Row Machine Workouts for Beginners
Row machine workouts may look intimidating, but they are very fun to do. Don’t let the fear of trying out a new machine scare you away from finally falling in love with your cardio workout. We have put together some tips to help you develop a rowing machine training program for beginners so that you can feel confident as you glide through your next workout.
Keep reading as we outline some tips on row machine workouts for beginners.
If you are new to rowing machine workouts, you should start the exercise slowly. By rowing slowly, you can warm up your body and make sure that you are keeping proper form, which is always essential when completing a row machine workout for beginners. Start with your feet on the pads in the front of the machine, strapped in at the widest part of your foot. Bend your legs so that you are forward on the machine and keep your back straight and shoulders away from your ears. Start your row by pushing back with your legs, and when you start to feel the resistance level, pull the cable with your arms all of the way back to your body. You will then return to your starting position in a slow and controlled manner. Try and stay between 20 and 25 strokes per minute for this section making sure that you are maintaining control the entire time. If you feel like your cable is moving up and down as you do this exercise, take note and try to stabilize the cable a little more every time, keeping your core engaged and posture aligned.
There are several ways that you can complete a low-impact row machine workout for beginners. We suggest choosing from the following to begin:
Your rowing machine will measure the distance you row. If you are a beginner, try and row between 250 and 500 meters, rest for 30 seconds to one minute, and then do it again. If you keep track of your time, you can try and beat this with each new row. For some people, it could take two minutes to complete 500 meters. If that is the case for you, make it a goal to get below two minutes the next time you exercise on the rowing machine. Attempt to finish the 250 to 500-meter row three to five times and then cool down and end your workout session. As you get better, you can add distance and time to your row to make sure that you are pushing yourself to the best of your ability.
Similar to distance, you can track yourself by using time. After your warm up, try and row for one to two minutes at your max pace without stopping. Keep track of how far you went while doing so. Rest for 30 seconds to one minute and then try to beat that distance in the same amount of time. Do this three to five times and then cool down. By moving at your max pace, you will easily be able to track your results over time, and may even get some motivation when you see how much further you can go in one minute after just a few attempts at the machine.
Another great way to start an indoor rowing workout is by completing intervals. An interval you may want to try is a distance interval. After completing your warmup, try and row 200 meters at your max pace. Take a break, and then try for 300 meters, take a break, and then 400 all the way to 500 meters and work your way back down to 200. This is a great way to test your limits and maybe even push yourself beyond where you thought you could go. If you need a little more, you can work your way up to 1000 meters and beyond!
Similar to the warmup you want to allow your body to cool back down. Check your monitor and get between 20 to 25 strokes per minute and stay there for three to five minutes. Then, pat yourself on the back because you’ve just completed a difficult rowing workout! Get ready to enjoy the rowing machine benefits coming your way.
There you have it, a few ways to complete a rowing machine workout as a beginner. This diverse machine can get you into tip-top shape because it utilizes many different muscle groups throughout your body, so if you want to learn more, head to a Team Training session where a Coach will be able to correct your form and guide you through a rowing cardio workout as a part of some of the cardio routines. We also have rowing machines in the cardio section of all of our locations. So stop by and give it a try! It might become your favorite way to finish your cardio workouts.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- Cooper, Edward. “This 20-Minute Rowing Workout Strips Fat And Builds Lean Muscle.” Men’s Health. 7 January, 2021. https://www.menshealth.com/uk/fitness/a758565/this-20-minute-rowing-workout-strips-fat-and-builds-lean-muscle/
- “How Long Should You Work Out On A Rowing Machine?” Hydrow. 14 December, 2020. https://hydrow.com/blog/how-long-should-you-workout-on-a-rowing-machine-2/
- “15-Minute Rowing Workout Perfect for Beginners.” Anytime Fitness. https://www.anytimefitness.com/ccc/workouts/15-minute-rowing-workout-perfect-for-beginners/
- Kamb, Steve. “How to Use a Rowing Machine (Beginner’s Workout).” Nerd Fitness. Updated 18 January, 2022. https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/how-to-use-a-rowing-machine/