Unusual Workouts to Do Using a Rowing Machine

Rowing is a fantastic, full-body cardio workout with many benefits. But there are a number of different things that you can use the machine for, aside from the usual or crossfit rowing exercises. You can combine a few of the following moves, which focus on different muscle groups, for a truly all-encompassing workout. You should do around eight to ten repetitions of each exercise before moving to the next one. Complete the circuit three times and you’ll really feel the burn!

Upper Body Workouts With Rowing Machine

Marching Tricep Dip: Place your glutes and both hands on the rowing machine rail, with your fingers pointed towards you feet and hands just a bit more than shoulders-width apart. Straighten both arms in order to lift your glutes off the seat, whilst stepping your feet forward. Flex your feet and lift up onto your heels. You should aim to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears, whilst engaging your triceps as you bend your elbows and lower your butt towards the ground. As you do this, lift your right heel up off the ground and bring your right knee in to your chest

Single Leg Tricep Dip: As with the Marching Tricep Dip, place your glutes and hands shoulder-width apart on the rowing rail, with your fingers facing your feet and your hands. Straighten your arms and at the same time, lift your behind off the seat, stepping forward about 30-40cm. Flex your feet and come up onto your left heel as you extend your right leg and lift it up about 45 degrees from the floor. Keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears, and your right leg in the air, engage your triceps as you bend your elbows and lower your butt toward the ground. Pause, then push up through your palms to return to the starting position

Seated Bicep Curl: Start by sitting on the rowing machine seat with your feet attached to the straps. Take the handle in an underhand grip grabbing both ends and extend your legs, pushing the seat back. You will be holding the handle straight out in front of you at about chest height. Push your shoulders down away from your ears and lean back around 45 degrees. Do not drop your arms, engage your arms and bend at the elbows, bringing the bar towards your shoulders. Once you know how to use a rowing machine properly, you can try this exercise on your machine.

Core Workouts Using a Rowing Machine

Plank: Push the seat to the very front of the rower and straddle the rail with your back to the seat. Place your hands on the ground beyond the end of the rower rail with your palms around shoulder width apart. Place your toes on the seat and get into the plank position. Hold for sets of 30 seconds at a time

Plank Knee Tucks: As before, Push the seat to the front of the machine and straddle the rail with your back facing the seat. Place your palms on the ground just beyond the end of the rail with your hands about shoulders-width apart. Then place your toes on the seat to get into plank position. Your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists and your body should form a line between your head and your toes. Keeping your shoulders away from your ears, slide the seat toward your hands as you bring your knees into your chest. Pause, then release to starting position with control

Plank Pike-Ups With Push-Up: Push the seat to the front of the machine and straddle the rail with your back to the seat. Place your hands on the ground in front of the end of the rail, with your hands shoulders-width apart. Place your feet on the seat to get into plank position. At this point, your shoulders will be stacked over your wrists and your body should form a line between your head and your toes.

Maintaining this position, push your shoulders away from your ears and your legs straight, brace your core and lift your butt into the air as you slide the seat toward your hands. Pause and bend your elbows as you lower the crown of your head toward the ground until it’s just a few inches from the floor. Then, push up through your palms to go back into the pike position. Use your core to lower your body back to plank position with control.

Seated Oblique Twists: Sit on the seat with your feet in the straps. With an overhand grip, grab the middle of the bar with your left hand, place your right hand on your right hip, and straighten your legs to push the seat backward. Your left arm should be extended straight out in front of you. Keep your back straight and your shoulders down as you pivot back from the waist about 45 degrees. Engage your core as you turn your left palm in toward your body and begin to drive your left elbow toward the wall behind you. As the bar nears your hip, twist your entire upper body to the left. Pause, then twist back to face the machine as you bring the bar back to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps, then switch arms and do the same number of reps on the other side.

Lower Body Workouts With Rowing Machine

Split Squat: One of the most effective and painful leg movements known to man! Push the rower seat all the way forward. Then grab a one- to three-pound dumbbell in each hand and hold them along your sides with your palms facing each other. Then, stand with your back facing the seat, your toes nearly in line with the back of the machine, and the rail directly to your right. Keeping your hips square and facing forward, reach your right toes behind you, and place them on the seat with your right heel up. Keeping your right knees behind your right toes, lower your body to the ground until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Pause, then push up through your left heel, and come back up to stand. Adding a couple of minutes of this exercise with a 15-minute rowing workout can make a huge difference.

Split Squat With Overhead Dumbbell Press: Push the rower seat all the way forward. Then grab a one- to three-pound dumbbell in each hand and hold them just above your shoulders with your palms facing each other.Stand with your back facing the seat, the rail directly to your right, and your toes nearly in line with the back of the machine. Keeping your hips square and facing forward, reach your right toes behind you, and place them on the seat with your right heel in the air. Keeping your right knees behind your right toes, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. As you come down, extend both arms straight up and bring the weights over your head. With control, lower the weights back to starting position as you push up through your left heel and come back up to stand. Repeating this strength training will improving your rowing performance.

Split Squat With Overhead Dumbbell Press

Skater Toe Dips: Push the rower seat all the way forward. Grab a pair of one- to three-pound dumbbells and hold them together at your chest. Step your right foot up onto the rail with your toes facing the seat. Keeping your right knee behind your right toes and your gaze forward, bend your standing knee and fold forward at the waist. Point your left toes and touch them to the floor on the left side of the rail. Without standing, bring your left toes up and over the rail, then touch the floor to the right side of the rail.

Skater Toe Dips using a rowing machine
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