Best Rowing Machine Workouts by The FItness Shop

8 Best Rowing Machine Workouts for Building Strength and Endurance

Rowing machine workouts are a great way to get in shape and improve your cardiovascular fitness. It is a low-impact exercise that engages almost all the major muscle groups in the body, making it an effective full body workout. To help you get started, we have created a guide discussing everything you need to know about rowing machine workout routines. 

Benefits of Rowing Machine Workouts 

Rowing is a low-impact, full body workout that is both aerobic and anaerobic, meaning it works your cardiovascular system and your muscles. Some benefits of rowing machine workouts are: 

Improves Cardiovascular Health 

Rowing is an excellent cardio workout that increases your heart rate and oxygen consumption. Consistent use of a rowing machine can improve your cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular illnesses. 

Builds Muscle Strength 

Rowing is generally a full body workout that targets several muscle groups in the body. The muscles in your legs, core, back, and arms are all worked during a rowing machine workout. Regular use of a rowing machine can improve muscle tone and strength in these areas. 

Low-Impact Exercise 

Unlike running or other high-impact exercises, rowing is a low-impact workout that is easy on your joints. This makes it a great option for those with joint pain or injuries. 

Burns Calories 

Rowing is an efficient way to burn calories. A 30 min rowing machine workout can burn up to 300 calories. Additionally, rowing helps build lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and can help you burn more calories throughout the day. 

Improves Posture 

Rowing strengthens the muscles in your back, shoulders, and core, which can improve your posture. Proper posture not only helps you look and feel better, but it can also reduce the risk of injury. 

Increases Endurance 

Rowing is an endurance-based exercise that requires sustained effort over a period of time. Consistent use of a rowing machine can improve your endurance and stamina, allowing you to exercise for longer periods of time. 

Offers Variety 

Rowing machines offer a variety of workouts, from high-intensity intervals to longer, steady-state workouts. This variety can help keep your workouts interesting and challenging. 

How to do Rowing Machine Workout

Step 1: Proper Form 

The key to a successful rowing machine workout is proper form. Start by sitting on the machine with your feet securely fastened to the foot pedals. Grab the handles with an overhand grip and keep your arms straight. Lean forward from your hips and keep your back straight. Your knees should be bent and your shins vertical. This is the starting position for rowing. 

Step 2: The Drive 

The drive is the first part of the rowing stroke. Push off with your legs, straightening them out, and then lean back slightly as you pull the handle towards your chest. Keep your elbows close to your sides and your wrists straight. As you pull the handle towards your chest, engage your back muscles and squeeze your shoulder blades together. 

Step 3: The Finish 

The finish is the second part of the rowing stroke. Once you have pulled the handle towards your chest, hold it for a moment, and then slowly release it. Lean forward from your hips again, and slide your seat back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your arms straight as you return to the starting position. 

Step 4: The Recovery 

The active recovery is the final part of the rowing stroke. From the starting position, slide your seat back to the end of the machine and bend your knees. Lean forward from your hips and reach out with your arms to grasp the handle once more. This is the starting position for the next stroke of the exercise. 

Rowing Machine Workouts 

The 1000-Meter Mixup 

Set the timer and the rower for 1,000 metres. Start rowing and make strong strokes. You still have work to do in the shape of hollow rocks after you’re done rowing. By performing the hollow rocks, you’ll be able to row more forcefully while taking increasingly longer breaks from rowing. The rowing labour is well balanced by hollow rocks. The variety of exercises provides a complete workout. 

How to Do it: 

  • Set your rowing machine to 1,000 metres, then start rowing 
  • Get off the rower and perform a hollow rock ladder at the beginning of each minute 
  • The first time you get off the rower, do 5 hollow rocks 
  • Do 6 the next time you get off the rower, and continue adding one hollow rock each time you do so 
  • Try to complete it in about 5 to 7 minutes 

Row & Renegade EMOM 

Mixing rowing with some renegade rows is an excellent workout finisher to exhaust the back and core. The rowing objective is dependent on calories expended, so you’ll reach it faster if you go more quickly (and the longer you get to rest).  

You will do three renegade rows per minute, go on the rower, start with eight calories, and repeat this process five times, increasing a calorie each time. This will encourage you to finish fast and take as long of a break as you can before the next minute starts. However, the length of your break will become shorter as your calorie target increases.  

How to Do it: 

  • Choose two light to medium-weight dumbbells to start 
  • Start by getting into a high plank posture 
  • Do three renegade rows 
  • Finish with a pushup after rowing once with each arm. This is equal to rep. 
  • Make sure your screen is set to zero and get on the rower. 
  • Row until you have burned 8 calories 
  • Then relax until the start of the next minute 
  • Repeat the previous steps, each time adding a calorie 
  • Finish five rounds 

From the Ground Up Workout 

Warm up for around five minutes. Next execute the following exercises in the sequence provided. 

  • Row for 100 meters 
  • Perform 10 reps of bodyweight squat 
  • Row for 200 meters 
  • Perform 10 reps of bodyweight squat 
  • Perform 20 reps of alternating reverse lunge 
  • Perform 10 reps of kneeling biceps curl to overhead press 

This is just one round. Complete three rounds in total, pausing as necessary. 

The Row and Burpee Challenge 

Nothing motivates you to row as quickly as a burpee penalty. This rowing exercise will motivate you to maintain your speed because if you veer off, you’ll have to do burpees. 

How to Do it: 

  • You’ll complete five 500-meter rows. Your objective is to complete each row in 1:40 
  • After each round, take five minutes to relax 
  • Enjoy the remainder of time if you complete it in less than one hour Count the number of seconds you are over if your time is above 1:40. You will perform that many burpees will be performed  

The Calorie Count-Up 

This exercise routine begins gently and finishes strongly. The best thing about it is that it warms up naturally. 

How to Do it: 

  • Set a rowing machine to count in 1-minute intervals. Your objective is to consume the necessary number of calories before each minute expires. 
  • You will row for 5 calories in the first minute before pausing to start the next. Row for 6 calories the next minute, then take a break till the following minute starts.  
  • Try to finish as many rounds as you can. When you can no longer burn the specified number of calories in one minute, the exercise is over. 
  • Make an effort to finish at least 15 minutes of work. 

The 20-Minute Metabolic Thruster Blast 

This total body workout will scorch your legs as prepare to work up a serious sweat. Together with your rower, you can also use dumbbells or kettlebells for this exercise. 

Spend five minutes warming up, then do the subsequent exercises in the sequence indicated. 

How to Do it: 

  • Row for 500 meters as fast as possible. 
  • Perform 25 reps of dumbbell or kettlebell thruster 

This is just one round. Do a total of four rounds, pausing for rest. Try to do the entire routine in under 20 minutes. 

Pump and Row Pyramid 

Prepare by warming up for five minutes. Then do the subsequent exercises in the sequence indicated. 

  • Row for 100 meters, as fast as you can 
  • Perform 5 reps of bodyweight squat 
  • Perform 5 reps of pushups 
  • Perform 5 reps of feet-elevated mountain climber 

This is just one round. Continue the rounds, taking breaks as necessary. Change the reps according to the instructions below. 

  • Round 2: Row 200 metres, then do each exercise 10 times. 
  • Round 3: Row 300 metres, then do each exercise 15 times. 
  • Round 4: Row 200 metres, then do each exercise 10 times. 
  • Round 5: Row 100 metres, then do each exercise five times. 

Complete the routine by performing a plank for 60 seconds. 

Burpee Challenge 

Spend five minutes warming up. Set the monitor on the rower to show calories. Then keep rowing for 2 minutes.  

Keep in mind your overall calorie score. That’s how many calories you should attempt to reach in each succeeding row. Do 10 burpees now. Row for 2 minutes or until you meet your previous 2-minute row’s calorie total. Do 9 burpees now. Repeat rowing to reach the same calorie target. Until the last burpee of the round, keep going in this sequence. Attempt to finish the exercise as quickly as you can, taking breaks as required. 

Try to complete the routine in under 30 minutes. 

Rowing Exercise Tips 

Sequencing is crucial. Move your legs first, swing your torso back, and then bend your arms to pull the handlebar into your body as you drive (go backwards). Do the reverse sequence as you go forward during active recovery. 

Focusing on general right mechanics will lead to better exercise and injury prevention. 

To guarantee that the handlebar and sliding seat move in unison, maintain your lateral contraction by drawing them back and down. 

Consistency and creating muscle memory are crucial. When you initially begin, commit to a regular routine. You’ll quickly master the fundamentals. 


In conclusion, using a rowing machine for your workout offers numerous benefits. From improving cardiovascular health and building muscle strength to burning calories and improving posture, rowing is an efficient and effective way to improve your overall fitness. You can implement rowing machine workouts in your routines to spice up your fitness journey.