How Long Should You Row On A Rowing Machine?

If you are a health enthusiast and like to take care of your physique with a regular workout, then you already know how impactful a rowing machine can be in helping you reach your fitness goals.

But a common question that often gets asked is how long should you row on a rowing machine? Sadly, there is no straight answer here.

Your training time depends on many different factors like your fitness goals, diet, training intensity, etc. The duration of the workout also varies depending on whether you are trying to burn some calories or build your muscle mass simply.

This article will take a deep dive into this very question and try to help you figure out your most efficient workout plan.

What Are Your Rowing Machine Goals?

The most important thing you need to ask yourself before planning a workout routine is to decide what you want to achieve. Because of the versatility of this machine, it can help you achieve many different things.

Without a set workout goal, you will not be able to utilize your rowing machine efficiently. For example, if you are planning to lose body weight, you need to focus on burning calories while complementing your workout with a low-carb diet.

On the other hand, building body mass and muscular strength requires a longer training period with intense workouts. If losing weight is your main goal, then you want also to set an objective that you can reach.

Say you want to lose around 8 pounds in a month. You should set your workout routine in a way that you can lose 2 pounds of weight per month. There are also some who use it just to build endurance or relieve stress.

With a fixed goal, you will be able to figure out your workout time to maximize your output. Losing weight, for instance, might require an hour of rowing each day.

However, building muscle benefits more from a shorter workout with higher intensity. You can also skip one or two days a week while building muscle.

What Cardiovascular Benefits Do You Want?

As we have said before, a rowing machine provides many different opportunities, and if your focus is to boost your stamina and endurance, it can help you achieve that.

For cardiovascular benefits, you can either go with anaerobic exercises or aerobic exercises. Both of them can help boost your lungs and heart strength.

Rowing Machine For Anaerobic Exercise (Fast And Short)

The dictionary meaning for the word anaerobic is without air. When it comes to workouts, it refers to a training routine that is short but intense. For anaerobic improvement of your body, a shorter workout with higher intensity yields better results.

You can do two of the best workouts with an indoor rowing machine for anaerobic improvements: sprints or high-intensity interval training. You want to keep the training period short. Generally, it can last anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes, depending on your physique or training intensity.

Rowing Machine For Aerobic Exercise (Long And Slow)

On the other hand, aerobic exercises refer to workouts that are longer and take things at a slower pace. With aerobic exercises, you can boost the efficiency of your heart, allowing it to pump blood better. In addition, it also improves the oxygen circulation throughout your body muscles.

While doing these exercises, you can expect to spend around 45 to 90 minutes on the rowing machine per day. Remember to take things slow and practice proper breathing to get the most out of your workout. You do not want to push things too much during anaerobic training.

Both anaerobic and aerobic exercises improve your cardiovascular system. In fact, research shows that anaerobic workouts can also improve the aerobic conditioning of the human body to some degree. The important thing is to practice proper rowing techniques while working out.

How Many Calories Do You Want to Burn?

Having a realistic goal is extremely important for a positive impact on your workout routine. Say you weigh 80 pounds and want to come down to 70 pounds within a month. You can track your progress every week, which, in turn, will motivate you to keep up the training without looking back.

Remember, burning calories is not strictly dependent on your workout routine. You also need to have a complementary diet that boosts your metabolism and accelerates weight loss. Find a good balance of diet and workout for the best results while burning calories.

Having a fixed idea of how many calories you want to burn will help you jot down a perfect plan. For weight loss, your focus should be to start sweating. The more you sweat and your heart pumps, the more calorie you are burning. Again, this can vary from person to person.

A fit person may take a while to start sweating, whereas an overweight person with no prior workout experience can start sweating right away. Your training intensity should be moderate. Do not push the intensity too high. The longer you sweat and continue to row, the more calorie you are burning.

Consistency should be your key focus. Working out 30 minutes a day should be enough for weight loss as long as you regularly row for four to six days a week. Rowing 7 days a week might not be a good idea, especially if you are a beginner. However, you do not want to burn out and lose your motivation.

Do You Want to Build Muscle While Rowing?

The workout routine and time period for building muscle are quite different than what you would have to do if you wanted to lose weight with a rowing machine. For muscle building, intense training over a shorter time span is proven to be much more effective.

Do You Want to Build Muscle While Rowing

The diet should also be different. To boost muscle growth and body metabolism, you want to absorb high amounts of proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins. In addition to rowing, you also want to add a few different exercises to your overall routine.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is the best way to get ripped with a rowing machine. With short bursts of intense rowing, the muscle fibers of your body will break down and help you achieve a toned figure.

There are many different types and intensities of HIIT exercise. For instance, you can row for 20 seconds at a stretch with hard and powerful strokes. Follow that up with 20 seconds of rest. Rinse and repeat!

With these exercises, you do not want to extend your total workout time by more than 10 or 15 minutes. In addition, make sure you include basic free-hand workouts like pushups, sit-ups, and kettlebells in your overall routine. It is also important to properly warm up your muscles with stretching before starting off with HIIT exercises.

How Long Should You Row On A Rowing Machine?

As you can see, how long you should row on a rowing machine depends on many variables. Depending on what you want to achieve, you can row 15 minutes per day, 30 minutes per day, or even an hour and a half each day. It impacts your body differently, and your training style also plays a part in the training output.

how long should you row on a rowing machine

Rowing Machine 15 Minutes A Day

15 minutes of rowing every day can work for both building muscles and losing weight. However, you might need to wait quite a while to see any noticeable results for weight loss. With 15 minutes of rowing, you can burn on average 150 to 300 calories per day.

This directly translates to losing half a pound of weight each week. However, if you pair it up with a proper diet, you can lose even more weight. A diet that consists of low carbs and high protein will boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories while working out.

When you add it all up, rowing 15 minutes a day can lead to losing one pound of weight each week. For building muscles, on the other hand, make sure your training intensity is higher. It will also help improve the anaerobic conditioning of your body and get you ripped.

Rowing Machine 30 Minutes A Day

Using your rowing machine for 30 minutes a day is achievable for most beginners, and that is why we recommend this to most people. It lets you burn a decent number of calories and also helps shape your body muscles quite fast. Depending on your goals, however, you should adjust your diet and workout routine.

Rowing around four to six times each week for 30 minutes will let you lose around 1 pound per week. With a healthy diet with increased metabolism, the weight loss can rise as high as 2 pounds each week. It all depends on how committed you are to losing weight.

30 minutes of rowing can also help build muscle mass. But make sure you are eating protein-rich food and adding HIIT to your routine. Bodybuilders typically benefit more from intense bursts of workouts rather than consistent and slow training.

Rowing Machine 90 Minutes A Day

Rowing for an hour and a half is reserved for two groups of people. Those who want to lose weight extremely fast, or athletes who want to train their cardiovascular system and endurance to the fullest potential. Not everyone can row for 90 minutes each day.

With this much time spent in rowing, you are looking at a total of 1000 calories burned per day. This is quite an insane value, and you can easily lose 2 pounds of weight each week without any type of dieting. And when paired with a healthy diet, you will lose around 3 to 4 pounds easily.

But if you are planning to row for this long, make sure your diet contains plenty of carbs. Otherwise, your body will lack the energy needed for such a daunting workout. If you are a beginner, you might be better off with shorter training periods as it is easy to lose interest or motivation.

How Long Should A Beginner Row On A Rowing Machine?

If you are a complete beginner who never worked out before, then spending an hour on a rowing machine might be a bit too much for you. It might be better for your body, in fact, to ease into it instead of going all out.

Most beginners who are opting to lose weight can benefit from only 15 to 30 minutes of rowing each day. With the right diet, just 30 minutes of rowing should be enough for you to lose calories and burn fat efficiently.

In fact, with 30 minutes of rowing for six days a week, you will be able to notice a fair few pounds of weight loss in about a month. And as your stamina grows and metabolism improves, you can slowly increase the time and intensity of your rowing.

Are 20 Minutes Of Rowing Enough?

Regardless of whether you are planning to lose weight or gain muscles, rowing for 20 minutes each day should be enough. However, you also want to add other workouts, such as pushups or sit-ups, to your overall routine. For muscle building, you should go with high-intensity interval training for 20 minutes.

However, if you are training your cardiovascular system and want to focus on aerobic conditioning, 20 minutes could be a bit too short. Ideally, you want to row for at least 40 minutes to an hour for aerobic conditioning. On the other hand, Anaerobic conditioning should be fine if you row for 20 minutes with powerful strokes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is no fixed amount of time that you should row on a rowing machine. You need to understand your body and fitness goals perfectly before deciding on the perfect length of period you should spend rowing. We hope our article could give you enough information to help you set up an efficient workout routine with your rowing machine.

About Freddie Clemmer

Freddie Clemmer is a fitness enthusiast and is a personal trainer, life coach, blogger, and triathlete living in Santa Barbara, California. He is an expert on different types of fitness machine and exercise methods. In his free time, he loves to travel. His mission is to share all the fitness methods and tips through blogging. His vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.

2 thoughts on “How Long Should You Row On A Rowing Machine?”

  1. I am 91 yrs old and new at rowing machine exercise.
    My gym has a rowing machine—how long should I exercise as a beginner .
    I’m trying to get back in shape after a bout with covid.

    • We have included a section on “how long should you row as a beginner”. Have a look on this or you can talk to your gym trainer to get the best idea.


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