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4 Best Rowing Crossfit Workouts (Conditioning & Endurance)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Last updated: April 30, 2023

Rowing is a staple exercise in almost every CrossFit workout and is excellent for developing strength and conditioning.

After conducting thorough research and using my knowledge as a certified personal trainer, I compiled a list of 4 small CrossFit workouts.

These workouts are excellent for developing aerobic and anaerobic conditioning and will help you progress to a more serious and advanced CrossFit workout.

After reading the article, you will know how to execute all four CrossFit workouts and gain insights on the most important supplements to support those workouts.

Quick Summary

  • Essential CrossFit rowing workouts include Chopper, Thruster, Freshener, and Vanilla rowing workouts.
  • The best way to make progress in your CrossFit workout is to use the principle of progressive overload.
  • A chopper rowing workout is excellent for building muscle endurance due to the high percentage of bodyweight exercises accompanying each rowing phase.

Chopper Rowing Workout

Performing Chopper Rowing Workout

The chopper rowing workout will test you mentally and physically due to its high versatility and rep ranges.

You should keep your core engaged during the workout to avoid injury and support the rowing stroke and proper rowing technique.

Keeping your back flat will also prevent injury when rowing and performing kettlebell swings [1].

The whole workout goes as follows:

  • Air squats - 50 reps
  • 25-calorie row
  • The Russian kettlebell swing - 40 reps
  • 20-calorie row
  • Sit-ups - 30 reps
  • 15-calorie row
  • Push-ups - 20 reps
  • 10-calorie row
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Jellymaker rowing workout - complete a total of 150 air squats, 2000m row, 150 air squats

Thruster Rowing Workout

Performing Thruster Rowing Workout

The Thruster rowing workout will build anaerobic endurance with only three exercises.

Here is what the entire workout looks like:

  1. Rowing - 1000 m
  2. Thrusters - 50 reps
  3. Pull-ups - 30 reps

You should keep your abs engaged while on the rowing machine and throughout all exercises to support your lumbar back and avoid injury [2].

Since many of you will be tired after the 1000 m row, there is a big chance you will compromise the technique of thrusters, so below, we will cover all the necessary steps to finish the second section of the workout without any injuries.

How to Perform Thrusters

  1. Assume a standing position in front of the loaded barbell.
  2. Pick a barbell off the ground and place it on your shoulders, just like when you finish performing a barbell clean.
  3. Start the exercise by lowering yourself into the front squat position without caving your knees inward or rounding your back.
  4. When you reach a deep squat position, reverse the motion to return to a fully standing position.
  5. Push the barbell above your head by abducting your shoulders and fully extending your elbows.
  6. Return the barbell to the starting position and repeat the whole process while keeping your back flat and core engaged.

Freshener Rowing Workout

A Freshener rowing workout is another excellent combination of exercises to build lean muscle endurance through a steady rowing rhythm.

Aim to squeeze your shoulder blades at the end of each row instead of focusing on shrugging them.

Here is the entire workout:

  • 1000-meter row + 20 push-ups + 20 squats
  • 900-meter row + 18 push-ups + 18 squats
  • 800-meter row + 16 push-ups + 16 squats
  • 700-meter row + 14 push-ups + 14 squats
  • 600-meter row + 12 push-ups + 12 squats
  • 500-meter row + 10 push-ups + 10 squats
  • 400-meter row + 8 push-ups + 8 squats
  • 300-meter row + 6 push-ups + 6 squats
  • 200-meter row + 4 push-ups + 4 squats
  • 100-meter row + 2 push-ups + 2 squats

"Rowing CrossFit Workouts are a great way to build your upper body conditioning and test your mental toughness."

- Robbie Wild Hudson, Certified Personal Trainer

Vanilla Rowing Workout

Performing Vanilla Rowing Workout

The vanilla rowing workout is the last one on our list and is the best for developing aerobic endurance since it combines running and rowing only.

This CrossFit workout will be challenging on your entire body, so you should prepare yourself adequately and use drink plenty of water for proper hydration during the workout.

A nice water bottle with electrolytes will help you stay hydrated throughout the workout and avoid negative side effects.

If the running mile is too much for you initially, you may lower and adjust it according to your current conditioning level.

Here is the entire workout:

  • Running - 1 mile
  • Rowing - 2000 meter
  • Running - 1 mile


Is Rowing Good for CrossFit?

Yes, rowing is good for CrossFit. Rowing can be used for strength and conditioning and is an excellent way to burn sufficient calories.

How Long Do You Row in CrossFit?

In CrossFit, you can row for more than 6 minutes. However, only competitive male and female RX CrossFitters can have less than 6 minutes due to their extreme conditioning.

Can I Get Ripped Rowing?

Yes, you can get ripped by rowing. However, a full-body split weightlifting routine is much better for getting ripped than rowing.

What Is the Best Supplement for CrossFit Workouts?

The best supplement for CrossFit workouts is pre-workouts.

Pre-workout supplements increase the performance of your workouts by making you more alert and ready for the exercise routine.

You should always feel fresh and ready when starting CrossFit workouts, and that’s why I suggest reading our guides on:

These will help you endure a challenging functional fitness workout and always feel fresh.


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