A rowing workout is the perfect, low-impact, intensive exercise. That’s probably why people of all ages hit the rowing machine in the gym.
When I tell people that I row, the first thing they say is, “Wow, you must have really strong arms.” That’s a common misconception about rowing. It’s actually a full body workout with a breakdown like this: 60% of the work comes from your legs, 20% back/core and the last 20% of the stroke comes from your arms.
The calorie burn is anywhere from 300-800 calories per hour based on your size and intensity. While almost everyone has access to a rowing machine (called an erg) at their gym, there are actual erg classes in every city. Revolution Fitness in Santa Monica has a great rowing workout called IndoRow. It’s perfect for novices and experienced rowers alike.
The Rowing Workout
Revolution Fitness uses a different type of erg developed by Josh Crosby that simulates the experience on the water. We all sit next to each other and face the mirror in this IndoRow class.
Keep in time with your crew as they row along side of you. Starting with drills, we get the mechanics right and muscles warmed up. First arms away, then arms and bodies over, then a full stroke moving down the slide.
We push hard for periods of high intensity followed by recovery periods. My heart rate soars but there is no way I’m stopping if everyone else is going.
The music is high during the full intensity moments. It’s fun and exhausting at the same time time. Towards the end, each side of the room races each other and it is a fun way to get that last cardio push.
What I Love about a Rowing Workout
- I’m burning a massive amount of calories while I’m increasing my endurance. I KNOW I got a great workout because I am dead at the end of the hour.
- The team aspect of the class and the loud music make it so much fun.
- My technique is top of mind and I can feel it improving with each stroke.
- The muscles I’m using are definitely the ones I want to sculpt.
Rowing is an incredible low impact, very high intensity workout. Revolution Fitness has a nice set up with good lighting, great equipment and teachers that know what they’re doing.
Jake Kaye, our teacher, rowed for the UCLA varsity team in college and coaches high school rowing. I’ll definitely be going back to Revolution Fitness for more rowing.
Almost everyone has access to a rowing machine at the gym. You can download a rowing workout and do it on your own, find an erging class or get out on the water and learn to row.