Rowing For Strength and Conditioning

Rowing for strength and conditioning is a great exercise.  It’s non weight bearing so it’s easy on the joints – knees, back, shoulders.  You can really crank out some great workouts using a rower.  One of my favorites is:

  • Row 500 meters in less than 2 minutes / rest 30 seconds
  • Row 400 meters in less than 1 1/2 meters / rest 30 seconds
  • Row 300 meters as fast as possible / rest 30 seconds
  • Row 200 meters as fast as possible / rest 15 seconds
  • Row 100 meters as fast as possible / Done

The whole workout takes less than 7 minutes and tests your cardio, builds strength in your back, and works your core.  If you live near the lake like we do in Lago Vista, Texas then you can look out at the lake for an added effect.

One of the most complete cardiovascular exercises around has to be rowing. A proper workout on a rowing machine will tone all of the major muscle groups
such as your legs, back and arms.

There are lots of different machines available on the market. Although they generally fall into 2 categories:

-Water rowers

-Air rowers

The water rower, which contrary to their namesake, does not end up in you getting wet after a vigorous workout. The machines are very beautifully designed and use enclosed water and paddles for resistance as opposed to air. These rowers tend to be quieter than air rowers and are just as much works of art as they are exercise machines.

Then we have the concept 2 rower. There are many other brands available but this piece of machinery is commonly accepted to be one of the best, if not the best. They are engineering masterpieces and are all calibrated to the same standard. So, if you do a certain time on a concept 2 rower, you can rest assured that, that time will be replicated exactly on another concept 2 machine. This is the reason why the world indoor rowing championships use the concept 2.

The information that the display monitors show on the concept 2 is extensive, with the new monitors even being able to be plugged into a PC, so you can race
with other rowers from all around the world.

Technology makes exercise interactive and for me, fun.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to grind out the workouts too but when you have the option to race someone via the display monitor on the rower, what’s cooler than that?

Rowing burns lots of calories and the rower can be used as a station in a workout. For instance, the Crossfit style workout called “Fight Gone Bad”.  Set up 5 stations:

  1. Rowing
  2. Box Jumps
  3. Push Press
  4. Slam Ball
  5. Kettlebell Sumo High Pulls

= 1 round

Scott Doing Box Jumps

Work for 60 seconds at each station  – rest as needed.  Count the reps and the calories burned on the rower. The reps and calories are then your points.  See how many points you can score in 3 rounds. Rest 60 seconds in between each round (not each station).

This makes for an incredibly intense workout that will have you gassed in a good way.

– Scott

Scott York is a fitness expert, author, trainer and speaker in the fitness industry.  For personal training, online training or media requests, please contact him here.



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