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Athlete Workout: Romy Kushnick, Crew Team

As the weather outside becomes more gorgeous, we at Her Campus are finding new inspirations to exercise, celebrate nature, and renew our dedication to personal fitness. We sat down with senior Romy Kushnick, a member of Skidmore’s crew team, to learn how our rowers stay in shape (and to get some new exercise tips!).

Her Campus: As a member of the crew team you’re used to early morning practices and being on a strict workout regime. What advice or tips can you offer to help others stick to a workout schedule?

Romy Kushnick: Workout with a friend.  It’s really hard to motivate yourself to keep going when you are alone.  When we go into our off-seasons we always talk about how we can motivate each other when we are home for winter break and over the summer.  


HC: Are there any exercise or nutrition secrets you can share that you’ve learned while being on the crew team?

RK: Nutrition is really important.  At practice we talk about it all the time.  Properly fueling your body will help you perform better not only while you workout, but [also] throughout your entire day.  


HC: Take us through your typical workout step-by-step. (Or if you want to list a couple indoor workouts, that works too.)

RK: It’s a little difficult to list workouts that anyone can do because most of them involve boats and actual rowing.  But I will give you some workouts we do inside during the winter.  We are always mixing things up, too, so there is no specific workout regimen.

We usually start off each practice with a dynamic warm-up, which includes jogging, leg swings, lunges and a few other things to get your body moving.  We also do a lot of stretching, specifically the body parts used most in rowing, a lot of hamstring and hip flexor stretches. 

We have a pretty good weight circuit that is quick and easy, all with dumbbells of any weight:

  • 5 push-presses
  • 5 squats
  • 5 straight leg dead lifts
  • 5 dead lifts
  • 5 bent over rows

Then you would repeat but instead do 4 reps of all the workouts then 3 reps of all the workouts and finally 2 reps of all the workouts.  We usually finish with 3 sets of 8-10 hamstring curls on an exercise ball.

We do many ab circuits that involve planks, side planks, up/down planks, crunches, V-ups, Supermans, penguins, and bicycles.  We sometimes go around in a circle and each choose an exercise we want to do.  This keeps it different and fun each time.  If you go with a group of friends, try it.  It is fun to do exercises your friends want to try and this way you don’t need to think of all of the exercises by yourself. 

We also do a bunch of body circuits with lunges, burpees, wall sits, squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, box jumps and some others as well.  For the body and ab circuits we usually do 45 seconds on 15 seconds rest.  This keeps your body moving and gives you a really great workout. 


When we erg on the rowing machines we have a ton of different workouts.  My favorite is 30 seconds on 30 seconds off.  This is 30 seconds rowing as hard as you can and paddling for 30 seconds until the clock resets.  This is one pre-set in the erg workouts too so its easy to find and the machine does all the counting for you.  

Pyramids at different SPMs (strokes per minute) – so 10 strokes at a 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and back down – can be good warm up.  

We do longer pieces like 20 minutes at a certain stroke rating with certain splits. Consistency is what is important. You want low numbers on the erg that you can hold for however long you are erging for.   

You can also mix it up and row feet out, just arms and body, or pausing at certain points in the slide. These all help to make sure you have the correct technique while you erg.  

We use cardio machines as well and convert some of the same workouts on the erg to a bike or elliptical.  


HC: What can a busy college student do on a daily or weekly basis to keep in shape?

RK: If you are really busy, doing very intense workouts for 30 minutes are great.  Like a 20-minute bike ride at a high resistance as hard as you can go with a 10-minute body or ab circuit is great. It will make you feel like you worked really hard and got in a great workout.  If you can’t make it to the gym, you can do any of those circuits or weights in your apartment or room.  Also if you really want to workout like a rower, exercising at 6 a.m. gives you plenty of time!


Hopefully you’ll be inspired to use all or part of Romy’s workout and make new goals for your next trip to the gym!

Emma Weinstein is a senior at Skidmore College majoring in Art History. She loves being a part of Her Campus Skidmore and has written articles throughout her four years. Emma is an avid equestrian and member of the Riding Team. Other hobbies include travel, cooking, and personal fitness.
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