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Indoor Rowing Recovery

This cooldown leaves participants feeling energized and mobilized.

Rowing recovery

Indoor rowing is having a well-deserved moment. It’s both low-impact and intense, and no matter which brand of machine your facility uses, a well-instructed experience will fatigue the same muscles and make participants glad they showed up. While it may be low-impact, rowing does include repeated spinal flexion and hip and knee extension; it’s therefore important to weave in stretches that counteract imbalances.

The following well-rounded cooldown addresses muscle groups affected by rowing, helping attendees to unwind and look forward to the next class.

Indoor Rowing Rocking Cat-Cow

Rocking cat cow for rowing recovery

  • Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists, knees in line with hips.
  • On exhalation, round spine from neck to tailbone, pulling navel in, rocking back over heels.
  • On inhalation, extend spine and drop navel toward floor
    while shifting body forward, feeling a gentle stretch in forearms and wrists.

Child’s Pose With Twist

Child's pose with a twist for rowing recovery

  • Start (or stay) in all-fours position.
  • On inhalation, reach and twist one arm toward ceiling.
  • On exhalation, rotate arm and slide on floor underneath opposite shoulder. Send hips back toward heels.
  • Repeat, opposite side.

Ergometer-Supported Hip Flexor Stretch

Ergometer Supported Hip Flexor Stretch for rowing recovery

  • Kneel beside machine, outside leg in lunge position, leg closer to machine extended back.
  • Place inside hand on gliding seat for support; press hips forward.
  • Switch sides.

Wide-Leg Forward Fold With Supported Twist

Wide Leg Forward Fold with Ergometer Supported Twist for rowing recovery

  • Stand beside ma­chine, facing lengthwise.
  • Step legs out to wider than shoulder distance; fold forward from hips.
  • Bend knees as needed to maintain extended spine.
  • Reach hands forward and place one hand on seat.
  • Glide seat to back of rower, keeping spine long, allowing thoracic rotation.
  • Repeat, opposite side.

Ergometer-Supported Pyramid Stretch

Ergometer Supported Pyramid Stretch for rowing recovery

  • From wide-leg orientation, turn toes toward back of rower.
  • Lean chest forward and hinge from hips.
  • Reach for seat with hand closer to rower; glide seat back as far as possible while keeping spine and legs long, back heel down.
  • Repeat, other side.


Staci Alden

Staci Alden is committed to helping group fitness managers elevate their programs, instructors, and leadership skills through her writing, presentations, and YouTube channel. For more than a decade, she has overseen a team of over 100 private Pilates and group fitness instructors at a luxury health club in Seattle, Washington. Staci also is certified as a master Balanced Body® barre and MOTR® instructor.

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