Rowing Machine Workouts: 10, 20, and 30-Minute Workout Ideas

Pete Donohoe
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Want to get a great workout, but feel crunched for time? Check out these rowing machine workouts that maximize whatever time you have available.

In this blog, we’ll dive into different 10-minute, 20-minute, and 30-minute rowing machine workouts you can do on Hydrow to get a terrific full-body workout, no matter your fitness level.

Why rowing workouts can be short and sweet

The great thing about rowing is that it’s an effective, full-body workout that can be completed in a short time window. In each and every stroke, rowing activates the majority of muscles in your body and is one of the best and safest workouts you can do. 

Most rowing workouts use a form of interval training, which is a fantastic way to get more out of your workouts when you’re tight on time:

  • High-intensity interval workouts have been shown to burn 25-30% more calories than non-interval workouts done in the same timeframe.

  • High-intensity interval workouts lead to a higher metabolic rate for several hours after exercise. 

  • High-intensity interval workouts can improve your blood sugar levels according to an analysis of 50 different scientific experiments.

Related Read: How long should you work out on a rowing machine?

At Hydrow, we have three different types of rowing workouts – Drive, Sweat, and Breathe – to meet your goals and needs. To give you an idea of what programming at Hydrow looks like from week to week, below are a few examples of how much you can get accomplished in just 10, 20, or 30 minutes of exercise.

Rowing machine workouts: 10-minute workout ideas

Ten minutes can feel like not much time, but you can really get a lot done when you have the right structure! The key is to warm up in a quick, efficient way to leave as much time as possible for your actual workout. 

Here are some examples of 10-minute rowing machine workouts on Hydrow:

  • 10-minute Drive: 

    • 2-minute warmup

    • Six sets of 30 seconds at max pace, 30 seconds off 

    • One-minute rest

    • One minute at max pace

  • 10-minute Drive: 

    • 3-minute warmup

    • Five sets of 60 seconds at max pace with 30-second rests in between sets

  • 10-minute Sweat: 

    • 2-minute warmup

    • Two sets of 3:30 at sprint pace with one minute of rest in between sets

      • First 90 seconds: 24 rhythm

      • Next 90 seconds: 26 rhythm

      • Final 30 seconds: 28 rhythm

      • One minute of rest

  • 10-minute Sweat: 2-minute warmup, then four 2-minute sets.

    • Set 1: 24 rhythm at run pace

    • Set 2: 26 rhythm at sprint pace

    • Set 3: 24 rhythm at run pace

    • Set 4: 26 rhythm at sprint pace

  • 10-minute Breathe: Two rounds of: 

    • 2 minutes at a 22 rhythm at jog pace

    • 3 minutes at a 24 rhythm at run pace

  • 10-minute breathe: A pyramid: 

    • 2 minutes at a 20 rhythm at jog pace

    • 2 minutes at a 22 rhythm at jog pace

    • 2 minutes at a 24 at run pace

    • 2 minutes at a 22 rhythm at jog pace

    • 2 minutes at a 20 rhythm at jog pace

Rowing machine workouts: 20-minute workout ideas

20-minute workouts are the quintessential workout at Hydrow. Why? In just 20 minutes, you get a nice dose of endorphins and a flurry of additional health benefits. 

As our Former Director of Research and Innovation Dr. Kristin Haraldsdottir points out, 20 minutes gives you the physical and psychological benefits you need to get through your day. Here are a few recent workouts to give you inspiration.

  • 20-minute Drive: 3-minute warmup, then three 5-minute sets of: 

    • 45 seconds on at max pace and 15 seconds off

    • One-minute rest between sets.

  • 20-minute Drive: 2-minute warmup, 2-minute jog pace, then four 4-minute sets consisting of:

    • Minute 1: 15 seconds max pace, 45 seconds walk pace

    • Minute 2: 30 seconds max pace, 30 seconds walk pace

    • Minute 3: 45 seconds max pace, 15 seconds walk pace

    • Minute 4: 60 seconds max pace

  • 20-minute Sweat: 3-minute warmup, then three 5-minute sets of: 

    • Two minutes at jog pace

    • One minute at run pace

    • Two minutes at jog pace

    • One minute of easy rowing between sets.

  • 20-minute Sweat: 3-minute warmup, then five 3-minute sets of: 

    • First 90 seconds: Jog pace at a 24 rhythm

    • Next 60 seconds: Run pace at a 26 rhythm

    • Final 30 seconds: Run/Sprint pace at a 28 rhythm

    • 30 seconds of easy rowing at walk pace between sets

  • 20-minute Breathe: 4-minutes at 22 rhythm at jog pace, then: 

    • Two 7-minute sets:

      • First two minutes of a set at a 24 rhythm

      • Next three minutes at a 26 rhythm

      • Final two minutes at a 24 rhythm

    • Two-minute jog pace row at 22 rhythm in between sets

  • 20-minute Breathe: 

    • 3-minutes at 22 rhythm at jog pace

    • Two 8-minute sets:

      • First two minutes at a 26 rhythm at run pace

      • Next two minutes at a 24 rhythm at run pace

      • Next two minutes at a 22 rhythm at jog pace

      • Final two minutes at a 20 rhythm at jog pace

      • One-minute easy row in between sets

Hydrow also has short warmup and cooldown workouts you can mix and match, so another option would be to tack on a 10-minute warmup or 10-minute cooldown to a 10-minute session, or tack on a 5-minute session of each to create 20 minutes. Workouts are designed to be easy to connect to meet your fitness goals and needs.

Rowing machine workouts: 30-minute workout ideas

Ready to go long? 30-minute workouts are great for building strength and endurance, and when you have the right program to focus on the time can really fly by. 30-minute rowing sets usually consist of smaller subsets called “pieces” that rowers will do to set their pace.

Navigate a challenging workout with one of these 30-minute workouts:

  • 30-minute Drive: 6-minute warmup at 22 rhythm at jog pace, followed by eight 3-minute sets:

    • First minute: 20 seconds at max pace at 28 rhythm, 40 seconds recovery

    • Second minute: 40 seconds at max pace at 30 rhythm, 20 seconds recovery

    • Third minute: 22 rhythm at walk pace

  • 30-minute Drive: 

    • 5-minute warmup at 22 rhythm at jog pace

    • 20-minute Drive

      • 3-minute warmup, then three 5-minute sets with one minute of rest in between.

      • First set: 40 seconds on at 28 rhythm at max pace, 20 seconds recovery for five sets

      • Second set: 45 seconds on at 30 rhythm at max pace, 15 seconds recovery for five sets

      • Third set: 50 seconds on at 32 rhythm at sprint pace, 10 seconds recovery for five sets

    • 5-minute cooldown

  • 30-minute Sweat: 

    • 3-minute warmup

    • Five 5-minute sets with 30 seconds of rest between each set

      • First two minutes: Jog pace at 22 rhythm

      • Next 90 seconds: Run pace at 24 rhythm

      • Final 90 seconds: Sprint pace at 26 rhythm

  • 30-minute Sweat:

    • 10-minute warmup row focused on technique.

    • 20-minute row: 

      • 2 minutes of warmup

      • Five 3-minute sets

      • 45 seconds of rest in between each set

  • 30-minute Breathe: 

    • 4-minute warmup

    • Three 8-minute sets

      • First 4 minutes at 22 strokes per minute at jog pace

      • Next 3 minutes at 24 strokes per minute at jog pace

      • Final minute at 26 strokes per minute at run pace

    • One minute of rest in between.

  • 30-minute Breathe: 

    • 5-minute warmup row

    • 20-minute Breathe

      • 3-minute warmup

      • Two 8-minute sets with one minute of rest in between

    • 5-minute cooldown.

Non-rowing workouts that complement rowing

Did you know Hydrow also has a full library of workouts that take place entirely off the rowing machine? If you want to move your body and want a rest day from the rower, Hydrow’s On The Mat collection features an array of awesome workouts designed to round out your fitness regimen. You really can get a complete fitness regimen out of one machine!

On The Mat workouts that perfectly compliment your rowing workouts:

  • Christie recently taught a 15-minute obliques-focused Pilates class.

  • Peter recently taught a 15-minute hip and glute strength class.

  • Channing recently taught a 15-minute alignment-focused vinyasa yoga class.

  • Owen recently taught a 15-minute de-stressing yoga class.

If you’re really strapped for time, Christie’s 5-minute all-abs pilates class will have you sweating in seconds flat!

On the Hydrow rowing machine, the 22-inch touch screen rotates 25 degrees in either direction to make off-rower activity easy and spacious. Our mobile app makes it equally as convenient when you’re away from your Hydrow.

Final takeaways

Working out doesn’t have to be an hours-long time commitment. In fact, when you have an exercise routine that promises a full-body workout, you can get better results in far less time -- and have fun along the way. Hydrow offers everything you need to achieve a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home; learn more about us here.