7 Rowing CrossFit Workouts for Tough Athletes

Row your way to a bigger engine.

Rowing CrossFit Workouts are a great way to build your conditioning and test your mental toughness.

As a skill rowing is essential for CrossFit, as it is featured in so many WODs. These workouts will help you to test out your skill over a variety of different intensities, heart rate levels and distances.

It is also important to spend time working with your coach in order to improve your general technique because once this is more efficient, then everything else will improve as well. 


Run-Row Workout

2 Rounds:

  • 1,5 mile Run
  • 1500 m Row

TIP: Don’t Grip Too Hard

Don’t hold on so hard to the handle. Keep enough grip to not lose the handle, but also not so much that you wear out your hands, have achy forearms, and tear up your palms.

Rowing CrossFit Workouts – 20 min Fat Burner

10 rounds

  • 1 minute rowing
  • 1 minute rest.

Make sure there is intensity in your rowing, keep it around 85% effort for the whole minute.

TIP: Drive With Your Legs

Rowing is mostly about your legs. Despite your natural instincts, your legs are far stronger than your arms and should be doing the vast majority of the work. Your quads and booty should be toasted after a hard rowing workout.

TIP: Sit Up Tall at All Times

Hinge at the hips and keep good posture, like a good morning or a deadlift. Lift your chest up. Don’t let your lower back or shoulders collapse. Be relaxed, but with good posture.

Row/Push up Workout

  • Row 1,000 meters
  • 20 hand-release pushups
  • Row 750 meters
  • 30 hand-release pushups
  • Row 500 meters
  • 40 hand-release pushups
  • Row 250 meters
  • 50 hand-release pushups

Do the push ups immediately after the row. Rest as needed between rowing sessions.

crossfit rowing workoutsSource: CrossFit Inc

TIP: Legs, Hips, Arms, Arms, Hips, Legs

This is the sequence of rowing. If you reorganize this list, it doesn’t work.

Rowing CrossFit Workouts TIP: Feel the Connection Through Your Feet

The whole way through the drive you should feel a solid connection between the balls of your feet and the footplates. Your heels will lift up at different points during a rowing stroke, but you should always be transmitting power and connection through the balls of your feet.

Rowing CrossFit Workouts – “Jackie”

For time:

  • 1000 m Row
  • 50 Thrusters 45
  • 30 Pull-ups

TIP: Drive Straight Back

If you feel yourself lift off the seat, or tragically, you pop off the seat and land on the rail, it is because you are pushing up instead of back. Push straight back.

Rowing CrossFit Workouts TIP: Don’t Slam the Seat Into Your Heels

As you continue to move forward and return to the start of the stroke, you should stop when your shins are perpendicular to the ground and your heels are curled up off the footplates, but your seat should never run into your feet.

Chipper Rowing Workout

  • 50 air squats
  • 25-calorie row
  • 40 Russian kettlebell swings
  • 20-calorie row
  • 30 situps
  • 15-calorie row
  • 20 pushups
  • 10-calorie row
  • 10 burpees
Source: Ryan Edy
Train hard and set high goals for yourself

TIP: Don’t Pull With Your Arms

Keep your elbows straight as you drive your legs. Remember, it’s about your legs, not your arms. As soon as your arms bend, you’ve lost the ability to translate power from your legs.

Timed Row Interval Workout

  • Row 10 x 2 min
  • 30 sec rest between each piece

TIP: Don’t Shrug Your Shoulders Up

Don’t pull your shoulders up into your ears as you drive back in the stroke. Instead, imagine you are pulling your shoulder blades together behind you.

Rowing Workout from Samantha Briggs

For time:

  • 150 Air squats
  • 2000 m Row
  • 150 Air squats

TIP: Pull the Handle to the Bottom of Your Ribs

For the ladies, you want to pull the handle to the bottom of your sports bra. For the men, pretend you’re wearing a sports bra.

TIP: Imagine Your Upper Body Like a Pendulum

Okay, maybe an upside-down pendulum. More like a needle ticking back and forth between 11:00 and 1:00 on a clock face. At the catch, or beginning of the stroke, right before you drive back, you should be leaned forward at the 1:00 position. At the finish, or far end of the stroke, when your legs are fully extended, you should lean back to the 11:00 position.

Check out this article if you want to work on your rowing technique:

How to Improve Your Rowing Technique for Crossfit

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