Today, I have a rowing machine workout video for you guys! I’ve taken 5 CrossFit classes and not once has a coach ever told me how to actually row. Turns out, I’ve been doing it wrong all along! The girls next to me always beat me but I had no idea if I was doing it wrong or what I needed to change.

I also had a few clients and viewers ask me for cardio workouts they could do if they had lower body injuries. While I know rowing is a great alternative, I did not know what speeds or interval distance to recommend. I never had done a full rowing workout myself. I usually just use it like in CrossFit for a warm up.

Hate to run? This workout is for you. World Champion rower and Elite Ultra Endurance athlete Josh Crosby showed me how to perfect my form and gave me 2 additional interval workouts to share with you guys! Enjoy.

Workouts from the video:
Interval Workout #1

  • 30 sec at 24 strokes/minute (spm)
  • 30 sec at 28-30 strokes/minute (spm)
  • Repeat 5 times.

Record distance traveled. Repeat 5 minute interval and try to beat your distance!

Interval Workout #2

  • 2 min 24 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 26 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 1 min 28 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 24 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 26 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 1 min 28 strokes per minute (spm)
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • 2 min 24 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 26 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 1 min 28 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 24 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 2 min 26 strokes per minute (spm)
  • 1 min 28 strokes per minute (spm)

This is a 22 minute workout. If you want a longer cardio workout, repeat interval.

Try this workout today at the gym and upload an instagram photo as proof! Don’t forget to tag me @SarahFit 🙂


Rowing Machine Workout Video

About The Author


  • Sarah Fuhrmann

    Hey Sarah,

    So glad you’re having fun with rowing! It’s definitely a great workout, whether for cross training or as a primary piece of workout equipment (Have you tried the SkiErg yet?). Why did nobody teach you proper technique before? Probably because they didn’t know, which we see all over the country.

    That’s why we always encourage people to look for certified rowing instructors who have been trained to teach either in a group exercise or CrossFit setting. It’s the best way to know that you’re getting a workout that is efficient, effective, safe and fun.

    If you’re looking for more workouts that you can do either on the rowing machine alone or with other equipment, CrossFit style, check out the workouts page on our website. There are a ton there and we post more all the time:

    Row on!

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  • Rachel

    My coaches have definitely engrained this technique into me. So saying that after taking 5 free-trial CrossFit classes, no one ever showed you, is not really fair to them. They probably assumed that as a fitness professional, you knew how to row. Also, those free trial classes are meant to give you a taste of CrossFit, which is why during those one on ones, hey had you do baseline. I can imagine all of those places you dropped into for a class knew you were not coming back to be a member, so while they made sure you were being safe, they probably do not want to invest too much time into you versus their paying customers.

    Also, in either of your 5 classes, did you ever ask a coach to explain rowing to you? My guess is no. Because if you had, they probably would have been more than happy to tell you exactly what this guy did.

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  • Marc Possoff

    @ Sarah F I’m using a concept 2 rower and I just started. That is what I meant by setting, the damper setting. While I got you here since I’m just starting out I’m doing the 30 second increment’s. I’m using the concept 2 because I want to stay in shape. My first question is pertaining to the 30 second increment workout above. It says repeat the 2 sets of 30 second 5X. That means it is only a 5 minute workout. Doesn’t sound right? My second question is I can’t stroke 24, 28, 30 per minute. What do you suggest?


  • Robert

    That’s exactly what I was looking for! I’ve just bought my first rowing machine, a concept2, and it’s not as easy as I thought. But luckily the internet is always willing to help…! 🙂

  • David Nguyen

    I was very pleased to find this site. I am looking for rowing machine workout video. This article will help me easy to use a rowing machine. Thank you for sharing.

  • Andrew

    Great video! Rowing machines provide the best total-body workout of any cardio machine,” says U.S. Olympic rowing coach Mike Teti. This is because they require equal effort from both your lower and your upper body, which could lead to greater gains in overall cardiovascular fitness. Thanks for posting this.

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  • Karen Duschek

    Hi, good video. I am planning on buying a rowing machine but there are so many choices. I noticed that there are 2 types, i.e most have the “T-Bar” grip. However there is also the 2 handle type, (don’t know what it is called). Kettler has this type. It works with hydraulic pistons. It looks like it would imitate holding 2 oars. What would you suggest. I noticed that most machines are the T-bar type so was unsure.

  • M Jacky

    We all need to do workout everyday because what we eat that is not good for our health so we have to do physical workout to reduce calory, wight loss to be healthy. I use rowing machine which is very good for our daily workout it is very simple & all we can use this so I suggest rowing machine for doing daily workout.

  • Linda Nedilsky

    Great comments. I agree.. as a personal trainer, I have seen really poor form in the gym, and no one really explaining how to row without injury. Rowing on a machine verse on the water are like day and night. Two different techniques.
    As far as training goes, I love intervals, but base my intervals on my heart rate.. as I am in the process of trying to strengthen my 60 year old heart and lose 10 pounds of fat. I have a low heart rate, so it is challenging for me to get mine up to 105-110. Intervals work for me, but not by minutes, more like trying to keep my heart rate in the 105 range. I keep it up there for 15-20 minutes for maximum fat loss, then drop it down for 5 minutes.. then back up to 15 minutes of intense rowing then cool off for 5 minutes. My walking around heart rate is around 55-60.. my resting is 45-55. So you can see that I have do intensive constant rowing to keep it up around 105. As soon as I slow down, my heart drops down quickly. So I would say that it depends on the individual client, or person. If fat burning is what they want.. consistent rowing in the fat burning zone for 30 minutes is ideal. If it is endurance.. intervals are great.
    I have been rowing for 10 years now and prefer it over any other cardio machine.

  • Jordan Shinn

    Nice post, Sarah!

    It’s nice to see that rowing has been making a comeback in a big way lately. However, it’s no secret that it can get monotonous, so it’s important to mix it up. I like to recommend exercises like Tabatha Sprints, Pilates Reformers, Pyramids, and Death by Calories really help keep it fresh.

    Keep it up.

  • Joseph Browne

    It’s really true that Indoor rowing machines have come a long way and there are now a variety of sleek, highly-refined pieces of exercise equipment ready to get your cardio health on the upswing. Having a rower right there in your home can really be the push you need to get your muscles moving in a challenging yet comfortable way. Overall, rowing machines provide an outstanding way to increase fitness by burning calories and building muscle in a safe, low-impact way.

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