Is indoor rowing the next fitness craze? Try it at Buckhead’s Total Row.

Owner Elliott Smith explains why this should be your next go-to workout

Total Row Buckhead

Illustration by Leonie Bos

Hey, spinning! There’s a new hot workout in town: indoor rowing. This oft-neglected gym machine has gotten a modern makeover and is finding its way to boutique studios across the country, including Total Row in Buckhead. Here, owner Elliott Smith, a former runner who discovered rowing while rehabbing a running injury, explains why this should be your next go-to workout.

1. It works your entire body.
Think rowing is all upper body? Think again. According to Smith, a single rowing stroke works 86 percent of the body and nine of 11 major muscle groups.

2. It torches up to 1,000 calories per hour.
The cardio workout incorporates several large muscle groups at once.

3. It’s low impact.
“The rowing seat is wide and low to the ground, so it helps distribute body weight and limits impact on knees, hips, and joints,” says Smith.

4. It works for all levels.
Unlike those competitive cycling classes, there’s no gigantic screen broadcasting your stats to the entire room. Workouts are based on strokes per minute, which allows participants to adjust effort based on ability. Smith says his studio welcomes “everyone from Olympians to amputees to seniors with double hip replacements.”

5. It uses real water.
Unlike those sad, antiquated gym rowers, Total Row’s WaterRowers use a paddle that moves across water inside the machine for a smooth and natural effort that makes you feel like you’re gliding through an actual lake or river, making it “very soothing and hypnotic.”

The workout:
TR45, the studio’s signature 45-minute class, incorporates rowing intervals with strength training using kettlebells, slam balls, and TRX straps for a fast-paced, full-body workout. Total Row Fitness, 3655 Roswell Road.

This article appears in our March 2019 issue.