Row Your Boat

Where to find rowing-based fitness classes in K.C.

One 2016 prediction that’s coming true: rowing-based fitness classes are becoming a top fitness trend. ClassPass (the online fitness membership) made the declaration and it’s holding true in Kansas City. Health House, the metro’s only dedicated rowing studio, is opening a larger second location this month at Town Center Plaza, just three years after debuting at 83rd and State Line because of the tremendous response they’ve had to their classes. Owner Jon Knopke chalks the enthusiasm up to the results the workouts produce.

“On average rowing burns two to three times the calories as spinning or running,” he says. “And it’s a low-impact exercise that’s safe to do everyday.”

It also works the whole body, says Knopke, which may come as a surprise. It’s more about pushing with your legs and engaging your core than it is about upper body strength. Rowing’s trio of benefits—high calorie burn, easy on the joints and an all-over workout—make it a uniquely efficient workout (good for those strapped for time). And many of their rowing classes are hybrids—weaving intervals of strength, resistance, and even yoga in with the rower—set to upbeat music, so it’s hard to get bored. Never rowed before? Their instructors teach proper technique. We say: go for it. Orangetheory in Overland Park, Leawood and Olathe also use rowing machines in their workouts, and the Kansas City Rowing Club offers Learn to Row and Beginner Clinics for anyone wanting to try the real deal.