RipRow for endurance and vs. a rowing machine?


I am seriously considering purchasing a RipRow. I can’t purchase both a rowing machine (which was original plan) AND the RipRow. So I thought you may be able to help with some info about me as a rider.

I am 61, female, started mountain biking about 4 years ago. My confidence waxes and wanes depending on how much i get to ride. I live in Iowa. From now until March or April our trails are under snow and ice. 

I have a Cycleops trainer, and i admit it’s not easy to do all my training sitting on a bike. I practice yoga regularly. I was considering the rowing machine because i want a good all over body workout and endurance training as well.

I have been intrigued by the RipRow since you introduced it. I would love to increase my skills so i can ride more, ride well, ride fast, learn to corner, navigate drops, boulders, jump etc.

Can the RipRow provide me with an aerobic workout as well as strength building? everything a rowing machine can do?

thoughts to help me decide? I have hardwood floors..will i need a mat or something to limit the rocking of the RipRow?

thanks for any insight.

Mary A.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for reaching out.

You pose some awesome questions. Thoughts:

Riding a stationary trainer is great for your pedaling skills and riding fitness, but, as you know, it doesn’t build MTB skills or strength. Plus: It’s not great for us to sit even more than we already do.

When you RipRow, you build great muscle memory for mountain biking. Every rep is like riding up a ledge, or riding down a ledge, or pumping a bump, or boosting a jump, or carving a corner. The patterns get so ingrained that you can’t help but ride at a higher level.  

RipRow builds strength in the entire chain from your hands to your feet, especially in your core. The resistance is widely adjustable, from very light to rather heavy. At #1 everyone can get moving. We have an All Pro NFL linebacker working at #12, and he’s not asking for more resistance. BTW: He RipRows because he needs to do heavy work, but he doesn’t want to hurt himself with weights. 

RipRow also builds endurance. Set the resistance to a low level and do longer intervals. In the beginning start with 3 minutes, then work your way up to 5 or more minutes. I often do the same protocols as I would on the trainer, but on the RipRow. Check out Workout 2 on this page.

Compared to a traditional rowing machine, RipRow is more functional and more of a full-body workout. 1) You’re standing and balancing, rather than sitting. 2) You’re using your core in a way that mimics riding and life. 3) You get similar work on the pull phase. 4) RipRow also has a push phase. Rather than resting between pulls, you’re working the whole time. 5) RipRow teaches you to transition smoothly and quickly between pull and push phases. This is a critical part of great riding. 

Most people like the way RipRow feels on a hard surface. At home, I use mine on concrete or hardwood. If you want to slow down the rocking action, you can put your RipRow on a yoga mat or carpet. 

RipRow will be awesome during the winter, and you’ll dig it during the summer too.

Yoga is a great compliment to your spinning and RipRowing. Heck, those three might be the holy trinity of MTB training!

We’re stoked to send you a machine. Please reach out if you have more questions.


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