in partnership
The classes are inclusive, making every student feel welcome and engaged in our small group training atmosphere. (ROWViGOR)

ROWViGOR: The D.C. area's first ever rowing gym

You've probably seen a rowing machine in the corner of a gym with dust slowly gathering on it because nobody ever uses it or maybe people are just scared of using it.

I was the person who never used the rowers because I felt like I never had the correct form. I've used rowers before in classes like Orangetheory and Crossfit but was never taught how to properly use the machine. So, when I heard about ROWViGOR I was hesitant to try out a class. I didn't want to hurt myself and I secretly hate rowing (I have short legs and little arms -- that doesn't translate well on a rowing machine). But I figured I will give it a try...whats the worst that could happen?

I show up to ROWViGOR which is located in the Saffron Studio in Clarendon and meet with Fola Awosika one of the founders and head coach at ROWViGOR. Awosika explains to me everything there is to know about the "erg" (the name of an indoor rowing machine). He walks me through proper form and row strokes. By the time class starts, I feel fully prepared to conquer the Heart-to-Heart class.

Throughout the class, Awosika was there to watch my form and make sure I was getting the most out of my workout. PS. you don't stay on the erg the whole class. You switch between rowing intervals, weight-bearing exercises and strength building. About 20 minutes into class, I was dripping sweat and I could feel the muscles in my body trembling. The day after class, I felt like I got hit by a bus, but in a good way, like I accomplished something.

If you haven't tried ROWViGOR yet, I would highly recommend it! It is a great full body workout, with trainers that show you correct form and push you to work your hardest. If you still have some lingering doubts, I have asked Awosika to inform you on all the benefits of rowing and explain a little bit more about the concept of ROWViGOR:

What makes ROWViGOR different from any other workout in D.C.?

ROWVIiGOR is the first and only indoor, rowing-based fitness studio in the Washington, D.C. metro area! We offer superior workouts created by highly skilled, nationally ranked rowers and fitness experts. ROWViGOR instructors motivate people at every fitness level through thoughtfully designed, full-body, low-impact workouts. Our classes are inclusive, making every student feel welcome and engaged in our small group training atmosphere. We break fitness barriers by making the sport of rowing an accessible, fun, and effective workout.

What are some of the benefits of rowing?

Indoor rowing burns more calories per minute than spinning and, compared to running, places less stress on the joints. Rowing is a low-impact exercise, so it’s safe and incredibly efficient. Despite how it may appear, rowing is powered by the whole body: 60 percent legs, 30 percent core, and 10 percent arms. It all adds up to better posture, an enhanced cardiorespiratory system, a healthy body composition....and really fantastic workout!

What can someone expect from attending a class at ROWViGOR ?

Expect a truly unique fitness experience. We work you from head to toe! Our signature workouts combine the full-body, high-intensity benefits of rowing with a results-driven, small group training format. Each class includes rowing intervals punctuated with a variety of weight bearing exercises for maximum calorie burn and strength building, all set to high-energy music. Students can expect to have 45 minutes of fun in a challenging and encouraging environment!

Do you recommend these classes for any fitness level?

Absolutely! We offer a full spectrum of classes for different fitness levels and goals. Our Foundations class is tailored to beginners, while more experienced rowers are drawn to Erg Flow, which focuses on stroke, form, and cadence. ROWga is a hybrid of rowing and yoga, while Heart to Heart is geared for those wanting a challenging high-intensity cardio session. We recently added Tabata Vigor and Kettle Row classes for more full-body, strength and conditioning combinations.

If you’re new to rowing, your coach will give you extra help before class to get you familiar with the erg (indoor rowing machine) and ready to row.

Are there any other ROWViGOR locations in the U.S.?

Our first location opened August 1, 2016, “pop-up” style in Arlington VA. ROWViGOR is a new concept, beginning here in the D.C. area with a plan to scale nationally and globally.

How many calories can you expect to burn in one class?

In the average ROWViGOR class, students burn between 400-800 calories in 45 minutes.

What class is the most popular?

Erg Flo is currently most popular, while Heart-to-Heart comes in at close second!