Your HIIT Rowing Workout Guide: Definition, Key Benefits, and 7 HIIT Rowing Workouts to Try

Hydrow Marketing Team

It’s no secret that HIIT workouts are a great way to improve your health and fitness. Since 2014, when HIIT workouts landed on the list of fitness trends from the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts have grown in popularity. 

So, what’s all the hype about? HIIT workouts are an incredible asset to add into your rowing machine workout routine. This guide will cover: 

Let’s dive in!

What is a HIIT rowing workout?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These workouts are exactly as they sound: intervals of high intensity, followed by intervals of active recovery at a lower intensity. So, a HIIT rowing workout is simply a HIIT workout that involves rowing. 

The high-intensity intervals can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 60 seconds, depending on the structure of the workout. 

The lower-intensity “recovery” intervals also will vary in length depending on how the workout is structured. In fact, both the high and low intensity intervals may vary within the same workout.

With a HIIT rowing workout, you might row at a high intensity for a full 60 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of recovery, then 30 seconds again at a high intensity, followed by two full minutes of recovery.

The types of HIIT rowing workouts

HIIT rowing workouts have two general categories:

  1. Rowing-only HIIT workouts

  2. Hybrid/circuit training workouts

Rowing-only HIIT workouts

Rowing-only HIIT workouts are exactly as they sound: exclusively rowing. You’ll alternate between intervals of high-intensity rowing and low-intensity rowing for recovery. 

What determines the intensity of the row? Both the speed and the power that you’re putting into each stroke. 

Hybrid/circuit training HIIT workouts

Circuit training, or hybrid HIIT rowing workouts, alternate between rowing and calisthenics or bodyweight movement for strength training, with intervals of recovery during your transition on and off your rower. These circuit training workouts are available from your Hydrow machine or the Hydrow App.

The benefits of a HIIT rowing workout

The list of benefits from a HIIT workout — and specifically a HIIT workout including rowing — is long, and includes: 

  • High calorie burn

  • Cardiovascular health

  • Mental health 

  • A short and sweet duration

High calorie burn

HIIT workouts bring a higher calorie burn than workouts with a steady pace, for long after you’re done exercising. This is one of the main selling points of this format of workout. Not only will you burn calories during the workout, but you’ll continue to burn calories for a longer period of time afterward. 

Cardiovascular health

With these HIIT workouts, you will see an improvement in your fitness and overall performance through a combination of aerobic, strength, and power training. You will experience new heights of fitness and find out how much more you are capable of accomplishing when you take on interval training workouts.

Mental health

HIIT workouts are also great for your mental health. It’s been studied and found that those who exercise generally have better mental health than those who don’t. Furthermore, “intense exercise increases levels of two common neurotransmitters —glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA — that are responsible for chemical messaging within the brain” according to a study from UC Davis Health System. This means lower levels of depression and other mental health struggles. 

A short and sweet duration

Another major perk of HIIT workouts is that they’re short! HIIT workouts can be as short as 10 minutes, but can be as long as 20 to 30 minutes. In this time, you’ll get an intense workout on a rower in half the time it would take on a bike or treadmill. 

7 HIIT rowing workouts to try

By now, we’re sure you’re totally sold on how incredible of a workout a HIIT rowing workout is (we can’t blame you!). So, what happens next?  We have a treat for you!  Check out these sample workouts that are usually exclusive to our Hydrow Membership

1. Hydrow's 10-Minute Rowing Workout With Athlete Aisyah Rafaee in Norway

2. Hydrow's 20-Minute Rowing Machine Workout With Athletes Laine Maher and Dani Hansen

3. The Best HIIT Rowing Workout

4. Thrilling 20-Minute HIIT Rowing Workout in Boston With Captivating Racing Stories

5. Ultimate 20-minute Rowing Bootcamp HIIT Workout In Stunning Norway

6. 10-Minute HIIT Rowing Workout in Boston

7. Tackle This 10-Minute HIIT Rowing Workout in Beautiful Norway

You can find more workouts in the Hydrow app or on your Hydrow machine. Check out our YouTube channel for more previews of workouts, or become a Hydrow Member through the Hydrow App to gain access to a library of 4,000+ workouts and so much more.

Try HIIT rowing workouts with Hydrow

If you are looking to invest in a rowing machine for your home, be sure to check out Hydrow. Our state-of-the-art rowing machines are the perfect addition to any home gym, giving you an immersive and total-body workout in just 20 minutes a day. 

Hydrow’s extensive library of workout content is led by our team of world-class and Olympic Athletes and filmed in stunning locations around the world. Whether you’re looking to do a rowing workout or cross-train with yoga, Pilates, and circuit training, you’ll be transported to stunning global destinations that keep you motivated to come back again and again.