with the muscles located at the back in order to effectively row. Aside from that, the forearms and biceps are also targeted every time the arms are flexed.

Midsection Muscles

The force produced by legs will be transmitted to the handle of the rower through our back and arms. In order to prevent the lower back from collapsing, the core muscles that surround our midsection should contract and stabilize the lumbar or lower spine.


The proper way to perform this exercise is to row in a continuous, fluid motion. Similarly, good technique is important in order to avoid injuries during the workout. Don’t forget to read the instruction manual carefully if this will be your first time to use a rowing machine at home. If in a gym, don’t hesitate to ask a certified fitness trainer whenever you have a question about something.

Overall, aside from developing muscles a rowing machine can also keep you healthy and fit.