Rowing exercises are among the best cardio workouts in existence, as the rowing machine can engage the user’s back, legs, arms and the core, delivering a full-body workout experience. But we have to admit that all of this can be a little bit confusing for the beginners, especially if they’ve never used this kind of fitness equipment before. But have no worries – we’re here to help you with three rowing machine workouts for the beginners – read on and learn how to properly engage your muscles without getting too much strain on them.

The warm-up

Before we begin, we’d like to show you how to set up your rowing machine and how to prepare your body for the workout. Check out these steps:

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Adjust the footstraps – it’s of crucial importance to put the straps over the balls of your feet. If you don’t do this correctly, an improper leg position will undoubtedly lead to you taking awkward and inefficient strokes, and you don’t want that to happen.

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Check the monitor – this thing can give you valuable feedback during your workout sessions, and you should learn what kind of information each of the readouts gives you. For the beginning, keep an eye out on the watts and the stroke rate readouts.

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Warm up the legs – bend your knees so that the seat rolls close to the flywheel, but not all the way to the end. Extend the arms past the feet while grasping the handle, and then reverse the whole motion, finishing it with pulling the arms into the chest. Just like the previous exercise, repeat this one for two minutes.

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Inspect the damper setting – in most of the cases, this is a plastic lever which controls the amount of air in the flywheel. For the beginners, it is recommended to put this setting between four and six.

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Reach your feet with hands – while keeping your legs and back as straight as possible, try extending the arms away from the body and touch your feet. Repeat this for about two minutes.

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Do some full strokes – complete full strokes in a slow way for four additional minutes.

Now that you’ve set up your rowing machine and prepared your body with this simple warm-up program, you can try one of these three workouts for the beginners:

warm-up

#1 – 30/30 Rowing Workout (38 minutes)

The 30/30 is a great workout if you’re short on time – it consists of short, high-intensity intervals that are guaranteed to make you sweat.

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Warm-up: 10 minutes easy rowing

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First interval: 30 seconds of (max effort) sprint, 30 seconds of resting. Repeat for five rounds. 2 minutes air squats.

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Second interval: 30 seconds of (max effort) sprint, 30 seconds of resting. Repeat for five rounds. 2 minutes of push-ups.

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Third interval: 30 seconds of (max effort) sprint, 30 seconds of resting. Repeat for five rounds. 2 minutes air squats.

#2 – Pyramid Rowing Workout (42 minutes)

The same amount of time for rowing and resting doesn’t make this one easy – it can be challenging, but it can also greatly improve your consistency and endurance.

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Warm-up: 10 minutes easy rowing

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First interval: 1 minute of rowing, 1 minute of resting

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Second interval: 2 minutes rowing, 2 minutes resting

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Third interval: 3 minutes of rowing, 3 minutes of resting

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Fourth interval: 4 minutes of rowing, 4 minutes of resting

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Fifth interval: 3 minutes rowing, 3 minutes of resting

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Sixth interval: 2 minutes of rowing, 2 minutes of resting

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Seventh interval: 1 minute of rowing, 1 minute of resting

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#3 – Leapfrog Rowing Workout (46 minutes)

This workout is certain to exert your muscles and make them produce lactate, which will leave you with those feel-good burns. Compete with yourself and increase your endurance and power output!

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Warm-up: 10 minutes of easy rowing

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First interval: 1 minute of resting, 1 minute of resting X 5

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Repeat this for three rounds, while trying to beat meters rowed in each sprint.

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Recovery time between rounds: 2 minutes

Wrapping this up

These simple workouts should help you prepare for the serious stuff – practice them as much as you can and you’ll begin to see the much-wanted results very soon!
If you don’t have a rowing machine, check out our top 5.