Strive This 15-Minute Row Exercise for Energy and Conditioning Positive factors

If you’re anything like me, you can easily spend an hour lifting, but when it comes time for cardio, the thought of spending extended time doing it, well, sucks. Being alone with your thoughts, lungs burning, and sweating without a barbell in your hands, you’d rather go to the dentist for extended teeth cleaning.

Am I right? (You don’t have to answer.)

However, avoiding cardio altogether is not an option because of its many health benefits. It’s easy to forget that the heart is the most important muscle. So, how do we solve this challenge that I created?

High-intensity, low-impact cardio that delivers all the cardio benefits you need without the joint impact and from cutting too much into your recovery. Sounds like a win-win, correct? If you agree, you’ll love this 15-minute rowing machine workout. First, I will give a form refresher on row, its benefits, and the 15-minute workout that will leave you breathless.

How To Use an Indoor Rowing Machine

The key to indoor rowing is the setup to ensure a better technique.

Ensure you start with a neutral spine, upright posture, looking straight ahead, engaged core, feet tight in the straps, and extended arms. That is the starting position.

Then push strong with your legs, drive through your heels, and stop short of full knee extension.

When your legs are almost extended, lean back to create an angle of about 100 degrees between your torso and lower body, then pull with your arms.

Start the pull before you lean back.

Then reverse the order to return to the starting position, extend your arms, lean your torso forward, and bend your knees and hips.

Rowing Machine Benefits

The primary benefit of indoor rowing is it’s not running. Sorry, not sorry. Besides getting your heart rate up, there are a few significant of using the rowing machine for cardio.

Full Body Cardio: Let’s break down the muscle magic:


From your quads to your glutes, your legs power the beginning of the stroke.

Upper Back And Lats:

Think of your back muscles as you are really pulling the oars through the water— strong lats, upper back, and traps are essential.

Arms and Shoulders:

Your legs will not be the only ones pulling; your arms and shoulders will also be involved.


Your anterior and posterior core keep you stable and strong through each row.

Easy on the Joints:

One of the best parts? It’s low-impact. You get the heart-pumping benefits of a great cardio workout without beating down your joints. And according to physical therapist  Dr. Bo Babenko, DPT, it may be your safest bang for your buck.

“Rowing machines are an excellent way to get motion with minimal joint impact. If you think of the rowing movement pattern, it’s similar to a squat/deadlift, which gets the ankles and knees. Hips and spine to all open up.”

Mix It Up: A rowing machine spices things up. It’s perfect for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions or a long, steady burn. Either way, you get a top-notch cardio workout that hits all major muscle groups.

Aurora Photos / Getty

15-Minute Cardio Rowing Machine Workout

It’s your lucky day because I have not one but two cardio workouts for your sweating pleasure.

Workout One: All Out Sprint

The 40-second HIIT interval is over; you should have almost nothing left. That’s why you need a two-minute rest.

  1. 40 seconds fast
  2. 20 seconds slow
  3. 2-minute rest.

Repeat for five rounds.

Workout Two: The Ladder

After a minute warm-up, you perform an ascending and descending ladder set for 12 minutes and then cool down for two minutes. Here’s how it will go,

One Minute warm-up.

  1. 10 power strokes, 10 slow strokes
  2. 20 power strokes, 20 slow strokes
  3. 30 power strokes, 30 slow strokes
  4. 30 power strokes, 30 slow strokes
  5. 20 power strokes, 20 slow strokes
  6. 10 power strokes, 10 slow strokes

That’s one round. You should have time for two to three rounds, depending on your fitness level.

Two-minute cool down and then collapse.


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