Rowing Exercise Muscle Groups

Rowing Exercise Muscle Groups

Rowing is an activity that burns over 500 calories per hour, based upon a 160-lb. body weight, says The rowing movement consists of a worked with effort between the upper and lower body, which assists accelerate the calorie burn. A number of different muscle groups are involved in the movement, whether you are on a device at the fitness center or out on the open water.

Loading Up

Loading up your energy at the beginning of the stroke is called the ‘catch,’ and it uses several different muscle groups to execute. The movement requires you to lean your upper body forward with your lower legs in a vertical position and extend your arms to obtain your body ready to row. In the catch, your abs are tight, and your deltoids, trapezius, hamstrings and calf bones are all tensed and ready to spring into action.


The drive portion of rowing happens when you press off with your legs and actually draw the oars through the water. In the case of fixed rowing, this is when you straighten your legs and pull bench or the deals with into your belly. The drive needs heavy use from your quadriceps to press off, then your shoulders, upper back and biceps to power with to the end of the stroke. Your hamstrings and forearms are also made use of for the drive.


The finish, or back part of the stroke, is when your legs are straight, your hips are fully extended, and you’ve actually completed the motion to propel the boat. Your hips and glute muscles are tensed at this stage, as is your upper back and rear triangular muscles. Your calf bone muscles should be contracted as you move onto the balls of your feet with the leg extension. Your abdominals are participated in the surface due to the fact that your body is in a slightly reclined position.


The return or recuperation, is when you bend your knees and move your body back to the beginning point for the next repeating. Your hamstrings and abdominals will help to pull your body forward in the recovery, and your anterior deltoids, or front of the shoulders will assist in reaching to extend your arms again. If you’re utilizing oars in the water, your triceps will assist push the oars forward to get back into position.