Rowing changes you from the inside out!

23 Feb

Ask anyone from the CRS Crew what our mantra is and the answer will be “Rowing changes you from the inside out”.

This fact is so evident that even after one class most people will tell you they agree wholeheartedly.   It might be because they are a little out of breath or maybe it’s because they can “feel’ the muscles that were just worked – which happens to be about 85% of your muscles.  Whatever their individual experience, they know they have just had a great workout.

Dragon Boat Charleston cross-training with a FitRow class.

Although most of us want to see changes immediately on the outside, it is often the internal changes that have the most profound effect on our health and fitness.  Because rowing is a full body strength and cardio workout, you will see the physical changes you are looking for such as increased endurance and strength and decrease in body fat but what people often notice first is the internal changes.

There are many internal benefits to rowing.

As you row, your body releases endorphins.  Endorphins are the chemicals released during exercise.  These are your feel-good hormones.  In addition to creating feelings of euphoria, they also interact with brain receptors to help limit our perception of pain or discomfort.


Rowing regularly can:

Increase energy

Reduce stress

Increase self-esteem

Aid in sleep

Lower visceral fat levels

Our bodies are a lot like a good book, the words are usually written before the cover is designed. So, set you mind on more than just your “cover” – choose to become healthier from the inside out.

Not sure where to start?  Contact us for a free assessment.  We will be glad to sit down with you, help you define your goals, and create a well-rounded program that will enable you to achieve those goals.

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Class Spotlight – FitRow

14 Feb

We’ve developed our class spotlight series to give you a little insight into the objectives and programming of each class offered at Coastal Rowing Studio.

FitRow:  Indoor Rowing + TRX = 1 Killer Workout

The third class in our spotlight series is FitRow.

This interval-based class uses the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine and TRX Suspension Training System for a complete workout that can challenge any fitness level.

You already know that indoor rowing gives you a great full-body workout.  In this class, we take it up a notch by adding TRX exercises to further work your core, upper body and lower body.

First, let’s learn about the TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) system.

TRX uses your body weight and gravity as resistance to build strength, balance, and coordination. Because you are partially suspended, your core is working all the time, providing stability. The TRX Suspension Trainer can be used to achieve any fitness goal and is adaptable for all fitness levels. By adjusting the placement of your feet, you can leverage your body weight to make the exercise more or less difficult.  With the TRX you can perform hundreds of exercises, giving you a full body workout.

What happens when you add suspension training to indoor rowing?

When you combine these two forms of exercise, each delivering a serious full-body workout on its own, you have hit the workout jackpot.

Let’s start with your core.  Rowing primarily uses the muscles that help you bend (rectus abdominis) and straighten (erector spinae) your body.  Adding TRX exercises allows us to also work the muscles that give us stability and allow us to rotate and bend side to side for a strong, stable core.

The same holds true for the rest of our body.  Rowing uses all the major muscle groups in our legs, arms and back.  Adding TRX exercises allows us to further target these muscles & more for strengthening and stabilization.

So whether you are just beginning an exercise program or are a seasoned athlete, FitRow is a class you don’t want to miss!

See what others have said about FitRow

Just completed my first FitRow class. I thought I was in decent shape as I’m a competitive paddler, surfer, and outdoor circuit training kinda girl. Tonight I kinda got my butt whooped (in a good way). If you are wanting a full body workout that will push you to your limits, then this one is for you.     – Jessica K

Tonight’s class was just what I needed to work out my frustrations and get my stress level down. Intense rowing for aerobic benefits with a TRX arm and abdominal workout that I will be feeling tomorrow.     – Doug C

Love this class! Great cardio and endurance training on the rower, and strength training using the TRX system. Cheryl keeps a watchful eye on us so we get the maximum benefit and less risk of injury. Lots of fun!    –  Kathy K

Learn more about other classes in our Spotlight Series – Rowing 101 and PowerRow.

How Rowing Can Make You A Better Runner

08 Feb

Improve your run…with rowing!

As spring gets closer so does race season in the Lowcountry.  For many of us, this winter’s cold weather has made it hard to start training.  Especially for those who made running a 5 or 10K a New Year’s resolution.

The Cooper River Bridge Run, Charleston’s largest race, is just a little over 8 weeks away and there are over 18 area races before then!

For most of us, training for a running race means running… a lot of running.   Unfortunately, every mile you put into training wears your body down.  Running is a high impact sport so with every foot strike on the ground your muscles and joints are feeling it.  A lot of you are probably training through an injury or joint pain already.

What if there was a way to train for a race that wasn’t hard on your body?
Would that possibly give you the ability to compete in more races this season, next year, or even beyond that?

Well, there is a way to successfully train for a race, whether it be your first 5k or your tenth marathon, without putting mile after mile on your body.

Cross-train with indoor rowing!

Indoor rowing is an incredible cross-training option for many sports, running included.  For example, Lori Gallon of Pennsylvania trained for the Boston Marathon on a rowing machine due to an injury sustained at the beginning of her training program – but she’s not the only one!

What does rowing offer the runner?  Indoor rowing is a power endurance sport that offers a low impact workout, uses all the muscles used in running (and more) and increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

How does this help your run?

  1. Increased power and muscle strength in your legs translates to a more powerful push-off during your run.
  2. Increased core strength gives you better posture and stabilization which translates to a smoother, less jarring run and enables you to keep a better running form even as you begin to fatigue…and good form makes you faster.
  3. Increasing your aerobic threshold will benefit you on race day by allowing you to run faster and/or longer before your body begins making lactic acid, which is what makes your muscles burn and fatigue quickly.
  4. Less impact on your joints reduces your chance of injury and increases your chance of running pain free.
There is a catch, of course! (no pun intended)  To reap all these benefits, you must use the proper rowing stroke.

The proper rowing stroke is made up of 4 parts:  catch, drive, finish, and recovery.  Your legs produce most of the power during the drive with your core being second.  Your arms produce the least amount of power.

Rowing is not hard to learn and is great for all fitness levels.  We encourage everyone to learn the proper rowing stroke from a certified rowing instructor, which is what you will find at Coastal Rowing Studio.

At Coastal Rowing Studio we believe in teaching proper technique and invite anyone to come try our Rowing 101 class for free.  Afterwards we can help you decide which rowing classes can best help you reach your race goals.

Make this race season your best yet!  Add some rowing into your training program and see the difference for yourself!

For those who need a training plan, join us for our 8 Week Row to Run Training Series.  This camp is great for beginners or those training through an injury.  Camp begins Monday, February 12 and runs for 8 weeks leading up the Bridge Run.

Class Spotlight – PowerRow

01 Feb

We’ve developed our class spotlight series to give you a little insight into the objectives and programming of each class offered at Coastal Rowing Studio.

PowerRow – Get the most of your workout by incorporating correct technique & power!

The second class in our Class Spotlight Series is PowerRow.  PowerRow is a 45 minutes interval based class.

One of the great benefits of indoor rowing is that it improves strength and cardio endurance.   PowerRow focuses on generating more power from your body than the rowing machine for an incredible full body workout.

During a PowerRow class you will focus on the rowing stroke and how to develop power in your stroke to increase the intensity of your workout.  Each class will improve your rowing stroke through practical knowledge and application.  The Concept2 PM5 monitor installed on every machine provides constant feedback to the rower about the speed and power of each stroke.  Using this, you will learn how to engage your body to produce a more powerful, efficient stroke.

Similar to how you get stronger by using heavier weights in the gym, in rowing you get stronger by developing a more powerful stroke.  As you produce more power your muscles are working harder which in turn increases the strength and overall tone of your body.

Be sure to check out the first in our spotlight series – Rowing 101.



In this picture you can see the large muscle groups that are used with every stroke.  As you can see, rowing is one of the most efficient exercises around.  Come experience it for yourself!





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