3 Fat-Burning, Cardiovascular-Boosting Rowing Machine Workouts

When you’re rowing, the last thing you want to do is be stagnant. What do I mean by this? You don’t want to continue to do the same exact routine without any changes. Eventually, your body will adapt, and the same workout that was rigorous weeks or months ago is now relatively easy to do.

Instead, you want to form rowing machine workouts that you can vary to ensure consistent results.

I won’t be going into great detail about warming up as there is a great article on warming up here. Always give yourself 10 minutes or so to warm up your muscles before boosting the intensity of your workout.

rowing machine workout

1.     HIIT Routine

High-intensity interval training is about moving as fast as you can with proper form and little to no breaks in between. While this workout isn’t all rowing related, you won’t need any weights or other equipment aside from your own bodyweight to get started.

  • Row as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.

This is done 5 times in a row to get your heart rate soaring and your body ready for 2 minutes of squats. You will be doing air squats, so no weight is needed.

Now, you will continue rowing and resting for 5 more rounds before doing 2 minutes of push-ups. Once complete, continue to perform your 30 seconds of rowing and resting for 5 more rounds and perform another set of air squats.

The goal is to keep the intensity as high as possible during this workout.

2.     Pyramid Workout

Pyramid workouts are a fun way to really test your strength and endurance. The idea is simple: continually build up the intensity and duration of a workout. The way that this is done with rowing machine workouts is simple:

  • Increase duration.
  • Increase resistance.

For example, your workout may look something like this:

  • 1 minute of rowing with 0 resistance.
  • 1 minute of rest.
  • 2 minutes of rowing with 1 resistance.
  • 2 minutes rest.

You would continue this until you row for 4 minutes straight. After this set, you would lower the time and resistance level back down one at a time. So, it would be:

  • 3 minutes of rowing with 3 resistance.
  • 3 minutes of rest.
  • 2 minutes of rowing with 2 resistance.
  • 2 minutes of rest.

Completion occurs when you have rowed down to just 1 minute.

3.     Stroke Rate Workout

Stroke rate is a metric used to determine the amount of strokes you’re performing. This should be found on most rowing machines with monitors and is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

This is a workout for advanced rowers and would go something like this.

  • 1 minute sprint with a stroke rate of 26.
  • 1 minute of rest.
  • 1 minute sprint with a stroke rate of 28.
  • 1 minute of rest.

You will be alternating between a stroke rate of 26 and 28 for about 5 minutes before taking a 2 minute break. In total, you want to repeat this complete workout for 3 rounds.