The Benefits of a Dual Function Rower Workout

In-home rowers provide simultaneous upper and lower-body conditioning while also supporting low-impact cardio exercise.

4 min read


a man is rowing

In-home rowing machines provide simultaneous upper and lower-body conditioning while also supporting low-impact cardio exercise. In particular, you’ll activate muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, core, and legs through a series of controlled movements. However, exercising isn’t the hardest part. Choosing the right rower can serve as a real challenge. Rower models differ on frame material, resistance mechanisms, and data tracking capabilities. For those looking for a more unique rowing and workout experience using a rowing machine, check out the SF-RW5941 Multifunction SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine.


Rowing Benefits

Rowers are great tools that can test your endurance, help you develop the muscles in your legs, hips, core, arms, shoulders, and back, while also burning a significant amount of calories. You can start by rowing on the machine consistently to build your stamina. As your endurance builds, you can increase the resistance on the rower and perform faster or more powerful strokes to increase your workout intensity. For more adept users, consider pulling inspiration from our Strength Interval Rowing Workout or our 15-minute Interval Rowing Workout.


Dual Function Rower Benefits

The SF-RW5941 comes equipped with metal foot platforms located under the rowing slide rail near the front of the rower. These foot platforms can be used to stabilize the rower with your own body weight in order to perform non-rowing exercises. Using the same handle, resistance from the flywheel, and magnetic resistance system, users can rise off the rowing seat and perform a variety of upper body isolation exercises. These exercises include arm curls, tricep extensions, shoulder raises, and upright rows. The combination of traditional rowing workouts plus standing upper body exercises, make this rowing machine more versatile than its row-only counterparts.


How to Use Dual Function Rower Workouts Effectively

If you are new to rowing workouts, you may find that they can be difficult to perform for long bouts. If you find it difficult to perform more than 10 minutes of continuous rowing during a given workout, this may be a good time to take a break from rowing strokes and add in upper body focused standing exercises. Finish a few sets of desired exercises before restarting the next part of your rowing stroke workout. If you are a more seasoned rower, you could choose to perform the standing upper body exercises at the end of your rowing workouts to isolate muscles on your upper body that you would like to give a bit more attention to. Choosing to perform the upper body standing exercises before your rowing workout will help you have the most energy available to work on your upper body musculature before they become fatigued during your regular rowing workout.

Whenever you are using the standing metal foot platforms to perform upper body isolating exercises, ensure that your feet are fully covering the metal plates. Next, select the desired resistance level by using the same resistance dial located under the handlebar. Grab the handlebar with a firm grip before beginning any exercise. You should pull on the handlebar with smooth yet forceful movement. You will notice that the majority of the resistance felt will be during the concentric or upward motion of each exercise as you move the handlebar away from the flywheel. Performing repetitions too quickly will alter the way the resistance is applied during each repetition.


Example Workout

Full Body Dual Function Rower Workout

This workout provides a unique full body rowing workout that will not only give you a great cardio rowing experience but will also allow you to enjoy the benefits of resistance training for the upper body. Follow along as Sunny trainer Matt coaches you through rowing specific dynamic stretches, rowing stroke technique, power stroke cardio, upper body circuit training, and HIIT intervals. While you can perform the cardio segments of this workout with most rowers, we advise that you only perform the upper body resistance training exercises off the rower with our dual function rowers (SF-RW5941 or SF-RW5622). Use this workout 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days as part of your regular exercise program to help you burn calories and develop muscles in your, legs, back, arms, shoulders, and core.


Workout Details:

Warm Up:

Off Rower
- Active Glute Stretch (30 seconds each side)
- Single Leg Toe Touches (30 seconds each side)
- Squat with Back Extension (30 seconds each side)
- On Rower

- Arms Only Strokes (30 seconds)
- Arms and Torso (30 seconds)
- Legs and Torso (30 seconds)
- Full Strokes (1 minutes)
- Power Strokes

- 1 minute @ 20 spm
- 30 seconds recovery @ 20 spm
- (Repeat 4 Rounds)

Off Rower Upper Body Circuit
- Upright Row (15 reps)
- Tricep Extensions (15 reps)
- Bicep Curls (15 reps)
- (Repeat 3 sets)

HIIT Intervals
- 30 second All Out
- 30 second recovery
- (Repeat 5 Rounds)

Cool Down 2 minutes



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