Get up and row

Hop off the treadmill and onto the rower for a seven-minute cardio session that works the entire body.

By Joe Wuebben

In commercial gyms there are at least 20 treadmills for every one rower – this inequity needs to stop. Made famous by CrossFit, as the rower is often incorporated into various WODs, this hellish machine taxes your whole body, promotes fat loss and enhances overall conditioning.

It’s time to dust off your gym’s rower for a full-body cardio workout that can fit into any bodybuilding-style regimen.

“The rower is one of the most efficient exercise machines,” says CrossFit athlete Brian Strump. “With each stroke, your upper body, lower body, arms, legs and core are putting in the hard work.”

With varying degrees of resistance, the rower can be included in your workout for an added strength component. Or use it as an alternative to running if you have lower-extremity issues and are looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Incorporating the rower into an existing program is easy, too. Just tag it in wherever you’d normally do cardio, whether after a lifting session or in a separate conditioning/cardio-focused workout.

Of course, rowing can also be integrated into the meat of a lifting session, but if you’re new to the machine, get acclimated to it at first with the below rowing HIIT routine.