5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rower

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing MachineHey friends! Sorry for the super slow blogging week—I’m back in action now. I had a really relaxing weekend in Boston, hitting up the opening of Handle Bar’s new Harvard Square studio, teaching a private class at Btone, doing a class there the next morning (that kicked my ass), and just laying around reading in between (I’m reading Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town and can’t put it down). The next four weekends I’ll be out of town for weddings and quick trips so it was pretty glorious to just stay local and do a whole lot of nothing.

Anyway, on to today’s post. When I teach rowing (or do it on my own), I like to get off the rower and mix it up. My butt goes numb, I start having PTSD flashbacks to my days on the treadmill—as great of a workout as the rower provides, I just can’t sit on it for 45 minutes straight. I find even just a couple brief breaks of doing exercises next to the machine or creatively using the rower on the floor helps me stay engaged. I’m sure any IndoRow purists out there reading this post are cringing, but here 5 non-rowing moves you can do with the rower. :)

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rower

Plank to Pike

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing Machine - Plank to PikeStart in a plank position with your feet on the seat of the rower, facing the back. Keeping your legs straight, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside down “v” shape. Try to keep your heels lifted as you do this, sliding on the balls of your feet. Once you hit your peak (if you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high—that’s ok!), slowly lower back down into plank position.

Back Lunge (with Pull Slide at Bottom)

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing Machine - Back Lunge with Pull SlideStart facing the back standing to the right side of the rower with your right foot planted firmly on the ground, weight in your heel, and the ball of the left foot planted on the seat of the rower. Bending your right knee, slide the left foot back as you lower into a lunge (get the right knee to a 90-degree bend if possible). Once you reach the bottom, press through your right heel as you straighten your leg and rise back up to standing.

Add in a pull at the bottom to make it harder: You can spice things up by adding in a pull slide at the bottom of each lunge. Keeping the right knee bent at 90 degrees with weight in your right heel, bend the back left knee, sliding it forward and then extending it straight back behind you again. Don’t change height as you do this; stay low in your lunge! You can do one at the base of each lunge or hold low for an extended period of time, sliding that back knee in and out. The longer you hold, the harder this move is.

Bear Crunches

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing Machine - Bear CrunchesStart in a plank position with your feet on the seat of the rower, facing the back. Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Two most common errors while doing this are lifting the booty up as your feet slide in and letting the low back arch down towards the floor. Pull your abs in tight the whole time, maintaining a flat back.

Squatting Bicep Curls

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing Machine - Squatting Bicep CurlsFacing forward and straddling the rower, grab the handle with an underhand grip. Squat down, weight in your heels, butt and hips back and down, chest open. Holding your elbows at chest-to-shoulder height with your palms facing up, curl your hands in towards your shoulders, pulling against the resistance of the rower wheel. Release back out, keeping your elbows lifted. Especially if you’re using a water rower that doesn’t allow you to increase resistance, this is an exercise you should do for a longer period of time. It’s a lighter resistance so you want high reps for it to be effective. Try to hold a squat the whole time for an added low body burn.

Side Lunge (with Lateral Slide at Bottom)

side-lunge-rowing5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing Machine - Side Lunge with Pull SlideStart facing the side standing at the end of the rower with your right foot planted firmly on the ground, weight in your heel, and the left foot planted on the seat of the rower. Bending your right knee, slide the left foot to the side as you lower into a side lunge (get the right knee to a 90-degree bend if possible). Think of sitting in a chair on that right leg; it’s essentially a single-leg squat. Once you reach the bottom, press through your right heel as you straighten your leg and rise back up to standing.

Add in a pull at the bottom to make it harder: You can spice things up by adding in a pull slide at the bottom of each lunge. Keeping the right knee bent at 90 degrees with weight in your right heel, bend the back left knee, sliding it in towards you and then extending it straight back away from you again. Don’t change height as you do this; stay low in your squat! You can do one at the base of each lunge or hold low for an extended period of time, sliding that back knee in and out. The longer you hold, the harder this move is.

5 Non-Rowing Exercises You Can Do on a Rowing MachineWEARING | tank c/o Athleta (currently having their huge semi-annual 60% off sale!!) // leggings c/o PRISM Sport  // sneakers: Nike

 Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to tackle the week!signature


Power Wheel (or Slider) Ab Workout

Power Wheel Ab WorkoutI love starting the week with a workout post because Mondays always feel like a fresh beginning. I had an awesome weekend celebrating my friend’s wedding, but after three days of eating, drinking and staying up late dancing, it feels damn good to work up a sweat.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw a sneak peek of the aftermath of this workout (= me dead on the floor haha). I got a couple comments on the rug and couch, so I think it’s a perfect time to talk about Breather. Breather recently launched in Boston and is a service that allows you to rent rooms by the hour (or half hour) throughout the city for meetings, getting work done, relaxing or, as I used my breather, photoshoots!

The rooms have Wi-Fi, yoga mats, table space as well as couches, and are decorated in a sort of clean hipster fashion that I love. In addition to Boston, Breather is located in New York, San Francisco, Ottawa & Montreal. If you’re located in one of those cities, you can use the code PUMPIRON to get an hour free!

Power Wheel (or Slider) Ab Workout

Equipment I Used:

Set a timer for 16 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. There are four exercises in this workout and you’ll go through them four times. You can make this workout as hard as you want by holding a forearm plank during the 10 seconds of “rest” instead of truly resting. When I did the workout, I made it through the first round of four exercises without resting and then took the 10-second break here and there as needed throughout the next three rounds. Power Wheel Ab Workout

  • Twisting Bear Oblique Crunches | Start in a plank position with your feet strapped into the power wheel. From here, bend your knees and roll them towards the right elbow, twisting from the waist. Roll back to plank and then crunch the knees in towards you left elbow, again twisting through the waist. As you crunch side to side, try to keep your hips at shoulder height (don’t sit your bum down towards your heels; you want the target oblique engaged and holding your hips up).
  • Plank to Pike | You can do this from your hands or forearms. Start in a plank position with your feet strapped into the power wheel. Keeping your legs straight, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside down “v” shape. Once you hit your peak (if you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high—that’s ok!), slowly lower back down into plank position.
  • Army Crawl | With feet strapped into power wheel, start in a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you roll forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them.
  • Cobra Walking Planks | Start in a plank position with your feet strapped into a power wheel. From this starting position, you’re going to roll backward, maintaining your plank position and bending your elbows (think of a triceps dip: arms stay in close to your sides) so that you slowly lower down to a forearm plank. From here, do a walking plank, pressing up one hand at a time to straight arms so that you’re back in high plank and read to start your next rep. With the walking plank, try to alternate your lead hand every time so that you’re not always pressing up with your dominant arm.

Power Wheel Ab Workout

WEARING | leggings & tank c/o lucy // sneakers: Nike

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Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout

Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout -- this is a fun one! The structure makes the time fly by!In theory, I love the shirt I’m wearing in this post (adorable, right?). In practice … not so much. When I try to wear it while teaching or working out, I might as well be shirtless because the thing literally falls down every five seconds. Oh well, it’s certainly not the least practical thing I own *looks at shoe collection* …

Anyway, on to today’s workout. This is the same structure I used in yesterday’s bodyweight workout, but with kettlebell exercises. I loved this workout.

Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 25-lb kettlebell
  • 20-lb kettlebell

Complete each superset as quickly as possible. You’ll do 10 reps of each of the two exercises, then 9 then 8, all the way down to 1 rep of each. Finish one superset before moving onto the next. Rest for 30-60 seconds in between each superset.

Record your times for completing each superset so that you can revisit this workout later and try to beat your first performance!Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout -- this is a fun one! The structure makes the time fly by!

SUPERSET 1

  • Bell-to-Floor Single Leg Squat (each side) | As far as upper body goes, I want you to think “deadlift.” Lower body, think “single-leg squat/curtsey lunge.” Start standing on your right leg holding the kettlebell in both hands in front of your body. Start to squat down on your right side, sending the left leg behind you into a hover. Make sure your right knee doesn’t jut out farther than your toes by thinking about sending your hips and butt back and down. Weight should be in your right heel at the bottom of your squat. Lower until the kettlebell lightly taps the ground and then stand back up. As you do this, make sure you’re engaging your abs to avoid undue stress on the lower back.
  • One-Arm Alternating Kettlebell Swings | This is your basic kettlebell swing, but holding on to the bell with only one hand and switching hands at the top. The main form difference is that your hand will rotate with the swing, as opposed to a two-hand grip where your knuckles are always facing out. Start holding the bell in your right hand, feet shoulder-width apart with a soft bend in the knees. Swing the bell back between your legs, thumb-first, leaning forward with a straight back and bending the knees a little deeper. As you explosively swing the bell forward and up, thrust the hips powerfully forward, rotating your hand so that knuckles face forward, bringing the bell up to chest-to-face height. At the top of the swing, when the bell has that quick moment of weightlessness, grab it with your other hand. Swing it back down, again rotating the bell so that your thumb leads the way. Continue, switching hands at the top of each swing. 

SUPERSET 2

  • Goblet Squats | Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes angled slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell in both hands, cradling it at the base of the handle at your chest. Keeping your torso as upright as possible (you don’t want to hunch forward with the weight of the bell), squat down, trying to get your bum lower than your knees. As you bend the knees, they should track in line with the angle of the toes and not jut forward of them. Once you reach the bottom of your squat, weight in your heels, power up to standing, thrusting the hips forward slightly at the top as you squeeze those glutes.
  • Figure 8 Squat Hold | Hold a low squat (weight in your heels, chest open) and swing the kettlebell through your legs, weaving it around one leg, passing off to your other hand in the center, and then around the other leg, in a figure 8 pattern. 

SUPERSET 3

  • Clean ‘n Press (each side) | Start standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand, arm straight, bell hanging in front of your body. Bend knees into a half squat, and bring the kettlebell from a straight-arm hanging position to being closely held by the center of your chest with arm bent, fingers facing up. It’s a smooth movement, pulling the bell straight up and flipping your grip around the handle from an overhand grip to underhand (it will be cradled in the crook of your thumb and index finger at the end). Use your legs to help you achieve the clean: push up from your feet, straightening your legs for added power as you pull the bell up, and landing softly back into that half-squat as you catch the bell in its new hand position. From there, straighten legs as you stand up and extend your hand and the bell skyward. Reverse the moves to bring yourself back to starting position. Try to keep the kettlebell towards the center of your body throughout this move. When done correctly, this isn’t just an upper-body workout, but great for your core.
  • Hopping Kettlebell Swings | This is a traditional kettlebell swing, adding in a little hop when the bell is at the top of each swing during that little moment of weightlessness when it’s switching direction. For these, I typically use a bell 5-10 lbs lighter than what I normally swing (I’m using 20lbs in this workout). 

SUPERSET 4

  • Windmills (each side) | Start in a standing position, feet wider than hip-width apart, kettlebell pressed above head in right hand. Your right foot should be pointing forward, your left foot pointing out to the side (perpendicular to the right). Slowly bend down, keeping legs and the arm holding the kettlebell straight. Touch the ground by your left foot with your left hand, keeping the kettlebell perpendicular to the ground the whole time. Slowly rise back up to starting position. A good way to maintain proper alignment during this is to look up at the kettlebell the whole time. I used a 15-lb kettlebell for these.
  • Kettlebell Swings | Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell (but need to go up!).

Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout -- this is a fun one! The structure makes the time fly by!

WEARING | top & shorts: Fabletics // bra: c/o PRISM Sports (get 30% off your first order with code ACTPERRY – must use THIS LINK) // sneakers: Nike

Alright, I’m off–got a super busy day of shooting new material for the blog! Enjoy your Tuesday!

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