Top exercises for weight loss on a rowing machine

While it is universally true that regular exercise brings many health benefits, what many people don’t realize is that regularity does not equate to monotony. The result is a plateauing out of the exercise graph and with it, the stagnation of health benefits. However, this does not mean that every person has to scale up in the same manner – a person looking to gain body mass must follow a procedure different from one seeking to reduce additional weight. In this article, we’ll focus on the top exercises for weight loss. For convenience we have taken one exercise from each of the three workout intensity levels, so that both the injured and the novices, as well as experts can tryout the workouts pertaining to their level.

For purposes of convenience we have used this scheme:
weight loss tableNote – The terms “low intensity workout”, “high intensity workout”, mentioned below, refer to categories of workouts, within which all levels – from medium/easy workouts to extreme intensity rowing schemes, can be carried out. Depending on the relative frequency of each type of scheme within a workout plan, the terms “high intensity workout”, “low intensity workout” classes of workout plans are created.

Low Intensity Workout

If you have medical issues or would like to try out a low intensity workout prior to moving to higher difficulties, the following workout, endorsed in tests by researchers writing in the Journal of Physiology, can help you get started

  1. Given that all the best rowing machines today come with “calories burned” indicator, the display should be set to show this metric in the largest display division.
  2. Start rowing in your normal (scheme I) rhythm, keeping a medium pace (or if you have injuries, a slow pace) for about 3-5 minutes. This period is regarded as warm-up, and even if you are ready to go harder, avoid doing so.
  3. After the warm up is over, start a more intense 60 second ie scheme II or III, your choice) workout stage. Keep an eye out for the heart rate metric, but don’t panic if your heart rate shoots up but stays within an acceptable range.
  4. Slow down the workout to minimal effort (scheme 0) after sixty seconds, ensuring that you keep up a rhythm but with minimal effort. Keep this up for about 1 minute.
  5. After this one minute, start your second 60 second scheme II/iII workout. Note that you would need to maintain the same level of intensity as you did during the first 60 second intense workout.
  6. Repeat the steps 2-5 as many times as your energy and time allow, but ensure that you do at least 4 such cycles if you are a beginner and 10 if you are an expert.
  7. Finally, enter into a scheme II/III workout mode for 1-2 minutes to allow the muscles to ease off the stress.If instead of this the machine is stopped at once, the natural rhythm is disrupted and the body is forced to reset to a state it had gradually come out of. This can cause injuries, and in some machines, additional referencing of the best rowing machine maintenance and tips page as well.
  8. Once complete, rest on the rowing machine without carrying out any workout, for about half a minute before coming off.

Recommended Frequency of Workout – Once per day. Preferably in morning.

Workout Duration – Variable

Medium Intensity Workout

Exercises for weight loss on a rowing machineOnce you’re comfortable with the low intensity workout, it is time to move to the next stage, which involves a more prolonged and intense form of the low intensity exercise. One of the top exercises for weight loss, developed by an Olympic rower, requires fixed workout period and resistance levels. If carried out properly though, it can prove to be more effective than the low intensity workout.

  1. Select the resistance level and choose between 2-4 (for both men and women).
  2. Initiate warm up using a medium/easy routine (scheme I) for about five minutes (as described above).
  3. For about a minute, carry out intense workout (scheme II), followed by scheme I routine for 1 minute. Repeat this 3-4 times.
  4. Starting with the scheme I phase, move from scheme II to scheme III workout. Alternate between I and III like before. Carry out this cycle 1-2 times.
  5. Starting with the scheme I phase, move from III to IV (maximum physical capacity) for one minute before reverting to rest. Note that it is normal for the heart rate to go above the prescribed rate a little during this phase.
  6. Revert from IV to III, and III to II, following the reverse of the steps outlined above. Ensure gradual climb-down at all times, as otherwise the rapid decline in activity can adversely affect the heart rate and increase items in the how to maintain a rowing machine guide that you may have to look into.
  7. In the last phase, carry out scheme I routine for 3-4 cycles before stopping completely.

Recommended Frequency of Workout2-3 times every week for average users, 7 times a week for expert users.

Workout Duration– 25-30 minutes, do not extend beyond this timeframe.

Note – This workout is not recommended for those with physical disabilities or those with extreme anorexia or low weight problems.

High Intensity Workout

Once you have figured out that your body requires intense regular exercise for maintaining the upward weight loss curve, typically by going through the top exercises for weight loss mentioned above, you should shift to the high intensity workout.This workout requires that you have some space aside from that occupied by your workout machine, as it involves steps of aerobics aimed at tightening muscles and causing greater weight loss, carried out in tandem with rowing machine workouts.If, on the other hand, you’ve followed our rowing machine buying guide suggestions regarding the importance of buying machines that offer facility for additional aerobic workouts, you don’t need to set aside such space.

  1. Carry out scheme I workout for five minutes to ensure adequate warm-up.
  2. Disembark from the rowing machine and carry out 15 squats, lasting a total of about 1 minute.
  3. Return to the rowing machine and carry out scheme II/III workout for one minute.
  4. Get off and do 10 pull-ups.
  5. Return and carry out scheme IV workout for one minute.
  6. Get off and carry out 10 glute bridges. After this, do not go back to the rowing machine immediately, but take rest for a minute doing nothing.
  7. Return to the machine and carry out Scheme II for a 2-3 minute workout as a means of winding down for the day.
  8. Move to scheme I and finish off the workout.

Recommended Frequency of Workout – 1-2 times per week for novices, 2-3 times per week for experts.

Recommended duration – Not more than 40 minutes.


The somewhat complex notation involved in explaining the workouts can initially scare people, but if you know the procedure for operating a rowing machine, learning this won’t be too difficult. Indeed, you may even shift directly to medium workout if you exercise regularly or have a good physique. At the same time, one should also be aware that these workouts prescribe heart rate bands that go beyond the normal human heart rate at times. Such heart rate overshooting generally reduces within a few months of starting exercise, but if it does not, medical opinion should be consulted. All this said though, we believe this guide can act as at least a basic guide to top exercises for weight loss that can be carried out using a rowing machine.