Looking for a Rowing Machine Workout? Try These 3 Workouts

Are you looking for an exercise regimen that offers full-body engagement, is low impact, and has high-calorie burn potential? Then, a rowing machine workout might just be your golden ticket to fitness!

Rowing machines, often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the gym, are finally stepping into the limelight.

They offer an incredible, all-encompassing workout, targeting both strength and cardiovascular conditioning.

But not all workouts are the same, so we are going to help give you some ideas of workouts to try and maximise your results.


Why are Rowing Machine Workouts So Effective?

The beauty of a rowing machine is its capacity for whole-body engagement.

It works your legs, core, and upper body all at once. Additionally, it offers great cardio, making it an all-star player in any fitness routine.

With a rowing machine workout, you're combining strength training and aerobic exercise.

Rowing machine Workout in progress


The rowing stroke is divided into four main parts: the catch, drive, finish, and recovery. Each of these stages engages different muscle groups, providing a well-rounded workout.

Related: Common Rowing Machine Mistakes to Avoid

Also, you can adapt your workouts to focus on different Whether you're a fitness newbie, an elderly individual, or a seasoned athlete, you can tailor the workout to suit your fitness level.


Maximising Your Workout

Before you get started it is important to consider the following points to get the most out of your rower:

1. Get Your Form Right

Your workout will be more efficient if you maintain proper form while rowing. Ensure your back is straight, and your strokes are smooth and controlled.


2. Vary Your Workouts

Keep your workouts interesting and your body guessing by changing up your rowing routine. Try interval training, endurance workouts, or pyramid training.


3. Gradually Increase Intensity

Aim for progression. Increase your resistance level gradually, ensuring that your body adapts and becomes stronger over time.

Related: test your progress with benchmark testing workouts using a rowing machine.


Rower Workout


Workout 1: Rowing Machine Workout for Beginners

If you're new to rowing, start slow and focus on getting the movement right. Here is a simple beginner workout that you can use to practice your movement and improve your fitness:



5 minutes: Warm-up - Row at a comfortable pace.


Working Sets

15 minutes: Main set - Row for 1 minute at a moderately hard pace, then for 2 minutes at a comfortable pace. Repeat this 5 times.


Cool Down

5 minutes: Row slowly and stretch to prevent muscle stiffness.


Remember, it's not about how fast you go initially. Concentrate on rowing correctly and getting comfortable using the rower to maximise efficiency and prevent injury.

Workout 2: Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Workout

A LISS workout is a great way to build endurance and burn fat. It involves maintaining a low intensity level over a longer workout period.

Here's a LISS rowing workout:



5 minutes: Row at a comfortable pace.


Main Set

40 minutes:  Row at 50-60% of your maximum effort. To give you an idea of the intensity, you should be able to carry a conversation comfortably at this pace.


Cool Down

5 minutes: Row slowly and finish with some light stretching.



Interval workout

Workout 3: High-Intensity Interval Training HIIT Rowing Workout

HIIT workouts are excellent for improving cardiovascular fitness, building strength, and burning calories. They involve alternating between high-intensity bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense rowing intervals.



5 minutes: Row at a comfortable pace.


Working Sets

20 minutes: Row for 1 minute at 90-100% of your maximum effort, then for 1 minute at a comfortable pace. Repeat this 10 times.


Cool Down

5 minutes: Row slowly to bring your heart rate down using active recovery and then stretch.


Remember, always consult your doctor or a fitness professional before starting any new workout regimen.

Ensure you're maintaining correct form throughout your workout, and listen to your body.

Cool Down


The Takeaway

A rower is a fantastic way to work out multiple muscle groups, burn calories, and improve cardiovascular health. By focusing on your form and varying your workouts, you can get the most out of this underrated fitness tool.

Don’t be a stranger to the rower in your gym. Instead, embrace this full-body workout and be prepared to see results faster than you might think. Your fitness journey starts with a single stroke!

You're now equipped to make the most out of your rowing workouts. Take the plunge, start rowing, and watch your fitness level soar to new heights!

If you would like to have a rowing machine at home, make sure to checkout our top 10 list of rowing machines. This will help make sure you get the right one for you.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.