Rowing Works 84% of Your Muscles—Here Are 5 Moves to Add to Your Gym Routine

Photo:

Stocksy

The first time I took a rowing machine workout class was a few weeks ago at the buzzy L.A. studio LIT Method, and if I'm being 100% honest here, it was mainly because it's frequented by many members of the reality television show Vanderpump Rules, and I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Stassi or Jax. While I, unfortunately, walked away without a single celeb sighting, I did in fact experience one of the most intense, challenging, and sweatiest workouts of my life—and that's coming from someone who's attended more than 350 classes on her ClassPass membership.

Rowing is an amazing cardiovascular exercise that boosts metabolism and burns tons of calories (even hours after you've finished your workout), but for whatever reason, it tends to fly under the radar. And with rowing machines in nearly every gym and fitness center, it's an easy workout to incorporate into your routine, whether you attend a class or try some moves on your own.

After finishing class—and experiencing some well-earned muscle soreness (hello, CBD)—I immediately knew I wanted to reach out to the owners of LIT Method (also known as the SoulCycle of rowing) to find out exercises I should try on my own to continue to reap the benefits of a rowing workout. Keep scrolling for five moves to try.

Tabata Sprints

Photo:

Lit Method

"Rowing sprints are not only a low-impact exercise but also provide an extreme form of cardio," LIT Method's co-founder Taylor Norris tells us. Here's a fun fact for you: One single stroke on the rower works 84% of your muscles. "Tabata sprints are very effective and should be performed at 20 seconds on with a 10-second recovery."

Bicep Curls

Photo:

Lit Method

There's a common misconception, that I certainly believed, that rowing workouts only consist of sitting on the machine and rowing until the hour is complete. But similar to cycling classes, many rowing workouts incorporate moments of active recovery that are often filled with weights or toning exercises. Taylor suggests adding a round of bicep curls into your rowing routine. "To create the most resistance as possible, extend your legs. Keep your core engaged and elbows locked at 90 degrees."

Side-to-Side Rows

Photo:

Lit Method

Looking to work on those abs? Try side-to-side rows. "This move is perfect for engaging your core and elevating your heart rate simultaneously. During your traditional row, you will add a slight twist during the end of your stroke and continue to switch directions throughout your row. This will really hit those obliques and transverse abdominals."

Single-Leg Reverse Lunge

Photo:

Lit Method

"This exercise is great for working your glutes, quads, core, and stabilizing muscles! Placing one foot on top of the rower seat, slowly lunge back until your front leg hits 90 degrees, and drive back up. Make sure your knee never goes past your toes during this movement."

Tricep Dips

Photo:

Lit Method

Time for some more active recovery, this time focusing on the triceps and shoulders. While this exercise is perfect for all levels, Taylor says that "if you want to increase the difficulty, extend your legs or take one off the floor."

Need something to sweat in? Keep scrolling to shop some of our favorite activewear looks.

These high-waisted leggings are comfortable to work out in but also great if you want to run errands or grab brunch post-workout.

No one wants to bring a purse to the gym, so opt for something like this fanny pack to easily hold your keys, wallet, and phone.

This mesh T-shirt is airy and breathable, perfect for even the sweatiest workouts.