Rowing is a great way to burn calories and develop a lean, muscular physique. Even if you hate cardio, you’ll quickly see the benefits of rowing workouts. All it takes is a quick warmup and you’ll be sweating thoroughly.
“In only 10 minutes you’re going to hit the upper and lower body while getting your energy up and your blood pumping,” says Tom Brock, a coach at the Row House in New York City. “Rowing may not be for everyone, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself trading up from that warmup to a full workout.”
We asked a few coaches at the Row House in New York City to put together five killer workouts to make your time on the rower a portal into shredded-dom. Gretchen Raddatz, Bethany Flora, and Dre Mihaylo all pitched into share these lung-burning, leg-crushing workouts. Try one each week—or maybe even twice a week, if you want to be a lean machine.
How to Do These Rowing Workouts
The rowing machine—or “erg,” as it’s known—has only a few variables, but they play an important role in your workout. You’ll notice that most ergs have resistance “gears” that adjust the difficulty of each stroke. Don’t assume that you should hike up the resistance all the way to 10. Anything from 5 to 7 will be much easier for a relative beginner on the rowing machine.
The speed of your rowing is called “rate.” You can find your current rowing rate on your rower’s LCD screen. “Rate 26” equates to 26 strokes per minute, or spm.