20-Minute Rowing Workout – Fast, Effective Full-Body

Chris Discussing 20 Minute Rowing Workout BenefitsAre you short and time and want a short, effective exercise plan? Try out a fast 20 minute rowing workout, and you won’t be disappointed.

In fact, many people are turning to shorter HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts because they have shown to get results faster than longer cardio routines. By exercising in short bursts, you usually give your body a more intense workout. And, you finish in a shorter period of time.

Options for 20 Minute Rowing Workouts:

You can do a short 20-minute HIIT workout (or 10-minute workout routine for that matter) in lots of different ways. For example, you can do running sprints, jump rope, push ups, squats, lap swimming, exercise bike sprints and more.

You can also combine different movements. Or alternatively you can switch up your burst trainings so that you never get bored. Notice that you can do a lot of these exercises with just your body weight (just keep the pace up). Of course, you can also do short 20-minute or 10-minute blast seated rowing machine workouts.

Why Do a HIIT Workout on a Rowing Machine?

  1. You can exercise your upper body and lower body all at the same time. This is super efficient, for those of us who want all gain and as little pain as possible =).
  2. Since rowing has minimal impact on joints, you can get an intense workout without worrying about injuries. Recumbent machines are ideal for this reason.
  3. You can exercise indoors or outdoors, which makes for a great year-round no-excuse activity. (This 20 minute rowing working is sound better and better!)
  4. Most gyms have indoor rowing machines, so you don’t necessarily need to buy equipment to start rowing.
  5. You can row while watching TV or listening to news (great distractions if you need one!).

If you’re just starting out, you can watch this 20-minute video as you row along (interval training):



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Check out this 20-minute HIIT session where you can follow along with Dr Kevin Sarich of AbundantYou.com. He includes a convenient countdown timer on the screen which I find is really helpful.

The entire workout consists of a 4-minute warm-up and then a HIIT workout. It includes (8) 30-second sprints and (7) 90-second rounds of low intensity, followed by a 3-minute cool-down.


If you want an even shorter rowing workout, check out this HIIT session with Dan from LetsTrain.info. It includes 6 rounds of 45-second sprints with 1:00-1:30 recovery between each sprint.

Another common way to strategize your row session is a Tabada/Tabata workout. Get a cheap timer like Gymboss and go hard for 30 seconds, then take 30 seconds rest.

You can start doing a 4-minute Tabata (4 rounds) and work up to 10 minutes. If you are sprinting on your pulls, your muscles (and lungs) will feel it. You will soon realize that an 8-minute Tabata can exhaust you more than that 30-minute run on the treadmill. =)

My #1 Suggestion for a Good 20 Minute Rowing Workout:

My best piece of advice? Set up your indoor rower in a convenient location. In other words, the easier you make it for yourself to workout, the more likely and more often you will row.

Row While Watching TVFor example, position your rower 20 steps from your bed. Then, you virtually have to trip over it on the way to brush your teeth.

Therefore, you are more likely to sit on the machine and knock out a quick 20-minute whole-body workout before you can talk yourself out of it. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. =)

Then, your coffee will be done brewing, and you will have gotten your day off to a great start! You have already completed an entire-body strength-training workout.

Training Tips for Short Rowing Workouts:

Ideally, you want to have several different rowing workout plans. Therefore, you can mix up your training and don’t get bored.

Another tip includes keeping track of your pace/mileage for each session. Therefore, you have something to work toward each time you get on your indoor rower. (Compare rowing machines here.)

How to Maximize Your Results with a 20-Minute Rower Workout:

Using proper rowing form will help you row faster, build up strength in all major muscle groups. In short, you will reap more benefits in the same amount of time. There’s not a lot to learning the right way to row, but it’s time well spent to watch a video¬†and learn how to do it right.