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The rowing exercise is a leg workout that utilizes a common piece of gym equipment—the rowing machine—and is pretty similar to the power clean exercise. This exercise provides several benefits for the heart because it is easy to achieve your target heart rate, which assists in healthy blood circulation.

To execute the rowing exercise using a rowing machine, adjust the foot straps so they reach across your feet. Avoid placing your feet higher than the normal height to make it easier to achieve full stroked. Improper leg position leads to an inefficient stroke. The next step is to check the damper setting to achieve control of how much air the flywheel contains. When you set the damper to 10, heavy stroked will be required, but if you set the damper to zero, there would be almost no resistance during the exercise. Just make sure you set the damper to a setting your body can handle, but also one that challenges you without causing pain. Most rowing machines come with a monitor and it is helpful to understand the displays, which provide instantaneous feedback during your workout.


This exercise targets the leg muscles, upper back muscles, quadriceps, gluteus maximus and hamstrings.

Muscles used during the row exercise will become toned and stretched as a result of the series of powerful leg pushes you are executing. Your back muscles will become neutralized, resulting to a straighter back and better posture.

Sets and Repetitions

If you are a beginner, the damper should be adjusted between four and six, and completing eight to 10 repetitions in one set is a good starting point. If you are advanced, the damper should be adjusted higher than six, and doing 10 to 12 repetitions will provide a challenge.

Instagram Video

Here is an Instagram video on how to complete a row exercise.

Related Amazon Product Links

The magnetic rowing not only includes adjustable resistance, non-slip handlebars for better gripping and a padded seat. It is also more affordable than most other brands.

Top Performance Metrics

Graham Lay completes 500m in just one minute and 44 seconds with a rowing machine.

Related Movements

Here are some movements that can be integrated into a workout routine that includes rowing.

  • Thruster
  • Pull-up
  • Deadlift
  • Tire flip

Related Foods

Here is a list of foods that you can add to your menu before a workout:

  • Ham and cheese sandwich
  • Greek yoghurt with trail nuts or dried fruits
  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruits

Afterwards, select some of the food in the list below to help your body to recuperate from the exercise.

  • Sweet potato with salmon
  • Avocado and veggie omelet
  • Grilled chicken with mixed veggies
  • Whole wheat toast with hummus

YouTube Video

Here is a YouTube video that provides tips and techniques on how to row like a professional:

Celebrity Use

The James Bond actor Daniel Craig, includes rowing as part of his workout routine. He typically rows for 1km in one sitting.

Functional Use

After frequent use of the row machine, most will notice their abdomen starting to get toned and tightened as legs achieve a well-defined shape. Your buttocks will also become tighter, firmer and plumper. The most important improvement is weight loss and fat reduction aided by rowing’s ability to burn calories quickly.

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