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30-Minute Rowing Machine Workout

This Rowing Machine Gym Workout Is Going to Kick Your Ass

We loved the treadmill workout that Speedplay's co-founder and lead trainer Xavier Quimbo created for us — so we had to get another workout that uses the rowing machine! This workout comprises a warm up, and four exercises using the rowing machine and bodyweight, repeated for 30 minutes total. "Work your way through this list for five total rounds, and if you need to, take a one minute break after the completion of an entire cycle," said Xavier

Here's Xavier's "classic" warmup:

  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds running in place
  • 30 seconds butt kickers
  • 30 seconds plank hold
  • 1 minute break (grab a sip of water!)

And now for the workout:

Rower: 3 Minutes

The rower is undoubtedly one of the most underrated pieces of equipment at the gym. "Sometimes the best cardio comes from the machine you're not using," Xavier told POPSUGAR.

"Keep your posture tall, drive through the legs, and pull the handle to your upper abdomen, keeping your elbows in by your side and shoulders down and back," he explained. "The overall row should feel smooth and consistent during both the backward motion (called the drive) and the forward motion (called the recovery). Work for a finishing distance between 500m and 700m, and try to to beat your record each time you're back on the rower. This will get heart rate up in no time and start your workout in an elevated state."

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T-Rotation: 1 Minute

Xavier says this will "Hit your upper body, arms, and core" all in one.

  • Set yourself up in a push-up position and feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping a strong plank, lift your right hand and rotate the right side of your body upward until you're in a side plank forming a T with your arms.
  • Reverse the move, rotating to the left.
  • Make sure to keep your hips raised and your body in a straight line. You can up the stakes by adding a push-up at the bottom.

Rower Side Lunge: 1 Minute

This move utilizes the rowing machine in an unconventional way for an added challenge for your legs — it's very similar to a Megaformer move, too!

  • Start facing the side, standing at the end of the rower with your right foot planted firmly on the ground and your left foot planted on the seat of the rower.
  • Shifting your hips back and bending your right knee, slide the left foot to the side as you lower yourself into a side lunge (think about sitting in a chair on that right leg).
  • Once you reach the bottom, press through your right heel as you straighten your leg back up to standing.
  • You can spice this up "Speedplay style" by playing with the tempo, like counts on the descend, adding a two count pause at the bottom, then driving up drive up and and extend your leg back up to standing.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Rower Crunch: 1 Minute

This one is going to rock your abs with the slightest movement — check it out.

  • Start in a plank position with both elbows on the seat. A really good way to set this up is to face the rower from the back end, move the seat back, and start from there.
  • Once in a plank position, lock out your knees by squeezing your quads, set your hip by squeezing your glutes, and contract your abs by drawing your navel towards your spine.
  • Keep everything from your midsection down contracted and stable while sliding the seat forward and back with arms. The only movement here should come from the arms.
  • If keeping your knees up is too difficult for you today, you can always take the edge off by keeping your knees down on the floor.
  • Continue for 60 seconds, keeping your core engaged.
Image Source: Speedplay
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