Shoulders Down, Back Straight, Abs Tight: Indoor Rowing Growing in Popularity


At the Summit Area YMCA, indoor rowing has become a popular exercise for many members. Indoor rowing is not only low impact, but according to an English Institute of Sport study, also engages 86 percent of muscles throughout the body. The exercise has become easy and highly accessible for individuals of all fitness levels.

While rowing is not a new sport, the indoor machines’ popularity has grown in recent years due to increased awareness and visibility with popular programs like Crossfit and Orangetheory fitness—the machine’s popularity has grown from people using a rowing machine at least once a year from 9.8 million in 2015 to 10.1 million in 2016, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association's 2016 Tracking the Fitness Movement Report.

However, proper rowing form is not as innate as walking on a treadmill. “It's not just getting on and going back and forth on the machine. It's how hard you push and how you do the technique,” says Alice Stein, Personal Training Director at the Summit YMCA. “It's pretty boring by itself, but when you're in a group and you've got music and you've got somebody like Chris R or Stewart D pushing you, it makes you work harder.”

Instructors and trainers at the Summit YMCA will set target stroke rates, or number of strokes per minute, and wattage, or power, for rowers to meet during the 45 minute class. Rowers start by maintaining a stroke rate of 20 to 24 with a wattage between 30-80 and work up to a rate of 26 to 30.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to try out this popular exercise sport! Our Indoor Rowing Classes are scheduled on Mondays and Fridays at 8:15-9:00 AM or Sundays at 9:15-10:00 AM.

Since group size is limited, pre-reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations are available - two weeks prior - through the SAY Mobile App or our Online Schedules tab. Payments can be made at the front desk. Please arrive a few minutes early for payment.

View class schedules online, on the SAY Mobile App or in print at the front desk.


The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501(c)(3) organizations. Our programs and services are open to all through our financial assistance programs made possible through the generosity of our members, donors, staff and partners. To help us help others, please make your donation today at