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The Full-Body Rowing Workout to Burn a Crapload of Calories

If you belong to a gym or do CrossFit, you've seen a rower. Now get ready to make it your new favorite workout machine. “It ranks above and beyond any other piece of fitness equipment,” says Jared Stein, a lead instructor for CityRow in New York City, a studio that blends rowing intervals with strength-training moves. That's because it uses more than 80 percent of your muscles with every stroke, Stein says, and burns some 540 calories per hour with minimal impact. (And science shows more muscles pitching in equals more fat burn than other forms of cardio, like spinning!)

Rather than just rowing steadily (snooze), take on Stein’s body-transforming workout, shown here. You'll push at different intensity levels—to reach various distance and time markers—and hop on and off the rower for inventive body-weight moves that use the handle, seat, or base of the machine. The beauty of using the rower for the strengtheners, Stein notes, is that it allows you to experience a greater range of motion and to hit more angles so you can work more muscles more deeply.

And you can’t cheat through it. There's no resistance knob to turn down, no push button to autopilot your pace, no handles to hold when you get tired. “Your input directly correlates with your output,” Stein says. (And for a step-by-step breakdown, check out the full workout of the moves!)