Workouts

The Rowing Machine and Strength Training Circuit to Switch Up Your Routine

Torch calories and tone up with this high-octane workout that alternates cardio training and strength moves.

Rowing Machine
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For a high-intensity full-body workout, hop on a rower. “Rowing targets 85% of your muscles with every stroke, especially your quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, and the entire core,” says Annie Mulgrew, a trainer at CityRow in New York City. Add on resistance moves between rowing intervals as an active recovery that will increase the calorie burn while building lean muscle.

Newcomers to rowing should focus first on form, says Mulgrew. Start with arms fully extended, leaning forward with shoulders just in front of hips, back flat, and core engaged. Keeping your back straight and abs engaged, drive your legs back until almost straight, then bring torso upright and slightly back, bending elbows to drive handle to chest, arms slightly away from ribs. Reverse the movement, straightening arms until almost fully extended, then hinging torso forward and bending knees. Once you have your form down, adds Mulgrew, you can focus on increasing power and stroke rate.

How to Do It

Warmup:

  • Row 500 meters at an easy pace.

Row Intervals:

“The goal for these one- minute pushes is to keep your split time consistent. As your stroke rate decreases, increase the amount of power in your stroke to achieve that consistent split. For each one-minute push, the amount of distance covered should be the same,” says Mulgrew.

  • 1-minute row at 28 SPM (strokes per minute)
  • 1-minute row at 26 SPM
  • 1-minute row at 24 SPM
  • 1-minute row at 22 SPM
  • 1-minute row at 20 SPM

In between the rowing intervals, do:

  • 10 biceps curls
  • 10 overhead presses
  • 10 triceps extensions
  • Rest 30 seconds, then hit the next rowing interval

Final circuit:

  • 8-minute EMOM (every minute on the minute).

EMOM Directions: “At the top of each minute, row 100 meters at 28 SPM, then perform five pushups. The quicker you can get the rowing and pushups done, the more time you’ll have to rest before the top of the next minute. This should definitely deliver that cardio high!” says Mulgrew.

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