Blast Body Fat With These 5 Rowing Workouts

Fitness - Upper-Body

Blast Body Fat With These 5 Rowing Workouts

Jan 17, 2016 //

Rowing machine workouts are challenging from both a cardiovascular and muscular endurance standpoint, targeting your entire body (and especially your upper back muscles).

The best part about rowing is that you can knock out your cardio and strength in one workout. Find a local gym with a rowing machine and give these workouts a try.

How To Row: The Basics

As with any form of exercise, proper technique is important. Start by strapping your feet into the stirrups. The strap should come around the middle of your feet so that they are secure. Bend your knees and come up to the top of the rowing machine in a seated position. Grab onto the handles and extend your legs and arms.

To begin, graze the handles over your legs as your lead forward with your arms. Slowly bend your knees as you slide to the front of the machine. Once there, use your momentum and strength to row your arms straight back. The handles should come to your chest as your squeeze your upper back. Your leg power should also help facilitate this movement. From there, slide back into the extension and bend forward to repeat a fluid sequence of the movement. Now you’re ready to begin!

Top Five Rowing Routines To Try

Don’t forget to warm up and cool down with five minutes of slow rowing before and after your workouts.

1. Tabata Style

This tabata-style rowing machine routine will get you in shape in no time. Tabata translates to eight rounds of 20 seconds of exercise with 10 seconds of rest.

So: row as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest up for the following 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence until you’ve completed eight rounds. If you can manage it, feel free to complete more than one tabata round for a really solid workout.

2. 30-30 Interval

This rowing machine routine will last 30 minutes including a five-minute warmup and five-minute cooldown. Once you’ve completed your warmup, start by rowing as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Slowly row for the following 30 seconds before you pick up the pace again on the next interval. Continue this 30 seconds-on, 30-seconds off routine for 25 minutes and then complete your cooldown. If you’d like, you can completely rest and not row during your 30 seconds off in the intervals.

3. Resistance Power Up

Along with increasing speed, you can also increase the resistance on the rowing machine to jack up the intensity. For this workout, start by rowing at a casual pace for one minute, then increase the resistance to a higher intensity — at about 80 per cent of what you can feasibly row — and row for one minute. Complete 8-10 rounds.

4. Endurance Challenge

Many rowing machine workouts focus on speed and resistance, so it’s nice to vary it up and throw in some more endurance-based routines. This challenge focuses on maintaining a steady pace for 20 minutes. Set an intense, but not impossible, pace at the beginning of the workout, and try to hold throughout. Feel free to row extra hard for the last minute. You can use the stroke rate or the split time to help you gauge the best pace for you. It also will serve as a benchmark for future workouts.

5. Burpee Jumps

This rowing machine workouts throws in another classic exercise move: the burpee. Row as hard as you can (with proper form) for two minutes. Jump off of the machine and complete two burpees on one side before jumping back on the rowing machine. Complete 8 to 10 rounds. Remember that you can vary the amount of burpees or length of the rowing interval throughout this routine.

Take breaks and drink water when necessary. Use your best judgement based on your skill set and as always, consult a physician before starting a new workout routine.

Maggie Young

Maggie is an associate editor for Fitness Republic, American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, occupational therapy student, and freelance writer for various health and fitness publications. She believes that a healthy diet, daily movement, stress reduction, and quality sleep are the foundation of happiness.

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