Rowing your way to fitness

submitted by Bowling Green Athletic Club

So you’ve made it through a few spin classes, but you’re still looking to add in another alternative to cardio. Let’s see… Option 1 could be walking on the treadmill at an incline for 30 minutes. Option 2, you could climb the dreaded Stairmaster for 20 minutes. Or Option 3, you could have a seat on a Rower and row for 15 minutes and burn the same amount, if not more, of calories. Option 3 is sounding pretty good, especially if time is limited.

Rowing is a low-impact and easy-to-learn movement that also provides you with some resistance training, which makes it a great total body workout. When rowing, 60% of the movement comes from your legs while 20% comes from your core followed by the remaining 20% from your arms. We call this the 3×3. Performing this movement in that specific order will help in preventing injuries and generate as much power as possible from each pull.

As you are sitting in the Rower, to execute the rowing movement, you’ll want to start by pushing back and through with your legs. Again, this is where the majority of the power comes from so really dig in with your heels. Once your legs are extended, begin to lean back at your hips, which will activate your core. Your body should move to about a 120-degree angle as you lean back. The final movement is to pull the bar to right around the center of your rib cage while keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. You then follow this same pattern back to the starting position. An easy way to remember this is to think Legs-Core-Arms-Arms-Core-Legs. Once you get the hang of that at a slower pace you can begin to really push some power through the legs and get your pressure number (your speed) consistent.

Below is some general information about how you can gauge your efforts on a row machine. This is based on the Water Rowers we have here at the Club.

Pressures (Your Speed):

24 – Feels easy, but connected

26 – Feels challenging, but comfortable

28 – Feels very hard, but still aerobic

Split times breakdowns: The time it takes you to complete 500 meters.

2:45 minutes per 500 meters = fairly slow

2:10 minutes per 500 meters =moderate

1:30 minutes per 500 meters =fast

Here are a few workouts to get you started. I’ve included modifications…

Workout 1: Endurance Pyramid (5K or 10K)

All done at pressure 26. Extended rest time can be added for a modification.

250-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

250-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

1,000-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

(5K point)

2000-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

250-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

500-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

1,000-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

2,000-meter row

Break 1-2 minutes

Workout 2: Speed

To be done at a 28 pressure or higher. You must beat your time every round before you can advance to the next level. Rest 1-3 minutes between each round.

Level 1: 3 rounds of 50-meter sprints

Level 2: 3 rounds of 100-meter sprints

Level 3: 3 rounds of 250-meter sprints

Workout 3: Combination: Fat Burning

The first row of each round should be kept at a 26 pressure while the sprint should be no lower than a 28 pressure.

Round 1: 500-meter row directly followed by 50-meter sprint

Rest 2 minutes

Round 2: 250-meter row directly followed by a 100-meter sprint

Rest 2 minutes

Round 3: 150-meter row directly followed by a 150-meter sprint

Rest and repeat for as many rounds as desired

Need a little more guidance? Stop by and try one of our Row Classes held every Monday and Wednesday night at 5:45 p.m.

*Please reserve a spot in advance as these classes fill up quickly and we can only accommodate up to 10 people per class. Visit www.bgathleticclub.com or call 270-282-0749 for info.

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