Feel the Burn: The Best Rowing Machine Workouts to Build Strength and Endurance

Feel the Burn: The Best Rowing Machine Workouts to Build Strength and Endurance

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Are you looking for a new tool to boost your cardio besides treadmills and elliptical trainers?

If so, rowing machine workouts will make for a great addition to your regimen.

This particular piece of equipment is designed for easy use and maintaining strength and energy so that you can continue performing at high levels.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or someone just looking to stay in shape, rowing machine workouts will help you meet your goals.

While treadmills and elliptical trainers can produce major impacts on your back and knees, rowing machines take it easy on your body while helping you build up a sweat.

Variety is the key to a healthy, long life.

Coming up with new sprinting and jogging drills can be just as exhausting as the exercises. However, that isn’t a problem with rowing machines.

There are a variety of workouts you can do to trim fat, build muscle, and improve your heart rate.

By following our tips with these machines, you can improve your health over time and enjoy a long, healthy life.

Here are the best rowing machine workouts to build muscle and endurance.

1. Warm-Ups

Rowing machines work the entire body. This means that you need to make sure that everything is stretched out and relaxed so that you can handle what the machine has in store for you.

There are several options you have for warm-ups. Inchworms, for example, stand tall, pivot forward at the hips, put your hands on the floor, and walk them out until you’re in push-up position.

Next, bring your body back to the standing position. We advise doing this between five and ten times.

You can also do Bootstraps, which involve placing your elbows on the insides of your knees as you squat low. After you slowly push your knees open, stand up.

There’re also Pick Drills, which you can do on the machine. Keep your legs straight and your body upright as you reach towards your feet and slowly bring your hands back to your body.

This option keeps your spine neutral, and you need to lean back from the hips once you are upright again.

Your knees should slowly bend as you reach forward and then straighten as you push off the foot plates with your legs first.

Do each of these warm-ups for several minutes.

2. Tabata Springs

Among additional options, you have with rowing workouts are Tabata Springs, which help you get used to long workouts on the rower.

The first round involves just using your legs. Keep your arms locked, move forward and backwards with your legs only for 20 seconds.

After resting for 10 seconds, row as fast as you can in a full-body sprint for 20 seconds. You need to maintain good form throughout the sprint in order to do this workout correctly.

Rest for another 10 seconds, then use only your arms for 20 seconds. This period is followed by another 10-second rest, then a 20-second full-body sprint.

You’ll break the hardest sweat by repeating these steps two to three times.

3. Death By Calories

Building endurance and burning calories on rowing machines are made easy thanks to an exercise called Death by Calories.

You start by rowing for one minute with the goal of burning one calorie.

In the next minute, aim for two calories. With each minute, you add one extra calorie to burn.

Keep rowing until you reach a point where you can’t complete the number of reps needed before the minute finishes.

Some of you might get used to this workout slower than others, especially those who have either rarely used a rowing machine or are doing so for the first time.

However, over time, you will be able to build up speed and stay on the machine for longer periods.

4. 4 x 4 Minutes

One exercise that focuses on improving your heart rate is 4 x 4 minutes.

This option involves four four-minute intervals on the machine. Rest time in between each set is two minutes.

You should start at a moderately intense pace, and each set should be more intense than the last. The fourth and final set should leave you completely exhausted.

Follow up this workout with a five-minute break so that you have the energy for any other exercises you have planned at the gym.

5. Pyramids

Back to exercises that operate in patterns, Pyramids will also test how long you can go.

Your first rowing session lasts one minute, and then you rest one minute. The next session of rowing and resting lasts two minutes each.

You continue until the fourth, a four-minute session, then you go back down in time length for each session.

This option lasts a total of seven rounds, with the first and last of them lasting one minute.

By going up and down in how much time you spend rowing, you’ll be able to tell how consistent your form is.

6. 40 On/20 Off Rowing Machine Workouts

Maintaining your form and strength with rowing machines is also possible with the 40 On/20 Off exercise.

The first 40 seconds of this workout is spent rowing hard. You go easy for the next 20 seconds so that you have energy for the rest of this routine.

The total workout lasts for 10 minutes. It is wise to warm up for five minutes so that your body is ready to go for this time length.

A five-minute cool-down will help you relax, whether it’s the end of your time at the gym or the beginning.

Alternating between hard and easy rowing is a good way to build strength. Your muscles will be working out for a long period of time, but there will be enough time spent going light so that you don’t overdo it.

This is why we advise this workout for anyone looking for a more lean or muscular figure.

7. Lean Leapfrog

If you’ve got time on your hands and want to test how long you can last on a rowing machine, then we recommend the Lean Leapfrog.

This exercise lasts for 46 minutes, with the first 10 being a warm up.

The next 10 minutes alternate between one minute of sprinting and one minute of resting.

Follow this up with two minutes of resting, and then repeat for two more rounds.

With the Lean Leapfrog, developing muscle and endurance, as well as burning calories, is a piece of cake. Be sure to maintain your form for the best results.

8. 500m AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)

Some workouts are more fun if you can do them with a friend. In that case, you should bring a buddy to the gym and try the 500m AMRAP.

The routine includes one five-minute session of rowing and one five-minute session of any other workout exercises.

While one person is rowing, the other can be doing push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups or weight-lifting.

You can do this workout for as long as you want, as long as you two don’t completely drain yourselves.

A five-minute cool-down will provide you the energy needed for whatever exercises you have left on your schedule.

9. Power Tens

Some rowing routines  focus more on technique than intensity and endurance. A prime example of this is the Power Tens.

This workout makes sure that you are rowing with the right form more than anything else.

The first minute or two is spent going easy so that you are performing the stroke correctly.

After you stretch for a minute, each minute of rowing should include 10 strokes with high intensity.

Go easy towards the end of each minute. You can increase the intensity if you feel that you are maintaining your technique.

The total workout lasts 20 minutes, and you should have a good handle of the form by the end.

Our Take

Options for rowing machine workouts come in different forms. While some focus more on strength, endurance or form, others are able to maintain a balance in all factors.

We recommend trying at least several of them each week, perhaps doing two each day if you have the time.

Learn more about our rowing tips today so that you can obtain that figure you’ve been training for and keep feeling good throughout the day.

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