After two knee surgeries and raising three kids, a low-impact workout was exactly what Arcadia mom Cameron Ballinger was looking for when it came to fitness. She found it in Row House, a boutique rowing studio focused on full-body fitness for everyone.
Ballinger and her partner Kurt Rupprecht were inspired to open their own Row House after discovering the fitness franchise in Virginia. Realizing there wasn’t a local studio in the Valley, the duo set out to bring this unique fitness concept to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
“For me, the idea of a low-impact workout was intriguing for long-term sustainability,” Ballinger said. “I also fell in love with the motto ‘pull together,’ as there is something beautiful about an entire class rowing together, approaching fitness as a team versus an individual struggle.”
Since opening, Row House has built a loyal following of folks supporting one another during these high-intensity workouts. The studio prides itself on an inclusive environment where people of all fitness levels can burn calories, build muscle and improve cardiovascular health.
Ballinger and Rupprecht credit a background in CrossFit for sparking their interest in rowing.
“The Concept2 RowErg machine is used in CrossFit workouts, and that’s where it started for us,” Ballinger recalled. “Kurt was a natural rower and took to that machine immediately.”
“I, on the other hand, struggled with rowing for years as my body preferred running. Row House taught me the proper technique, and I have become stronger and more efficient. As with any exercise, the more your body enjoys it, the more likely you are to stick with it and continue to excel,” she said.
A fun environment and energetic, dedicated staff are two keys to success. The studio offers five classes: Signature, Full Row, Intervals, Strength and Restore.
Most classes are 45 minutes, although 30-minute lunchtime classes and open-row sessions are also available.
Enthusiastic coaches lead the way, with classes set to 70s, 80s, 90s or pop music (coach’s choice!) as drills, sprints, and strengthening exercises are incorporated into routines.
“All of our workouts are set to the cadence of music. Rowing to the beat. We also do themed rows, where the music is set to a certain decade or a specific artist. Our rowers love it,” Ballinger said. “We created such an inviting space and are incredibly lucky to have an inspiring staff. People always leave with a glisten to their skin and a smile on their face.”
Row House’s team said they are grateful for the strong community support, which is why they decided to give back with a special campaign to help local schools.
“For any membership purchased at our studio naming a specific school, we give 10 percent of monthly dues to that parent-teacher organization,” Ballinger explained. “We have worked with Hopi, Archway Veritas, Saguaro, Cherokee, Cochise and Kiva, and already donated $3,000 this year to their PTOs.”
With plans to open two more studios, Ballinger wants people to know that anyone can row.
“The erg is an effort-based machine, which means what you put into it, you get out. You create your own resistance. You are in control of the intensity and calories burned,” Ballinger said. “It may take a few sessions for your body to learn this new movement, but our coaches will have you efficiently and effectively working in no time.”
The studio offers a free class for first-time visitors and $7 for seven days in the first week. Unlimited membership is $119 a month. Five, 10, and 20 class packs are offered, as well.