CrossFit Workout Rowing WODs – Introduction
What are the best CrossFit WODs with rowing to unleash your inner athlete?
CrossFit workouts, called WODs (short for the workout of the day), are incredibly varied and involve a wide range of training modalities, including;
- Olympic weightlifting, and
All this variation makes CrossFit one of the best ways to develop a high level of all-around fitness and strength.
Not to mention that CrossFit is also an excellent workout for burning fat and getting lean.
In short, if you want to look and perform like an athlete, CrossFit is the workout for YOU!
While there are hundreds of CrossFit WODs to choose from, some of the most challenging and popular involve rowing.
Table of Contents
- CrossFit Rowing Workout WODs – Introduction
- Why CrossFit loves WODs with Rowing
- The 10 Best CrossFit Workout WODs with Rowing
- CrossFit Rowing Workouts – Wrapping Up
by Rich "Hashi Mashi" © HashiMashi.com All Rights Reserved
Why CrossFit Loves Rowing WODs
Rowing WODs is a big part of CrossFit training for several reasons:
A full-body workout
There are very few muscles not involved in rowing.
Rowing is a functional exercise that teaches you to use your entire body in an efficient, coordinated way.
It’s the perfect cardio exercise for wannabe athletes.
Burns a lot of calories
The more muscles you engage at the same time, the more calories you’ll burn.
Rowing has the potential to burn more calories per workout than almost any other type of cardio machine.
Rowing can help you drop body fat and get lean fast.
With most rowing machines, the harder you pull, the more resistance you’ll experience.
As such, rowing is suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced CrossFitters.
Simply pull harder to increase the intensity of your workout, or slow down to make things less challenging.
Compared to running, rowing is far more joint-friendly and puts a lot less stress on the knees, ankles, and hips.
This makes rowing an excellent choice for high-intensity training and heavy exercisers.
While most commercial gyms have rowing machines, you’ll also find rowers in every CrossFit box, and there are models designed for home use, too.
As such, you should have no problem finding the equipment you need for your next rowing WOD.
10 Best CrossFit Workout Rowing WODs to Try
While you could just jump on your rower and start pulling, you’ll get better results from your training if you follow a more structured approach.
These WODs involve rowing – sometimes alone and sometimes in conjunction with other types of exercise.
But before you start, make sure you spend a few minutes warming up and preparing your body for what you are about to do.
Begin with 5-10 minutes of light cardio, e.g., rowing, and then perform some easy dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for your major muscles and joints.
Finally, do a few reps of the exercises you’re about to do for the sake of practice.
Then let’s get our rowing WOD on!
#1. 5,000-meter time trial
Rowing 5,000 meters will test your aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.
It’s also mentally challenging, as 5k is quite a long way.
Top CrossFitters can cover this distance in 20 minutes or less, but just completing the distance without stopping is a pretty impressive achievement.
So, don’t be tempted to start rowing too fast, or you may not make it to the end.
Instead, set off at a modest pace and try to speed up during the last 1-2 kilometers.
Needless to say, the aim is to clock a faster time when you do this workout again.
#2. 2,000-meter time trial
Despite being less than half the distance of the previous CrossFit rowing WOD, this is arguably the more challenging workout.
Being shorter, you can really push the pace and keep it close to flat-out the entire way.
It’s basically a long and painful sprint!
As such, it’s entirely possible to go out too fast and “blow up” before the end, so pacing is important.
As with all time trials, the aim is to complete the distance in ever faster times as you get fitter.
Anything below eight minutes is pretty good and getting under seven minutes is very impressive.
#3. 5,000-meter pyramid
This CrossFit rowing workout combines the distance of WOD #1 with the speed of WOD #2.
It starts fairly slow and easy but gets faster and more intense as the workout continues.
This is an excellent workout for anyone who finds long-distance or steady-pace rowing boring.
1. Row 2,000 meters at a moderate pace
Rest 2 minutes
2. Row 1,500 meters (slightly faster than interval #1)
Rest 1.5 minutes
3. Row 1,000 meters (faster than interval #2)
Rest 1 minute
4. Row 500 meters as fast as possible
#4. Viking rowing challenge
The Vikings were renowned oarsmen, and their rowing prowess allowed them to conquer vast territories.
Huge open-water crossings were invariably followed by intense battles, so it’s safe to say that the Vikings were a very fit, strong race.
This CrossFit rowing WOD is a homage to the Vikings, although you’ll be glad to hear it doesn’t involve any pillaging or fighting!
Do the following intervals:
- 750 meters
- 500 meters
- 250 meters
- 125 meters
Row each interval as fast as you can and then rest for the same duration before doing the next one.
So, if it takes 2 minutes 45 seconds to row 750 meters, that’s how long you get to rest before you row 500 meters.
As the sprints get shorter, so too do your rest periods.
#5. Rowing, push-ups, and squats WOD
This CrossFit rowing WOD combines rowing with two staple calisthenic exercises – squats and push-ups.
Between them, these exercises work all of your lower and upper body muscles.
This is an excellent workout if you want to burn a lot of calories and hit your entire body in a single-time efficient training session.
Charge through the following sequence as fast as you can.
Rest as necessary, but remember the clock is always ticking.
Record the time taken to complete the workout and then try to beat it next time.
Row 1000 meters
Row 900 meters
Row 800 meters
Row 700 meters
Row 600 meters
Row 500 meters
Row 400 meters
Row 300 meters
Row 200 meters
Row 100 meters
#6. Run-row-run WOD
Running and rowing are a match made in heaven!
Both burn a lot of calories and will challenge your heart and lungs to the max.
Also, changing exercise modality provides a psychological break that will allow you to really push the pace from start to finish.
Complete the following sequence as fast as you can.
Reduce the distances if you are a beginner.
Make a note of your total time and try to beat it the next time you attempt this workout.
- Row 2000 meters
- Run 1500 meters
- Row 1000 meters
#7. Thruster, pull-ups, and rowing WOD
The front squat push-press, AKA thruster, is a classic CrossFit exercise.
Like rowing, it works virtually every muscle in your body.
Paired with pull-ups, this WOD is both short and sharp and makes an ideal finisher for your regular workout.
Of course, it starts with a row…
Complete the following as fast as possible.
Break up the sets of thrusters and pull-ups if necessary, but don’t move on to the next exercise until you have completed all the required reps.
- 1000m Row
- 50 Thrusters (45lbs for men, 30lbs for women)
- 30 Pull-ups
#8. Rowing Chipper Workout
CrossFit chipper workouts involve working your way down a long list of exercises, doing each one in turn.
The term chipper refers to how you may be unable to do all the reps in one set, so you chip away at the target and only move on when you’ve done them all.
For this WOD, simply storm through the following sequence as fast as possible.
Rest when needed, but remember the clock is always ticking!
Record your time and try to beat it when you repeat this workout.
- 50 air squats
- 25-calorie row
- 40 Russian kettlebell swings
- 20-calorie row
- 30 sit-ups
- 15-calorie row
- 20 push-ups
- 10-calorie row
- 10 burpees
#9. Kettlebell swings with Rowing WOD
CrossFit is responsible for reintroducing kettlebell swings to the exercising masses.
This once-forgotten exercise is one of the best ways to develop full-body strength and power and burn a ton of calories.
This WOD combines rowing intervals with kettlebell swings to produce a brief but intense training session.
Perform three rounds of the following:
- Row 200m
- 15 KB swings
- Row 400m
- 15 KB swings
- Row 800m
- 15 KB swings
- Row 1000m
- 15 KB swings
Rest two minutes between rounds.
#10. Rowing in the deep WOD
This workout starts hard but gets easier as you progress.
However, as you’ll undoubtedly be getting more and more tired, you probably won’t notice that each interval is a little less challenging than the one before.
For this WOD, you’ll be rowing for calories.
If nothing else, this is a great way to learn just how much exercise you need to do to work off the energy in your meals.
Storm through the following as fast as you can:
15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 of
- Rowing (calories)
CrossFit Rowing Workouts – Wrapping Up
Rowing is a staple of CrossFit, and that means it’s an excellent exercise for all-around fitness and fat burning.
Done on its own or in conjunction with other movements, rowing can help you build the body of your dreams.
CrossFit WODs with rowing are intense and time-efficient and provide a great way to train your entire body in a safe and joint-friendly way.
But be warned; if you start out too fast, CrossFit rowing WODs can quickly leave you too tired to continue, so make sure you pace yourself – at least the first time you try a new workout.
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