Beginner's Guide to the Upright Row-N-Ride Machine

Beginner's Guide to the Upright Row-N-Ride Machine

Ready to get started on your Row-N-Ride journey? The guide below is designed to teach you how to effectively use your machine to reach your goals. Learn everything you need to get started and more below!

Adjusting Your Row-N-Ride

Making sure you have the right set up on your Row-N-Ride is so important for ensuring you are completing exercises with the proper form and maximizing the results you see from your workout program. In the video, you’ll learn how to adjust your seat, handlebars, and the angle of your Row-N-Ride machine.

The next step is making sure your machine is adjusted to best fit you. Because everyone’s body is different, even individuals at the same height may have differing needs when it comes to seat and handlebar adjustments. That’s why I’ve separated it into three key points to look for when fitting your Row-N-Ride for your workout to ensure you have the most personalized fit.

Height Settings

You can adjust the angle of depth the machine will squat to, from 90-degrees, 60-degrees, and 30-degrees. 30-degrees will give you the deepest range of motion, so if you’re interested in squatting low, this will be the right setting for you. The video above will go into the specifics of adjusting the machine. To achieve a 90-degree squat, select the first hole; to achieve a 60-degree squat, select the second hole; and to achieve a 30-degree squat, select the third hole.

Seat Settings

The Row-N-Ride comes with 5 adjustable seat settings. When selecting a seat setting appropriate for you, the most important thing is that you feel comfortably supported throughout your squat. This means that the seat should be just below you as if you’re sitting back into a chair when you’re at full depth of your squat. It may take a few test runs to be sure you have the right set up and your seat is not too far forward or back.

An important note is making sure your seat is adjusted far enough back so that your knees are tracking in line with your toes. When your knees come in front of your toes at the bottom of your squat it can create unwanted pressure on your knees. You can correct this issue by sitting back with your hips as you squat and making sure your seat isn’t set too close. This is where checking your form in a mirror can come in handy!

Handlebar Settings

The handlebar on the Row-N-Ride can be adjusted to 4 different height settings. Your handlebar height will be most comfortable when adjusted somewhere between your rib cage and belly button. If you’re performing rows and the handlebar is too low, you won't be able to achieve a full range of motion when you pull back on the handlebar to row. At the same time, it’s important to make sure the handlebars are not so high that they hold you back from achieving a full range of motion when squatting. Remember, you can choose between the top and lower handlebar to further personalize your fit and workout when using this machine, we recommend using the one that feels most comfortable to you.

Resistance Settings

Finally, there are three different resistance settings to choose from when using your Row-N-Ride. Each resistance band adds approximately 22 lbs of resistance to your workout! We recommend selecting the resistance that’s personalized to your fitness level and your goals for the workout.

For most beginners, we recommend starting with no resistance bands, or just one. The second and third resistance bands are great for increasing strength and challenging your fitness and are more suited to intermediate or advanced users. Feel free to make resistance changes during your workout as some muscle groups in your body may be stronger than others. Watch the video to learn how to adjust the resistance on your machine.

It may take some trial and error to find the best fit for you when using the Row-N-Ride. As you get more used to your machine, and your movement throughout use, you’ll find what’s most comfortable and appropriate for you and your body!

Folding for Storage

To fold your Row-N-Ride for storage, simply detach the resistance bands, and lift up on the seat. Your Row-N-Ride will easily fold up into a slim shape that’s perfect for storing under your bed, in the closet, or in a corner of a room when not in use!

How to Use Your Row-N-Ride

The Row-N-Ride is an incredible exercise machine for targeting your entire body. At its full potential, this machine can be used to target your upper body, lower body, and core – specifically the glutes, quads, hamstring, calves, inner and outer thighs, core, biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and chest. Keep reading to learn how to use the Row-N-Ride to reach your different goals, whether that be building strength and tone, weight loss, targeting the glutes, and more. Our top tips are included below!

How to Build Strength & Tone

The resistance on this machine, when paired with the correct exercises and workouts, can help you strengthen and tone your entire body. By using your Row-N-Ride regularly, you can build strong, lean muscle in your upper body, lower body, and core. When it comes to building strength, it’s important to be consistent with your workouts. We recommend starting with 1 resistance band, but any of the workouts can be completed with 2 to 3 resistance bands when you’re ready for a challenge.

To continue seeing progress in your strength and fitness over time, you have to use the concept of overload. Essentially overload is a challenge: it’s doing something hard today, so your body is stronger tomorrow. When placed in a state of overload, your body responds to the challenge by adapting, building, and strengthening. This is where adding more resistance to your workout comes into play.

Check out a few of our favorite workouts for building strength and tone on your Row-N-Ride!

How to Use for Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight or shedding unwanted fat, both cardio and resistance training play an important role in achieving your goal. Consistency of both strength and cardio training in your routine will make a huge difference in the weight loss results you see. The great thing about the Row-N-Ride is that it’s the perfect machine to combine both resistance training and cardio!

There are an endless variety of exercises you can complete, but even better, the signature moves of the Row-N-Ride - the squat and row - are both compound movements, incorporating multiple muscle groups. When it comes to exercise, generally the larger the muscle groups, and the more muscles you work at once, the more calories you burn.

You’ll also find that even a few minutes on your Row-N-Ride is not only challenging for your muscles but your cardiovascular system as well. Many of the workouts you’ll find are an even blend of the two, but some sessions will be more strength-based, while others are heavily cardio-based.

When it comes to cardio on your Row-N-Ride, you’ll usually find a variety of intervals, whether longer endurance-based intervals or shorter high intensity sprint intervals. Both varieties are great for burning calories to shed unwanted fat, as well as building your fitness to push yourself harder in future sessions on your Row-N-Ride.

Here are a few of our favorite cardio-based workouts designed to help you burn fat while working major muscle groups to maximize your calorie burn.

How to Target Your Glutes

You can use the Row-N-Ride machine to effectively target the glutes to tone, firm, and shape your butt. It’s important to remember, squats are a compound exercise, not an isolated exercise, which means they incorporate a variety of muscles. When squatting, you will target your glutes, as well as your quads, hamstrings, core, hip flexors, and back. That being said, there are quite a few tips and tricks that can be done to better target your glutes while using this wonderful machine!

Mindful Glute Activation

For those of us who sit for the majority of our day, our glutes are used to being turned off. Because of this, when working out, our glutes don’t always fully activate as we want them to. Glutes require mindfulness to see full activation.

It’s so important when working out to make that mind to muscle connection - focusing on activating your glutes through each exercise. It might sound silly, but this focus is often needed to achieve the glute activation we’re looking for.

To really get the most of your glutes during a workout, I recommend waking up your glutes by adding some glute activation exercises to your warmup. You can do this on the Row-N-Ride machine by completing upper zone squats with glute activations. Throughout this exercise, focus on activating and squeezing your glutes as you go through the entire range of motion. Or check out our {Glute Activation Series}.

Hip Extension

The biggest glute activation happens in hip extension. You know, when you’re standing back up from a squat and squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips forward? Or when you squeeze your glutes at the top of a hip thrust? Yep, that’s hip extension; and, when targeting the glutes, that hip extension is key.

The great thing about the Row-N-Ride is it makes the most of the hip extension action of your squat. The resistance on this machine is the highest when you’re at full hip extension - at the top of your squat. Make the most of this benefit by squeezing your glutes and going through that full upper range of motion as you ascend from each squat.

Deep Squats

You’re going to see the most overall muscle activation during a squat when completing deep squats on the Row-N-Ride. During this exercise, not only will your glutes be highly activated, but your quads, hamstrings, calves, and core will work their hardest as well when completing a deeper full range squat, as opposed to a regular 90-degree angle squat or more shallow squats. That being said, always remember to complete the full range of motion with full hip extension at the top of your squat to get the most out of this entire movement.

Squat Variety

When training the glutes, it’s so important to add variety to your routine to really challenge the glutes from a variety of angles. In real life, we move in a variety of ways to complete different motions - activating the glutes to help us complete different daily activities.

To get the most out of your Row-N-Ride machine, and challenge your glute routine, I recommend adding a variety of different squats to your workouts. Including a variety of squat depth, pulses, and squat holds. As well as plie squats to target the glutes from a different angle, or pistol (single leg) squats for more advanced users.

Other Exercises

Squats are just one of the ways to work your glutes on the Row-N-Ride. You’ll find a variety of exercises in our workouts that target the glutes! Glute bridges are one way to get those glute muscles in a bit more isolation on your machine. This exercise can be completed when dismounted from your machine, laying on the ground just behind your machine, with feet pressed against the pedals to take advantage of the resistance as you squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground.

Deadlifts are another great way to target the entire posterior chain - glutes, hamstrings, and back, as well as core! Deadlifts make the most of that full hip extension at the top of your squat. You can complete deadlifts by standing on the rear stabilizers of your machine and lifting up and down on your seat.

More Resistance

Finally, to see the best results from your glute training regimen, you have to keep challenging your strength to see results. As you get fitter, you should be thinking about increasing the resistance whenever you feel like it’s time to progress, and you’re ready to take that next step. Increasing the resistance of your workout will lead to strength gains, which in turn will lead to glute gains.

Be sure to check out these workouts that have helpful tips for targeting the glutes. You’ll feel the burn in just 5-10 minutes!

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m Feeling the Burn More in My Quads Than My Glutes, What Am I Doing Wrong?

First, be sure to plant your mid-foot on the pedal and drive your energy through your heels as you extend from your squat. Second, sit back with your hips, pushing your glutes back as you squat, this will put more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings. Remember, you do use your quads when squatting as well, so it’s common to work these muscles in addition to your glutes.

Can I Use This Machine to Grow Muscle?

The best way to increase muscle mass is lifting lower rep ranges (sets of 8-15 reps) with heavier weight (2-3 resistance bands). To increase difficulty, try different exercises such as pistol squats or deadlifts off the machine (using the seat as your weight).

Can I Use This Machine to Lose Weight?

Yes, you can easily use the Row-N-Ride for weight loss and fat reduction purposes. For weight loss, we recommend focusing your sessions on more cardio-based activity, like cardio intervals, circuits, or HIIT workouts, to increase your heart rate and calorie burn while using your machine. Remember, exercise is just one part of a full weight loss strategy - other elements of your daily routine like your diet, sleep, stress levels, and more play a role in the results you see.

Can People with Knee Pain Use the Row-N-Ride?

When considering purchasing the NO. 077 Row-N-Ride, one of the top questions you may have is, is it hard on the knees? This question has many layers, as it largely depends on your history - if you have a serious knee injury or complication, or if you simply lack the range of motion to squat comfortably.

If you have had a history of injury, complication, or are actively recovering from an injury, we advise that you consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

However, if you simply consider yourself to be someone who has ‘bad’ knees or are someone who simply experiences the occasional ache or discomfort while squatting, the Row-N-Ride may be a good option for you! Read on to learn how the Row-N-Ride relieves pressure in the knees that may occur during regular squatting.

  1. Squat Assist Function
    The Row-N-Ride is a great machine for those who may experience discomfort or lack the range of motion to complete regular squats on the ground. The Row-N-Ride acts as a squat assist, helping to increase range of motion, by rotating with your body as you squat.
  2. Supportive Seat
    The seat provides support as you go through your entire range of motion. Following your every move, it’s there for support when you need it. We encourage users to use it lightly to help with their balance rather than depending on it through each squat, but it can be used that way if needed.
  3. Handlebars
    With the use of the handlebars, you’ll take the pressure off your knees as you can use them to help you lower and raise safely while squatting. Holding onto the handlebars will give you the confidence to sit back with your hips as you lower into your squat, relieving pressure from your knees and helping to increase engagement from your glutes and hamstrings.
  4. Pivoting Pedals
    As soon as you hop on the Row-N-Ride, you’ll notice that it’s equipped with pivoting pedals. This can help with those lacking range of motion that may limit the depth of your squat when squatting on flat ground. When using the Row-N-Ride, you won’t experience this limitation! As the pedals rotate with you as you move, you’re able to go as deep or as shallow as you like in your squat without discomfort.
  5. Adjustable Resistance
    The Row-N-Ride offers adjustable resistance which is great for both those looking to advance their fitness, or those looking to ease back into things. If you’re looking to start adding some gentle movement into your exercise routine, squat on the Row-N-Ride with no resistance added. This is a great way to get your body and joints used to moving through the range of motion before adding on resistance bands to take your workout to that next level.

As you can see, the Row-N-Ride is an incredible machine for relieving pressure on the knees when squatting so you can get back to exercising how you want to!

Can I Use the Row-N-Ride to Target My Tummy?

Yes! This machine uses compound exercises (exercises involving multiple muscle groups) to maximize calorie burn and burn fat throughout your workout. For proper form, we recommend activating your core as you squat and row on this machine which can help increase core stability and tone.

Can I Use the Row-N-Ride to Target Saddlebags?

This machine is designed to help you tighten, tone, and increase strong lean muscle tone in your lower and upper body. Because of the compound movements, it can also be used to help you burn a high number of calories, helping to shed unwanted fat. To specifically target the saddlebags more, we recommend completing plie squat variations.

Can I Use the Row-N-Ride to Target Inner Thighs?

Yes, to work inner thighs we recommend pointing toes outward to complete plie squats, deep squats, and pulses or completing single leg movements such as pistol squats.

Can the Row-N-Ride Help with Pelvic Floor Strength?

Yes actually! There are better exercises for pelvic floor strength like kegels and pelvic floor activations (which are a bit deeper and more active than kegels in the pelvic floor zone), but squats are a great exercise to promote a strong pelvic floor. That's if they're done correctly, so just like you have to mindfully activate your core and glutes when working out, you have to actively engage your pelvic floor while squatting to strengthen. Narrow squats are ideal for this, so the Row-N-Ride's design is actually quite nice to achieve this result. Of course, this can also be done with regular squats, which we’d recommend doing to strengthen this area prior to using your Row-N-Ride if needed.

My Back Hurts, What Am I Doing Wrong?

It is possible that the discomfort you are experiencing could be from improper posture. When using the Row-N-Ride, your back should not round forward during each squat. This means that your back should be straight from hips to head and your shoulders should not be rounded forward. If you cannot maintain this position during each squat, you must decrease the depth and/or resistance bands while squatting until you can maintain good form with each rep. If you continue to experience back pain, consult your doctor.

How Many Times a Week Do I Use my Row-N-Ride?

The Row-N-Ride has many uses; if used to achieve a cardiovascular workout with low resistance, high reps, this machine can be used daily. If using for resistance training purposes with higher resistance and lower repetitions we recommend resting muscle groups at least 48 hours between use. However, this machine can be used to target both the upper and lower body, so you could use it daily for resistance training, for example: Day One, you trained lower body; Day Two, you trained upper body; and then Day Three, you train lower body again, and so on. If muscles are sore, we always recommend resting them until they are no longer sore, for a full recovery.

How Does the Row-N-Ride Compare to a Regular Rowing Machine?

While both pieces of equipment offer total body training that help you burn significant calories while developing the muscles in your lower body, upper body, and core. The Row-N-Ride was developed to help users achieve good squat form in order to train the hips and thighs. The addition of the rowing handle offers a unique upper body training experience as you squat. The three attachable resistance bands ensure you can progress with your workouts as you get stronger. Traditional rowing machines are excellent for building a strong cardiovascular system while building muscular endurance throughout the whole body. Once you have mastered the rowing stroke, you can push yourself to maximum cardiovascular efforts, making the row machine a better choice for calorie burning. If your goal is greater potential for calorie burn, then a row machine would be a better choice. If your focus is more on developing muscular strength and tone, then the Row-N-Ride would be a better choice.

How Difficult is Assembly?

It's not difficult at all! There are only 7 steps to assembly and all the tools are included. Many of our customers have reportedly finished setting up within 30-50 mins. If you need any help throughout the assembly process, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team at support@sunnyhealthfitness.com - You can also find assembly videos on YouTube as well!

Can I Replace the Resistance Bands if They Break?

The bands can be replaced in the rare occurrence that they do break. Simply reach out to our team at support@sunnyhealthfitness.com and we'll be happy to help! Our fitness instructors use this machine heavily without any issues.

Why Does This Product Have the P65 Warning?

The lead in the battery results in us having the Prop 65 warning. The lead does not expose you any more than the lead in a TV remote control.

I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to help you get started on your Row-N-Ride! For more workouts and ideas for how to use your new machine, be sure to check out our Row-N-Ride playlist on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to the Sunny Health & Fitness YouTube channel we’re always adding new workouts just for you!

Beginner's Guide to the Upright Row-N-Ride Machine Infographic
Beginner's Guide to the Upright Row-N-Ride Machine Infographic

Other blog articles you may enjoy:

Recommended Products:


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published