Let’s Talk Fitness: What you need to know about indoor rowing


Welcome to Let’s Talk Fitness, a community conversation where we encourage and inspire each other to lead more active healthy lifestyles. I am your host Renee Reed, a fitness coach and boomer, who refuses to slow down and act my “age”.

Today’s conversation is about Indoor Rowing, for Fitness and Fun with Master Rowing Instructor, Heather Alschuler. But first a little background.


In a recent Let’s Talk Fitness conversation available here, we discussed choosing exercise based on intensity and impact. One of the great things about indoor rowing is versatility. Not only is it low in impact (joint friendly), indoor rowing can be performed at any intensity level.   There is no age limit and if you’re tall enough to reach the foot rest, you can row. Some rowing machines are even adapted to enable those in wheelchairs or missing limbs to row.

Indoor rowing is truly versatile with many benefits, some of which we discuss in this conversation, others in this blog article.

Undeserved Reputation

You’ve probably seen rowing machines at your health club or gym and maybe you’ve tried one out.

If you are one of the fortunate few who have been taught good rowing technique, you have experienced the awesome feeling of using over 85% of the muscles in your body, rhythmically flowing back and forth, with each stroke. Or, perhaps you received inadequate or no instruction and didn’t have such a great experience.

Indoor rowing has bit of a reputation for being very intense, difficult and not so fun. This is largely due to a lack of instruction and bravado from the on-water rowing community. Very few fitness professionals are themselves trained to row properly and end up perpetuating poor technique. Typically, poor technique equates to a poor experience.

Do not be misled by this false reputation. Indoor rowing is a great form of exercise that is truly enjoyable. Rowing is one of my favorite exercises, though it wasn’t always.

First introduced to indoor rowing during my years in CrossFit, I found it difficult to keep up with everyone else and often left the rower feeling as if I failed the workout. Still, I bought a rower and used it mostly to warm up before weight training and to recover from knee replacement surgery.

My attitude about rowing changed, after I learned proper technique and stopped wasting energy. I found an organization called UCanROW2 that helped me to learn to row properly. It was through this organization that I met Heather Alschuler, a Master Rowing Instructor and now a member of the coaching team at 6 Movements Fitness.

Heather has a fantastic rowing background, including on-water rowing at an international level and a decade of coaching and developing indoor rowing programs for all ages.

Heather and I recently sat down to discuss indoor rowing:

Please join our conversation with your comments or questions at the end of this article.

Rowing Classes

If you would like to try indoor rowing and learn from a certified rowing instructor, 6 Movements Fitness Studio offers periodic rowing workshops and daily fitness classes.

Rowing Clinics Fitness Classes
Next Clinic: January 21, 2018

In this fun 2-hour workshop, with plenty of breaks, Heather introduces indoor rowing and how to get more out of rowing.

Beginners and experienced rowers will benefit from this workshop.

Click here for more information and to reserve your rower.

Most 6M classes include a rowing component with some focusing primarily on rowing.

Beginners are welcome and free trials are available.

Check out the 6M class descriptions and schedule here.

Let’s Talk Fitness is sponsored by 6 Movements Fitness Studio, located in Firdale Village Shopping Plaza in Edmonds.

Call 206-546-6683 or visit 6movements.com to learn more about low impact progressive intensity training options.

Know someone with or have your own fascinating fitness story and want to join the Let’s Talk Fitness conversation? Send topic proposals, stories, comments or questions to [email protected]

— Sponsored by 6 Movements Fitness

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