This blog is reader-supported. When you buy through my links, I may get a commission at no extra cost to you.

How Many Calories Can You Burn on Rowing Machine?

How Many Calories Can You Burn on Rowing Machine

When it comes to losing weight by burning calories, most people prefer rowing machines – and for all the right reasons.

Rowing machines provide a more convenient way of burning calories than any other manual workout. Medical research entails that if an individual wants to lose weight then there is nothing more effective than getting rid of extra calories.

However, this is not as simple as it sounds. The reason is that there are a number of factors involved that affect your calorie count and their burning — things like age, height, weight, gender, percentage of fat in your body, level of average physical activity, all play their role in determining how many calories you will be able to burn with rowing.

So, in order to know the number of calories burnt through rowing, you first need to understand what exactly we mean by calories, and how one can burn them.

What is a calorie and how we can burn it?

It is basically a unit through which energy can be measured. You are utilizing energy no matter what kind of activity you are performing – even when you are fast asleep. As far as the burning of calories is concerned, it can be burned in a number of ways, for instance, digestion, dieting and working out.

Interestingly, your body is capable of burning 79 percent calories while you consume basic food. The remaining 30 percent can be done through physical activity or exercise, and even food processing. Food processing is a quite slow method. So, let’s talk about the easiest way to burn calories. Yes, this is none other than exercise, and among exercises, rowing is the best way to burn excess calories.

Calculating calories burnt through rowing

To calculate the number of calories burnt, you can use a fitness calculator. While you go for a fitness calculator, know that it requires you to calculate your heart rate while you row. Do not worry; most of the latest rowing machines have a monitor that can calculate your heart rate while you are working out.

Amount of calories burnt through rowing machines

Now that you know the basics, it’s time for you to know how many calories can be burned while you row. In this section, you will be provided with weights range with varying intensity and then resultant calories burnt. You can see the calculation that is closest to your body weight and intensity, to estimate the number of calories you can burn using a rowing machine.

Weight Intensity Duration Calories Burned
125 lbs Moderate 1 hour 410 calories
125 lbs Vigorous 1 hour 510 calories
155 lbs Moderate 1 hour 520 calories
155 lbs Vigorous 1 hour 632 calories
185 lbs Moderate 1 hour 622 calories
185 lbs Vigorous 1 hour 754 calories
240 lbs Moderate 1 hour 654 calories
240 lbs Vigorous 1 hour 795 calories

So, if your weight is nearly 125 Lbs and you row moderately for one hour, then you will be able to lose approximately 410 calories in that duration. Similarly, if your weight is 125 Lbs, while you row more vigorously in the same time duration (one hour), then you will be able to lose 510 calories.

If your weight is around 155 Lbs and you row moderately for an hour, then you will lose more or less 520 calories. However, for the same weight if you row vigorously, then you will be able to burn up to 632 calories.

Talking about the weight of 185 Lbs, if your rowing is moderate for an hour, then the individual is capable of burning around 622 calories. On the other hand, if for the same weight one chooses to row rather vigorously, then up to 754 calories can be burned.

Well, if you are having a bit more weight, nearly 240 Lbs, and the intensity of your rowing is moderate for an hour, then the chances are that you will burn 654 calories. But if you row vigorously for the same duration and weight, then you can burn approximately 795 calories.

There is one thing that you must take into consideration that discussed numbers are not constants, rather they vary. Since the formula for the calculation takes into account age, height, gender and other factors, therefore, all these numbers vary from person to person.

These estimates will help you understand how much intensity you need to put in your rowing. It is quite evident, that if you have a bulky body, then you need to row more in order to burn more calories. However, if you have a healthy body, then you can achieve the same results by rowing with lesser intensity.

Calorie calculator

Latest rowing machines have a monitor on them, that displays your heart rate, duration of rowing session and other metrics. With the help of this information being displayed, the calories being burnt can be calculated. However it is important to note that displays on the monitor vary from one rowing machine to another; it largely depends upon the cost of your rowing machine – generally, the monitors on expensive machines like PM5 monitor of the Concept2 Model D show more precise and accurate results.

Working out or training on rowing machines can be performed in two ways. One of them is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) while the other one is Steady State (SS). Deciding the one that is more efficient in burning calories, isn’t an easy task. It is hard to determine because some people are fine with the first one while others prefer the second one.


Given below are some considerations that contribute to your goal of burning calories. As a general rule of thumb, if a person possesses more muscular strength and rows more vigorously, then his body will be able to burn more calories in comparison to the person having less muscular strength.

The ability to row

Not all bodies are equally capable to lose weight or burn calories at the same rate. How many calories a person is capable to burn further depends upon his ability to row. Moreover, if a person weighs 155 Lbs and is an expert in rowing, will row less and eventually will burn fewer calories.

However, if a person is having a bulky body and is physically unfit and untrained he will exert more energy and thus in doing so, he will burn more calories. So, one of the primary factors that matter is the ability of the body of a particular individual to burn calories.

The intensity to row

Generally, people expect that when you row for a shorter period of time, fewer calories will be burnt as compared to rowing for a longer period of time. But, this is not exactly how it works; here comes the factor of intensity. Let us assume that person A rows vigorously for 10 minutes, and person B rows for 20 minutes at a steady speed. In this scenario, person A will lose more calories regardless of the shorter duration because his rowing was more intense.

The effect of afterburn

Experts suggest that rowing has positive after-effects too. Surprisingly, when you stop rowing, your calories continue to burn for some time; this is what the experts call after-burn. Right after a workout, your body repairs the micro-tears that took place in your muscles. Especially if you have done interval training, your body will continue burning calories to compensate for muscle repair. For the afterburn effect, the amount of burned calories would be in range of 100 to 200.

Techniques for a better workout

More burned calories lead to a better workout. When it comes to rowing machines, there are some techniques that can help you lose more calories in lesser time. So for the next time when you row, you must consider the below techniques:

Try to sit taller

When you sit at the rowing machine, make sure that all your body parts are in a straight position. If you bend while rowing, then you may compromise the efficiency of results. For optimal results, you must keep your chest and back as straight as possible.

proper form of rowing by

Row lower to higher

Try to row from lower speed to a higher one, gradually building up your speed. For instance, you can row 20 strokes a minute while raising the level to 30 strokes gradually. Jumping directly to the highest stroke will make you tired faster, and eventually, you will not be able to row consistently with the same energy. To avoid quicker exhaustion, gradually build your speed and stamina.

Mix your rowing workouts

Instead of just sticking to one rowing workout, it is advisable to mix it with various training sessions. You do not have to stick to one single and long workout. Make your exercise an enjoyable one by mixing various rowing plans.

So to conclude, we can say that rowing machines are a great source of burning calories as compared to any other workout. However, identifying the number of calories that you can actually burn through rowing is quite a difficult question to answer precisely. It varies from person to person, and there are several factors involved. If rowing is done efficiently using the correct techniques, this is an absolutely amazing way to burn your calories.