Rowing Machine Training Program: Complete Guide To Doing A Workout

Having a good rowing machine available allows you to plan workouts that combine endurance , cardiovascular exercise and maintaining perfect physical shape , helping the body to burn excess calories. Let’s see together what a good rowing machine training program could be.


Warm-up and preparation phase

Starting to perform the exercises with the cold rowing machine could lead to the risk of contractures and muscle pain. A good warm-up phase will undoubtedly help prevent these problems.

 The preparation phase to be performed before starting the exercises with the rowing machine does not require an excessive warm-up. 20 push-ups and some free body stretching exercises will be enough to get on the rowing machine in excellent shape and ready to start the actual workout.


Choose the settings that suit you best

Setting the correct level of resistance is one of the fundamental elements to be able to obtain the maximum benefits from your rowing exercises. If you are approaching this type of training for the first time , setting a light resistance will help you not to put too much strain on your muscles.

Most rowers commercially available today have resistance levels from 1 to 10 . Choosing a value of 2 or 3 might be the best choice to start with. Some models also have a function that allows you to set the distance . Also in this case, if you are a beginner, avoid over-straining your body with distances greater than 150 meters.


Rowing machine training program for beginners

When you start doing the first rowing exercises it is important not to strain your body too much. You should start with short , less intense sessions , and then increase the level of performance as time passes.

 The first training sessions for the less experienced could include about ten minutes of light rowing to be followed by five minutes at a faster pace. Finally, return to light rowing for another ten minutes, followed by five minutes of stretching.

  • 5 minutes stretching
  • 10 minutes light rowing (level 1 to 3)
  • 5 minutes of fast rowing, maintaining the same level.
  • 5 minutes stretching

Another very simple workout could be performed with series for beginners, i.e. 12 rowing strokes with resistance levels from 1 to 3 . This will be repeated 3 times with a one minute pause between one series and the next.


Intermediate rowing exercise program

If, on the other hand, you are not a beginner, or if you have been training with the program reserved for the less experienced for a few weeks, you can start thinking about moving to a more demanding level . If you’ve already gotten a little bit of familiarity with your rowing machine it’s time to move on to those exercises that will allow you to sculpt your muscles.

A good exercise might include an initial five minutes of stretching , followed by ten minutes of light rowing . After these warm-up exercises you can move on to seven minutes of intense rowing , followed by two specific exercises for the pectorals, for the shoulders, for the biceps or for the triceps.

 The latter must be alternated in the various sessions. Don’t forget that with the rowing machine you can train all the muscles of your body. The frequency with which to train should include at least three sessions per week.

  • 5 minutes stretching
  • 10 minutes light rowing (level 4 to 6)
  • 8 minutes of fast rowing, maintaining the same level.
  • 5 minutes stretching
  • repeat 4 times with pauses

Exercises with the advanced rowing machine

Even the handling exercises provide a frequency of three times a week . Start with the usual five minutes of stretching to warm up your muscles, then give yourself ten minutes of light rowing . Once the first ten minutes have passed, you can move on to rowing with heavy resistance , to be maintained for about 10/15 min

At this point you can devote yourself to the various points to sculpt , with three exercises of fifteen minutes each that will affect the pectorals , biceps , triceps or shoulders . These specific exercises for each area of the body must be performed alternately in the various workouts. After doing them, go back to ten minutes of rather intense rowing , avoiding maximum effort, and then finish your session with five minutes of light rowing.

  • 5 minutes stretching
  • 15 minutes light rowing (level 7 to 9)
  • 12 minutes of fast rowing, maintaining the same level.
  • 5 minutes stretching
  • repeat 4 times with pauses


If you are not experienced in using the rowing machine and have never had to deal with such exercises, we recommend that you follow the instructions of a professional personal trainer or your doctor, who will surely be able to guide you.

 However the exercises you have read are just an example of how to use the rowing machine. They may not be exercises suitable for your physique or you may have problems of any kind. Better to avoid unnecessary risks, follow a professional. Therefore we are relieved of any responsibility.

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