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!
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: