When we heard about those trendy indoor-rowing group fitness classes, our first thought was: “That could be fun.” Immediately followed by: “That could be really boring.”
We were wrong. If you haven’t tried one of these exercise classes, know this before heading into the studio: You’re not sitting and rowing for 45 minutes straight. When we tried a workout at CityRow in NYC, we alternated between intervals on the row machine, cardio and strength-training exercises off the rower, and even tag-team partner sprints (one person held a plank while the other rowed a certain distance; then, we swapped).
Basic rowing is a killer total-body workout, which is enough of a reason to love the studio classes. But, there are also plenty of ways to mix up how you actually row, explains Annie Mulgrew, CityRow’s director of programming. This way, you can incorporate even more muscles — plus help prevent complete monotony.
“We alternate between speed drills (sprints and recoveries), power drills (concentrating on strong pushes with the legs and handlebar pulls), and isolations (pulling and releasing the handlebar to the torso while keeping the legs extended),” Mulgrew continues. These are all methods you can incorporate into your own rowing workout, even if you decide not to try a group fitness class. “We also change the grip on the handlebar (underhand, one hand over and one under, etc.),” adds Annie. It's rowing, remixed.