23 October 2020

Winter training: Indoor rowing – the low-down

November 2, 2016

Indoor rowing is a great exercise that has benefits for all sports and is perfect as a part of a winter training regime – here’s why:


  • The action of rowing involves every large muscle group in the body in a coordinated effort. If you’ve tried at the gym and only your arms ache, then you’re not doing it right! With the correct technique you’ll be using legs, back, core, triceps and glutes in every stroke.
  • Indoor rowing is a great rehabilitation tool for injury because you can set the resistance and the appropriate pace. Also the full body workout and cardiovascular benefits will help once you are able to resume your regular training sessions. Note: You should seek advice from a professional to see if this would work for you.
  • The full body nature of rowing makes it a huge calorie burner, so if weight loss is your aim, then this is a really efficient exercise. Just 30 minutes a day can be really effective, especially if you follow a programme and work moderately hard.

Getting started:

If you’ve never used a rowing machine before then check this article for best technique Expert advice: Indoor rowing tips from GB rower Jess Leyden

Concept2 Rowing machines suggest that a good way to start rowing harder is to incorporate short bursts of power into an easier workout. Here are some examples:

  • Power 10s: 10 strokes at a higher intensity, spread out during a longer row. (30 mins)
  • Accelerations: 10–15 strokes where you gradually build your intensity from easy to hard.
  • Pickups: During a long piece, row the first 20 strokes (or 45 seconds) of each 500m at a higher intensity. Repeat four times or more.
  • Alternative: Row 20 seconds hard, 1:40 (one minute, 40 seconds) easy. When rowing hard, try a pace that is five seconds faster per 500m.

If you need a programme to follow check out these workout of the day ideas from Concept2: www.concept2.co.uk

The Women’s Sports Magazine



You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Select a sport

Find out how to get started, training plans and expert advice.