This 20-minute rowing workout burns a ton of calories and strengthens your entire body

Get ready to push your cardio fitness to new levels with this quick-fire circuit

Man doing a workout on a rowing machine at the gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rower is one of our favourite cardio machines – it’s lower-impact than the treadmill, yet works way more muscles than an exercise bike (86% to be exact). It also spikes your heart rate, burning lots of calories. But, if you thought a rowing machine workout only consisted of long, continuous strokes, think again. This snappy circuit from Mirafit combines two bodyweight exercises alongside the rower to smoke your entire body and push your cardio fitness to new levels.

The rowing machine has lots of benefits for our overall fitness (that's if you know how to use it properly), but it can also be hugely helpful for our posture too. Hydrow says: "Because your back muscles are activated and engaged during your strokes, rowing workouts can help improve muscle support for your spine, reducing the potential strain on vertebral discs and joints." This helps to maintain proper alignment, reducing the likelihood of injuries that may lead to back pain.

This workout is a circuit with three stations – one on the rower, a full-body bodyweight exercise and one for your core. Complete the exercises below, one after the other, with no (or as little) rest in between. Once you’ve completed an entire round, rest for a minute, before repeating the workout four more times. Make sure your gym water bottle is close by. Here’s your workout:

  • 250 metre row
  • 6 burpees
  • 6 V-ups (or leg raises) 

If this workout hasn't left you wanting to sack off the rowing machine for the foreseeable, then here's another rowing workout that'll improve your full-body fitness. It's a steady interval workout from HYROX Master Trainer Jake Dearden and it's brilliant for building up your aerobic engine. However, if it has, then here's a four-move bodyweight workout that provides similar benefits instead.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.