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Top 5 Rowing Machine Exercises

These exercise routines will keep a rowing machine workout from getting boring.

Exercise rowing machines can give you a good cardio workout, however if it is a machine that you use often, it can become monotonous.  Anytime an exercise becomes boring you risk slipping away from your exercise plan.  Good exercise plans should include variety.  If a rowing exercise machine is the only equipment that is available to you, finding a way to make your rowing exercise interesting and challenging will help you to keep up with your exercise plan.

Here are some ways that you can challenge yourself on exercise rowing machines:

Best Time

This is a simple endurance exercise.  Start with rowing 2000 meters (or a shorter length if you are new to exercise) as fast as you can.  Record your time and try to beat it each time you do this exercise.


Do 3 intervals of 500 meters each.  For each interval do the first 300 meters at a moderate pace; do the last 200 meters fast.  Push your boundaries in the last 200 meters, but make sure you are in control and keep good form.


Instead of focusing on speed, focus on distance.  Choose a challenging goal and record your time for it. Try to increase your distance once a week.

Muscle Groups

Do the first 10 minutes at a moderate pace that you can maintain easily.  In the next 10 minutes you will change your form to focus on different muscle groups.  For the first minute, you will focus on the overall back muscles by pulling the handle to your mid-section (a basic rowing technique). Next, focus on the middle back for 1 minute by pulling the handle to your chest. Then, for 1 minute, focus on the upper back and trapezius muscles by pulling the handle to your chin with your elbows held high.  For the next minute, pull the handle to your mid-section but with a reverse grip to isolate your lower lats. Finally, with a reverse grip, do bicep curls and pull the handle to your chin for 1 minute to give your arms individual attention.  Repeat the muscle groups one more time to give you a total of 10 minutes of muscle work.  Finish your workout with the last 10 minutes at a moderate pace.

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