Indoor Rower Interval Training Tips
Interval training on an indoor rower provides a high calorie burning full body interval workout. Rowing
comes natural to most people so it's easy to learn. At the start of the rowing stroke you sit in a crouched
position in front of the machine with your legs bent and feet on the footrests while your arms are outstretched
holding the handle. Then you drive the seat back with your legs while simultaneously leaning back slightly
and pulling the handle to your abdomen with your back and arms. After the drive is complete you return to the
starting position. Rowing is a challenging interval workout that promotes strength in your back, arms, legs,
The Work Intervals
You can increase intensity by increasing rowing resistance, rowing faster, or both.
The Rest Intervals
For short rest intervals I recommend to just stop rowing and remain seated on the rower in the
For longer rest intervals you can reduce resistance and row at a slower pace, stop rowing and remain
seated in the start position, or get out of the seat and pace around.
Timing the Intervals
You can watch the timer on the console display of the rower or use an interval timer to time the intervals.
Putting It All Together
Now that we have covered all the bases let me guide you through a Rower interval workout. I like doing
short intervals on indoor rowers so for this example I am going to use the Tabata protocol. The
Tabata protocol is a short but intense 4 minute workout split
between 8 sets of 20 second high intensity work intervals followed by 10 second rest intervals.
| Tabata Intervals
20s High intensity work interval + 10s Rest interval
|| 4 min.
When performing the high intensity work intervals the goal is to row fast and hard during each one.
However, make sure to keep your rowing technique sound and rowing motion smooth. You'll notice that
each work interval gets a little harder than the last one and completing the last few of them will be tough if
you're pushing yourself hard enough.
I begin my interval training session with at least a 5 minute
warm up. After I complete my warm up I preset the rowing resistance to a level that will make me work hard
during the work intervals and then head into my first work interval by rowing rapidly. After my first work
interval is complete I transition into my first rest interval by halting my row and staying seated on the
rower in the start position. After the first rest interval is complete I transition back into the next work
interval by rowing rapidly. I repeat this process until I complete all eight interval sets. Then I
follow up the intervals with a 5 minute cool down.