Rowing Workouts

I’ve always enjoyed getting on the rowing machine as part of my workout, and with colder weather coming and possibly more time being spent indoors for your workout, I wanted to share a few tips on how to create a great workout with a rowing machine. This can be the main part of your workout or simple what you turn to for upper body and core conditioning along with the rest of your routine. Properly performed rowing provides cardio work, works the abs, core and lower back, and even develops flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.

Make sure you are stilling up tall on the seat of the rowing machine. Have your legs extended to a comfortable position with the knees still slightly bent. You should adjust where your feet are so the heel of your foot is stable, and the strap is around the center of your foot. Focus on the movement being trough the hips and pulling the hands back toward the upper abs while keeping your chest lifted and open.

1. Wrap fingers lightly around the handle and keep wrists straight.

2. Extend your arms in front of you without slumping or hunching your shoulders.

3. Hinge forward from the hips and bend knees until they’re over ankles, bringing your body forward.

4. Push through feet to extend your legs, and lean back slightly; keep shoulders relaxed as you push your body back.

5. At the same time as the step above, draw your elbows straight back along your sides until hands reach ribs .

6. To start the next stroke, extend arms, and then bend knees and slide forward.

Using the computer on the machine you can train for time, speed, or distance. Below are some samples of workouts you can use for cardio and endurance.

500-meter Repeats

4×500 meters, 2 minute rest between each. Similar in nature to the feel of running 800-meter intervals at a moderately high intensity. Use the memory function on the rowing computer to log your workout.

Long Sprints

8×45 seconds hard. 15-second easy recovery between each hard interval.

The Time Ladder

Ten minutes nonstop: four minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one minute, building up intensity in each transition with no rest in between. The four minutes should be at a relative base tempo with the one-minute intervals at high intensity. Be sure to have enough in the tank to make moves at each time transition.

The Stroke Ladder

4×5 minutes. Each five-minute session is broken into five, one-minute segments with a focus on the number of strokes you take per minute (s/m), which the erg computer tallies in real time. First minute: 18 s/m, second minute: 22 s/m, third: 26 s/m, fourth: 22 s/m, fifth, 26 s/m.