Rowing machine workouts

Rowing machine workouts for legs and buttocks

Rowing machine workouts are a great way to exercise your whole body. Rhythmic aerobic exercises that you can do on a rowing machine are extremely effective when it comes to providing a thorough cardio workout on the simplest way possible. While the design of the rowing machine allows only one exercise – a classical rowing, it doesn’t prevent it to be one of the best cardio machines on the market.

Unlike treadmills and most elliptical trainers, rowing machine workouts for the upper and lower body, now it’s time to give you a few suggestions how you can shape and strengthen your legs and butt with a rowing machine.

Correct body position on the rowing machine

Like with every other fitness machine, your proper posture is very important to avoid injuries and to get the most out of your workout sessions. I suggest that you check a previous article to find out how to perform rowing machine workouts correctly.

If you do rowing workouts on the proper way, you will notice the huge benefits not only to your core area, arms and back, but also in the butt and legs.

The general tendency is to start the movements with the lower back, but this has two bad consequences:

  • It puts excess stress on the lower back, causing pain and injuries to muscles and spine;
  • It compromises the effects of rowing on the butt and leg muscles;

Thus, for working out and getting the most of your rowing machine workouts, you should begin movements with the legs and glutes. You can do this easily by keeping the knees slightly bent while the seat slides or while pulling the handles towards your core area.

Then, you should keep your back straight and the upper body should remain at about 45 degrees during the exercise. Leaning too much or bending forward as the seat and handles move only puts pressure on the back, causing aches and increases the chance for injury.

Sample of rowing machine workouts for legs and buttocks

Like always, you should start with a warm-up session of 3-5 minutes. Then, the typical rowing workout is done as follows: sitting on the seat, lean forward to grab the machine’s handles while keeping shins upright and arms straight.

Press your legs against the footrests so that your leg muscles feel tensed and lean back steadily, so that your core muscles are contracted but back muscles are relaxed. Pull the handle by moving elbows backward and pushing with your legs. Glutes should be contracted during this movement.

Your arms should remain by the sides of the torso during the movement, and knees shouldn’t be completely extended while moving backward with the seat. To avoid muscle soreness, you should adjust resistance and take it progressively, doing a 5-minute warm up session and ending with a 5-minute cool down session.

Muscles that are worked during this exercise are the hamstrings and quadriceps, the glutes and calves or in other words, all important groups in your legs and butt! The upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as muscles in arms are also trained by rowing workouts, although they’re not the main target in rowing machine workouts.


If you’re looking for the home gym equipment to strengthen, to tone and define your lower-body muscles, a rowing machine can be an excellent choice as long as exercises are performed correctly. When used improperly, it can lead to serious injuries in the back and spine.

You can buy a rowing machine separately, or you can buy a high-end home gym machine that has incorporated rower. However, a rowing machine is more affordable than a good home gym machine. On the other hand, with home gym machine, you will also get several workout stations for strength trainings. Whatever you choose, the benefits of rowing workouts should be similar. Everything else depends on your fitness and weight loss goals.