Where to Take Rowing Classes in Boston, Indoors or Out

Get inspired by the Head of the Charles, and sign up for one of these rowing classes.


A rowing class at Btone. Photo by Lucie Wicker Photography, provided

As you watch the rowers in the Head of the Charles skim gracefully across the water this weekend, you may find yourself wishing you, too, could don head-to-toe spandex and take to the oars. Luckily, rowing-based cardio classes are becoming increasingly easy to find in Boston, and a number of actually-on-the-water rowing clubs offer classes for novices, though typically only during the warmer months.

Jonathan Cruz, owner of Burn Fitness Studios, says his gym added rowing classes to the schedule simply because they work. “These classes have been growing in popularity because they are truly one of the best full-body workouts in fitness,” Cruz says. “Participants are able to work nine major muscle groups simultaneously—that’s more than any other exercise other than swimming or cross-country skiing.”

Want to see for yourself? Here’s where you can indulge your crew fantasies, indoors or out:

Studio Classes

Burn Fitness Studios

Burn offers several types of rowing classes, all of which take place on Water Rowers: rowing machines equipped with a WaterFly wheel filled with actual liquid, meant to mimic the resistance real rowers fight against on the river.
Drop-in classes are $25. 547 Columbus Ave., burnfitboston.com.

Btone Fitness

Btone, which has locations in Boston, Wellesley, Lexington, and Sudbury, also runs Indo-Row classes, simulating the race atmosphere of competitive rowing on Water Rowers.
Drop-in classes are $30. 89 Central St., Wellesley and 365 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, btonefitness.com.


Though it’s only open to Equinox members, the gym’s Shockwave class incorporates short bursts of high-intensity rowing into a traditional bootcamp format.
Memberships are about $150 a month. Multiple locations, equinox.com.

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory’s signature interval training class mixes treadmill and strength drills with indoor rowing for a multi-faceted, full-body workout.
Drop-in classes are $25. 375 Market St., Brighton, orangetheoryfitness.com.

Renegade Rowing

Using principles from CrossFit and bootcamp, Renegade Rowing’s classes blend functional, interval, and strength training to get you working hard.
110 Holton St., Brighton, renegaderowing.com.

On the River

Boston Rowing Center

Boston Rowing Center offers adult classes all year round (perk for the hearty: it’s free from December through March). Introductory classes are $30 for three sessions, and a full-season membership is $165.
88 Sleeper St., bostonrowingcenter.org.

Community Rowing

Run out of the Harry Parker Boathouse in Brighton, Community Rowing runs three-week-long introductory sessions for adults learning to row, with classes meeting twice per week. You’ll have to wait ’til spring though: Classes start every six weeks from late March until late September.
$225. 20 Nonantum Road, Brighton, communityrowing.org.

Gentle Giant Rowing Club

Adults brand-new to the sport of rowing start off learning the fundamentals on ergometers before moving to the water. Sessions are about a month long, but they’re only offered during the summer months.
$150. 32 Shore Drive, Somerville, gentlegiantrowing.org.