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Row, Row, Row Your Boat (For a Killer Workout)

Raise your hand if you’ve been victimized by cardio! It seems to me like there are two types of people: those who love cardio…and those who would rather watch paint dry. I’m the latter of the two. Which is why I choose to continuously change my cardio modality. One day I’m on the stepper, one day the treadmill, and the next I’m on the floor doing bodyweight exercises HIIT style. However, one of the most underrated cardio machines in my opinion is the erg (aka the rowing machine). I hardly EVER see anyone using it at my gym! But every time I finish a workout on it, I’m left sore, tired, and sweaty. Not only is it (kinda) fun, it also has a ton of health benefits…

1. It’s a Total Body Torcher

While machines like the spin bike and the stair master can be a killer workout, they primarily only require your legs. The rowing machine, on the other hand, uses your total body. Legs, glutes, calves, core, back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. More body parts moving = more calories burned.

2. It’s Low Impact

Sure! Running is a great form of cardio. SO good for you. But it’s also really hard on your joints. The rowing machine brings all the benefits of running – with low impact. This means that it’s great for injury prevention.

3. You Control the Intensity

You can choose to sprints, go for long strides, or go at a leisurely pace. You can also control the amount of resistance you use. All of this makes for a completely customizable workout that matches with your fitness level.


Think you’re ready for a rowing workout?! Check out these routines below!

Workout #1 – 1:1 Ratio 

Row 300 meters (should take about 1 minute)

Rest 1 minute

Total time: About 20 minutes

Workout #2: Interval Workout

40 minute easy pace, 20 minute sprint


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from breakingmuscle.com and mensjournal.com

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