Rowing machine training plan for beginners & advanced users

When working out with a rowing machine, mainly the large back muscles (lat. Latissimus), the trapezius muscles and the lower back area are trained. Furthermore, pushing off with the legs puts a lot of strain on the thighs and calves, which makes rowing a balanced full-body workout.

The entry into rowing training

With our rowing machine training plan, we primarily want to make it  easier for beginners to get started with indoor rowing . It does not matter whether you use an ergometer with a sophisticated water resistance , such as the  WaterRower Oak ,  WaterRower Ash , First Degree Fitness Viking Pro Rower , or one with air resistance from Concept2 or Finnlo. The test winner among the Finnlo Aquon rowing machines is the  Finnlo Aquon Evolution ,  However, the other Finnlo Aquon rowing machines can also convince with their first-class quality. The Aquon devices were specially developed by Olympic champions for successful indoor rowing. The most important thing for a successful rowing machine exercise program is your motivation ( intrinsic motivation) . Once this is available, our balanced training plan ensures that you will not lose your fun. If you take over at the beginning of the training or use the wrong technique, especially when rowing, the initial desire will quickly evaporate. My pulse rate wants you to enjoy rowing training with the right rowing technique in the long term and therefore has a rowing machine  training plan for beginners for you  developed.

Are you already well informed about the training techniques with the rowing machine and are you more interested in the product itself? If you are interested in buying a device, you can go directly to our top selection of rowing machines in our shop .

What does a rowing machine bring me?

Compared to other exercise bikes such as the treadmill or cross trainer, the rowing machine has the following advantage:
Rowing machines are indoor fitness machines for the whole body. Rowing machines are not only limited to your strength or endurance training, but it is a matter of strength / endurance training. Rowing machines not only improve your endurance / cardio, but also strengthen your muscle development at the same time  . In the course of rowing machine training you not only strain  your back and stomach, but also up to 85% of your muscles in the entire body  and is therefore an effective rowing training that trains all main muscle groups:


  • Shoulder muscles
  • Upper arm muscles (biceps & triceps)
  • Finger muscles (finger flexors)
  • Back muscles (latissimus)
  • Abdominal muscles (six-pack)
  • Buttocks muscles
  • Thigh muscles
  • Knee muscles (knee flexors)
  • Lower leg muscles (calves)
  • Calf muscles
  • Foot muscles (longitudinal and transverse arches)

Due to the many different muscles used, your  calorie consumption is  correspondingly high. With a one-hour strength training, you consume between  400 kcal  (kilocalories) with light rowing and  800 kcal  (kilocalories) with high stress. In addition, unlike, for example, when running, your joints are not exposed to bumps or sudden changes in direction. The  even movements  protect your joints . With our rowing machine training plan you not only protect yourself from joint injuries, but also achieve the goals of your rowing training. No matter whether you  improve your endurance, support your  muscle building  or Want to lose weight  .

Do I just row on it with my rower?

Are you an  inexperienced athlete  or have you  suffered injuries , particularly to your back or knees? Then you should always consult a sports doctor before starting your fitness training   . Competitive athletes, on the other hand, usually know their bodies very well themselves and know what they are capable of. Nevertheless, it also applies to these that they  always heal injuries before rowing . The water braking system is a braking system that is particularly gentle on the joints. But if you prefer an air resistance system to the braking system, the Finnlo Aquon devices are ” Aquon Pro ” and ” Aquon Evolution“A great alternative. If you have never exercised on a rowing machine, a  personal briefing from  a fitness specialist is recommended before you start alone from home. The Mein Pulsschlag Team also offers you such an individual introduction to this rowing machine training program

How do I measure my pulse?

Indoor rowing machines usually have a  heart rate receiver . After you have connected this wirelessly to a  chest strap  , the console of the rowing ergometer shows you your pulse. You can easily determine your  personal maximum exposure, the maximum heart rate or HRmax for short, using the following formula:

HRmax = 220 – age

Thus, an average 40-year-old man has a maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute. For an effective rowing workout, your pulse fluctuates between 50% and a maximum of 75% of your maximum pulse. In the example of the 40-year-old man, this means a lower pulse limit of 90 beats per minute and an upper pulse limit of 135 beats per minute. 

What should you watch out for in rowing training?

The most important thing in any fitness training is the  right technique . It is no different with rowing ergometers. If you use a rower incorrectly, you not only lose the desire to exercise quickly, but also damage your body in the long term instead of training it effectively. This rowing machine training plan explains the correct rowing technique.

How do I use the rowing machine correctly?

When doing rowing machine training, it is important to  maintain an upright posture  . Never bend your back too much forwards or backwards. You can support this upright posture by looking for a fixed point on the wall in front of you at head height, for example  . You will never let this out of your sight during your training. To make the whole thing more entertaining and at the same time to distract from the exertion, enjoy watching TV while exercising. The  straps  of the footboard can be customized to your foot and thus to your height  adjust . An indoor rower model is a fitness device that is suitable for young and old. Always tighten the foot strapsso your feet don’t slip out during exercise. When it comes to rowing, it is of secondary importance whether you grip them from above or below. While you specifically train your biceps with the  grip from below, the upper grip strengthens your triceps (+ latissimus muscles / back area ). For simplicity, beginners start with the top grip. Your  hips are in line with your knees and feet . This means that your knees never lean in or out too much. To prevent your arms and legs from hindering each other as you move forward, move  your arms forward first before bending your legs. If you follow all the instructions, you can get started with your indoor rower and our rowing machine training program will give you great pleasure.

What are the most common mistakes when rowing with the WaterRower?


  • incorrect arm-knee coordination
  • no hip / knee / foot axis
  • Hunchback
  • strong supine position
  • tense neck
  • Elbows not close to the torso
  • Bent hand
  • loose foot straps

How does the movement work?

Even if there are indoor rowers with different resistance systems, the rowing technique used in rowing machine training is the same. It can be divided into two phases, the  recovery phase  and the  pull phase . Breathe  During  a recovery phase , and then in the  exhale pull phase again . At first, the individual movements may seem a bit wooden, but with experience your movement becomes more fluid. Paradoxically, you begin your rowing exercise during the recovery period.

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