Ready. Set. Row.

Often unnoticed and usually under-appreciated, the indoor rower machine tends to hide in the shadows of treadmills, stair steppers, and the elliptical (ugh). Indoor rowing provides a slew of cardiovascular benefits and contrary to what you may think, works a ton of muscle groups. The fluid motion of each stroke engages the arms, shoulders, core and legs. This low impact movement is the perfect option for any cross training workout and even improves flexibility, aerobic power and endurance. Hell yea – what’s not to love?!

Let’s break this machine down.

Indoor Rowing Machine

The fly wheel will create the resistance, and the viewing screen will let you keep track of your speed, distance, time, and will allow you to chase a target.

Keeping proper form is critical when using the indoor rower, it’s easy to let it slip so THINK about what you’re doing, and really focus on the muscle groups that should be doing the work. This chick’s got it right:


To start – or catch – strap your feet into the cages. Sit up tall, and engage your core (read: suck it in) and hold the handles with your palms facing down.  Bend your knees slightly and keep your upper body relaxed.

Drive through your feet to straighten your legs while pulling on the handles toward your torso while maintaining a horizontal motion. The push with your legs should be strong and controlled. Keep your elbows close to your bod and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you complete the stroke.

As your legs fully extend the handles should be right up against the bottom of your rib cage. Your back should be leaning back slightly, again your neck and shoulders are relaxed and your neck is neutral. Keep this movement rapid, smooth and consistent. As your legs extend and you start to move back toward the wheel and machine, your body will hinge forward at the hips and your knees will then bend.

Do this work out to make the most of this incredible tool, shed calories, and work up a sweat.

Warm up with an easy row for 3 or 5 minutes.

8 Rounds : 
200m FULL SPRINT / 1 minute recovery

6 Rounds:
400m FULL SPRINT/ 1.5 minute recovery

4 Rounds:
600m FULL SPRINT / 2.0 minute recovery

2 Rounds:
800m FULL SPRINT / 2.5 minute recovery

Land ho, ladies.

Image via: Fit Sugar and Cody

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