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5 rowing workouts for runners

The rowing machine is an often under-utilized cross-training tool that provides a lot of benefits for runners

The go-to cross-training options for runners tend to be cycling, swimming and pool running. Very few runners look toward the rowing machine (a.k.a. the ergometer) when deciding to move their workout off the roads, but it can offer big fitness benefits when used effectively. Check out the five workouts below, and give one of them a try during your next cross-training session.

How to use the rowing machine

It’s important to use proper form on the rowing machine to prevent injuries and ensure you get the most out of your workout. Watch the video below before you hop on the rowing machine so you know what to pay attention to when you’re performing the movements.

It’s also important to set up your machine properly to optimize your workout. The video below explains how to set up an average rowing machine (the likes of which you’re most likely to find in a gym) so you can get the most out of your rowing workout.

Rowing workouts for runners

The great news is, many running workouts can be easily translated into a workout on a rowing machine. As always, remember to do a proper warm-up and cool-down (five to 10 minutes of easy rowing should suffice) before getting into the interval portion of the workout. Here are five workouts you can try the next time you’re taking your workout indoors:

  1. 8 x 45 seconds with 15-30 seconds rest between each interval
  2. 4 x 500m with 2 minutes rest
  3. 10 minutes nonstop rowing broken into the following sections: 4 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min. The goal is to gradually pick up the pace as you progress through the workout.
  4. Pyramid: 1 min/1 min rest; 2 min/2 min rest; 3 min/3 min rest; 4 min/4 min rest; 3 min/3 min rest; 2 min/2 min rest; 1 min/1 min rest
  5. 2 x (4 x 400m) with 1 min rest between the intervals and 3 min rest between the sets.

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