The Best Warmup to Do Before a Rowing Workout

 

How do you typically warm up before your rowing workout? Do you even warm up at all? And if you’re a coach or instructor, do you take a few minutes to actively plan and think about how the warmup is going to support the rest of the workout? It’s time well spent, to be sure, and in this post we’re diving in on why the rowing workout warmup is important, whether you’re a fitness professional or you row on your own. And we’ll give you a rowing workout warmup you can row along with, so no more excuses!

 

Why it’s Important to Do a Rowing Workout Warmup

 

Hey, life’s busy.  Sometimes you can barely find the time to get to the gym or get on your home rowing machine. Who’s got time to do a proper warmup?

 

You do!

 

Or at least you should if you want to make the most of it. And by “most of it” we mean your workout, not the warmup.

 

If you’re like most people, left to your own devices you’ll spend less than 5 minutes just randomly sliding back and forth on the monorail, paying more attention to the TV or your friend on the machine next to you.

 

We get it, we’ve all done it. Especially when we’re in a hurry or coming into the workout feeling frazzled and still “buzzing” from the rest of our day.

 

And news flash, it can happen to trainers, too!  We sometimes get a little lazy about being intentional with what is actually a very important part of the workout.

 

Good workout start with great warmups. So be intentional with those few minutes!

4 Tips For The Best Rowing Workout Warmup

1. Use the warmup to pattern quality movement in the main workout

 

 The primary purpose of the warmup is to bring up the body temperature and prepare the heart, joints and muscles for the work ahead. It’s also the time to shake off the rest of the day and bring your head into the room (Whether you’re the instructor or the student!).

 

If you’re going to be doing strength moves off the machine it’s important to take time during the warmup to get the muscles and joints ready for that work as well.

 

Stretching and some light dynamic work or bodyweight moves should be targeted to whatever muscle groups are going to be center stage in the main workout. 

 

2. Use the time to zero in on rowing technique and establish any technique themes for the workout

 

The warmup is prime time for practicing rowing technique. One of the best ways is to do the pick drill and use that to imprint good technique.  We also love feet-out rowing as a way to uncover and address any technique errors.

 

COACHES: Pick one or two key things you’re going to focus on in the warmup and then refer back to them in the workout. Hip swing, knees down, ratio, proper order of operations, etc. 

 

Whatever it is, start to work the language and the technique elements into the warmup and then reference them the same way during the workout so they register with your students.

 

REMEMBER: Don’t give your rowing clients too many things to focus on in one session, they’ll just get overwhelmed

 

 

 

3. The shorter the workout, the longer the warmup

 

We all wish we could get warmed up in just 5 minutes! But particularly if you’re 40+, you likely need a little more time than that.

 

Even 10 minutes can be enough to prep for a longer workout, but if the workout is short you want to be sure you don’t skip the warmup! 

 

Short, high-intensity workouts require you to already have a good sweat rolling so that when the timer starts you’re ready to HIT IT! You want to make the most of that 15- 20-minute workout so get to the point where you’re working hard right out of the gate.

 

COACHES: When you’re warming up for a higher-intensity workout be sure to include higher-intensity bouts in the warmup as well. Don’t wait until the main workout to take those first hard strokes.

 

One good way to approach it is to do a hard 10 strokes (known in rowing as a Power 10) at the top of every minute of the warmup. 

 

4. How to know if you’ve done a good warmup

 

There’s a Goldilocks zone where you’ll know if you’ve done a good warmup:

 

You should be starting to sweat “around the edges” and feel like you’ve done something. Definitely feel ready to take off any sweatshirts or outer layers you started with.

 

But if you’re breathing hard and need to take a minute to rest before you can get off the machine, you’ve probably gone a little too hard.

 

4 Best Rowing Workout Warmups

Even if the main workout doesn’t involve rowing, the erg and its total-body, non-impact exercise is a fantastic place to prepare for any other kind of effort.

 

PS: Warmups also make fabulous beginner rowing workouts: If you’re just starting out with rowing, pick a warmup you like, do a round of it, and check in with how you’re feeling. Then do a second or even a third time through if you’re feeling up for it!

 

Here are three warmups we love. They’ll get you ready for your workout, and you’ll have fun doing them, too!

 

Whichever workout you pick, do a few minutes of easy rowing first.

 

If rowing at full slide (coming all the way to the catch position) doesn’t feel good at the very beginning, this is your chance to warm up into it. Start out rowing at half- or three-quarters slide first!

 

Want some technique refreshers and drills to work on while you warm up? Our YouTube channel and our RowReady training program are chock-full of drills and other helpful rowing hints.

On to the workouts!

From our RowReady workout program

4 minutes at a stroke rate of 22 strokes per minute

3 minutes at 24 spm

2 minutes at 26 spm

1 minute at 28 spm

 

From our book 101 Best Rowing Workouts

For each round, row 10 strokes at the prescribed stroke rate, then 20 strokes at whatever rate feels comfortable for a warmup. On the early rounds, that rate may actually be higher than what you’re doing on the 10 “on” strokes.

 

Round 1: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 2: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 3: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 4: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 5: 10 strokes at 24 spm

 

An on-water rowing classic

Total time: 15 mins (approx.)

1 stroke hard, one easy

2 strokes hard, two easy

And so on up to 10 strokes hard, 10 easy

 

No prescribed stroke rates here, just do what feels like a good effort on the hard strokes and catch your breath on the easy strokes.

 

BONUS: Row Along With This Workout Warmup

Ready to row in less than 10 minutes! Do the all-important pick drill plus a stroke rate pyramid with UCanRow2 / Concept2 Master Instructor (and Olympian) Heather Alschuler!

 

 

Try these warmups and let us know in the comments which one was your favorite!

 

Want to add on a full-on workout after the warmup?

These should do the trick:

 

UCanRow2 Basic Workouts

Meter Monster & Flywheel Frenzy training programs

Monster Meter endurance rowing workouts

 

Tweetables:

 

 

Crush the Gym With A Rowing Workout Warm Up

 

Let’s talk workout prep! What’s your typical workout warm up like?

 

If you’re like most people, left to your own devices you’ll spend less than 5 minutes doing something where you’re randomly moving. You’re like to be paying more attention to the TV, a magazine, or your friend on the machine next to you than you are actually preparing for your workout.

 

We get it, we’ve all done it. Especially when we’re in a hurry or coming into the workout feeling frazzled and still “buzzing” from the rest of our day.

 

Here’s our CALL to you: Don’t waste the WORKOUT warm up!

 

A few minutes of chatter or TV is totally fine and a welcome respite. But after that, you need to get serious about ramping it up.

 

It’s super important, both physically and mentally.

 

The warmup is your chance to:

 

  • prepare your heart, muscles, and joints for the harder effort of the workout ahead

 

  • refresh your muscle memory and drill into your rowing technique so you can get the most out of your workout and prevent injury (if you’re doing a rowing workout that day

 

  • shake off the rest of the day and transition mentally into your workout

 

Your workout time is self-care, friend! Give yourself the gift of giving it your full attention.

 

Don’t just think you can spend 2 or 3 minutes and call it good, either.

 

The older we get the more workout warm up we need.  But no matter how old we are, we still need to dedicate at least 5-10 minutes to getting our engine going.

 

A quick way to tell if you’ve warmed up properly: You’ve broken a sweat by the end of it and you’re breathing a little harder, but you’re not completely out of breath.

 

Even if your main workout doesn’t involve rowing, the erg and its total-body, non-impact exercise is a fantastic place to prepare for any other kind of effort.

 

PS: They also make fabulous beginner rowing workouts. Pick one you like, do a round, and check in with how you’re feeling. Then do a second or even a third time through if you’re feeling up for it!

 

Try This: Workout Warm Up on the Rowing Machine

 

Here are three warmups we love. They’ll get you ready for your workout, and you’ll have fun doing them, too!

 

Whichever workout you pick, do a few minutes of easy rowing first. If rowing at full slide (coming all the way to the catch position) doesn’t feel good at the very beginning, this is your chance to warm up into it. Start out rowing at half- or three-quarters slide first!

 

Want some technique refreshers and drills to work on while you warm up? Our YouTube channel and our RowReady training program are chock-full of drills and other helpful rowing hints.

On to the workouts!

From our RowReady workout program

4 minutes at a stroke rate of 22 strokes per minute

3 minutes at 24 spm

2 minutes at 26 spm

1 minute at 28 spm

 

From our upcoming book 101 Best Rowing Workouts

For each round, row 10 strokes at the prescribed stroke rate, then 20 strokes at whatever rate feels comfortable for a warmup. On the early rounds, that rate may actually be higher than what you’re doing on the 10 “on” strokes.

 

Round 1: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 2: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 3: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 4: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 5: 10 strokes at 24 spm

 

An on-water rowing classic

Total time: 15 mins (approx.)

1 stroke hard, one easy

2 strokes hard, two easy

And so on up to 10 strokes hard, 10 easy

 

No prescribed stroke rates here, just do what feels like a good effort on the hard strokes and catch your breath on the easy strokes.

 

BONUS: Row Along With This Workout Warm up

Do the all-important pick drill plus a stroke rate pyramid with Master Instructor (and Olympian) Heather Alschuler! Ready to row in under 10 minutes!

 

 

Try these warmups and let us know in the comments which one was your favorite!

 

Want to add on a full-on workout after the warmup?

These should do the trick:

 

UCanRow2 Basic Workouts

Meter Monster & Flywheel Frenzy training programs

Monster Meter endurance rowing workouts

 

Tweetables:

 

 

 

10 Indoor Rowing Workouts to Kill 10K

Last updated July 16, 2020

 

 

When your indoor rowing workouts call for a larger number of meters, or you’re trying to hit a big number in the Concept2 online challenges, how do you keep it interesting?  By breaking the workout up into smaller chunks and changing it up.

 

 Longer indoor rowing workouts don’t have to be boring.  You just need to have a plan that brings variety into the mix.

 

 

Below we’ve given you 10 ways to kill 10k in your indoor rowing workouts, plus one bonus workout.  You’ve got options that will take you from an easy row all the way through to a calorie-torching blast.

 

It’s up to you, pick the plan that works for you based on how you feel that day.  Do one round or put several of them together for a monster meter rowing workout.

 

As always, if you’re new to indoor rowing get your doctor’s OK before taking on a rowing workout like these.  Listen to your body and decide if it’s a good day for higher volume.  If you’d rather do something shorter, check our indoor rowing workouts pages for more choices.

 

 

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10 Ways to Kill 10k (+1)

  1. Set the monitor and go: Find your happy place — that point where you’re sweating but you know you could keep up this pace for a long time, and row. Put on some good tunes and lean in to the Zen of the flywheel. Use this workout to find your steady-state target pace. You should be able to talk but prefer not to, and feel that you could stay at that pace for a long time. To easily set up the workout, from the main menu hit New Workout>Standard List>10000 meters.

 

2. SteadyState With Power Bursts: Row 10,000 meters at the pace you found in the workout above. Drop in 10 or 20 hard strokes every 500 or 1000 meters. Aim to drop 10 seconds or more off your split every time you do the power strokes, but always return to your base, steady-state pace.

 

3. Rolling 100s: Warm up through the first 2-3000m, then row 100 meters hard, 100 meters easy for 1000m. Paddle for 1-2 minutes and repeat for 3-5k. This is also a great way to get used to harder effort on the rowing machine.

 

4. Power Intervals: Like the rolling 1000s but longer intervals. For example 250 hard meters every 750 or 1000 meters.

 

5. Negative Splits: Start out at a fairly easy pace and aim to drop your split per 500 meters every time over the course of the piece. Using the split window on your monitor, aim to drop it progressively over the course of the rowing workout. For example take 5 seconds off your warmup split every 2000 meters. Use the last 500-1000m as your cooldown.

 

Rowing a long piece doesn't have to be boring! Here are 10 ways that you can make the most of a 10,000-meter row, and keep it interesting. Let us know how you like them! www.ucanrow2.com

6. Stroke Play: Vary your strokes per minute (SPM): 2 minutes at 22-24-26-28 SPM, with the same amount of paddle rest, 2 minutes. Do this until you have completed the 10k. Bonus points if you can do rounds 18 and 20 spm (Hint: sloooow your recovery).

 

7. Rolling Intervals: Row repeating cycles of 3 minutes at 22 strokes per minute, 2 mins at 25, 1 min at 28. Paddle in between if you need a break, or challenge yourself and keep on row-ling.

 

8. Watch the Watch: Row rounds of 1:00 on with effort/1:00 off, 2:00 on/2:00 off and so on up to 5:00 on/5:00 off, then work your way back down. Increase your intensity as you come down the pyramid. Continue until you have completed the 10k.

 

9. Vary the Intensity: Use this one to practice adding more intensity to your workouts. Row intervals of 4:00 on, 2:00 off, keeping your stroke rating the same (we suggest 24-26 spm) but varying your intensity through the 4-minute intervals, from sustainable to highly intense.

 

10. Salad Bowl: Mix it up and choose up to 5 of the options above. Do something different every 2000 meters.

Example:  First 1k: Warm up
1k-2k: Steady-state, half pressure
3k-5k: Rolling 100s
5k-6k: Steady state
6k-7k: Hard 1000m
7k-8k: Recover
8k-9k: :30 on / :30 off. 26 spm on the work, 22 spm on the rest
9-10k: Cool down

 

BONUS ROW-SKI for those with access to a SkiErg.  Use the undefined rest feature on your monitor to keep both machines going without having to reset.  If you’re a complete badass (and in our book you are if you do this), switch the row and ski numbers so you ski more than you row.

Row                          Ski

1000m                     1000m

1200m                      800m

1400m                      600m

1600m                      400m

1800m                      200m

 

Which one did you try?  Let us know what you thought in the comments, or if you have a question about endurance rowing, in general, let us know!

 

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