CITYROW Union Square

New YorkRowing,


byTori Scott, July 11, 2017

We should preface this review by saying that we LOVE rowing. And no, not on a skull, but on an erg, and while we prefer a Concept2, we don’t hold any grudges against the water rower. Now that we have that out in the open, let us continue. You know those people you follow on Instagram that you’ve never met and when you do meet them, they never look as good as they did in their pictures? Yeah, that’s CITYROW. We’ve been following CITYROW for some time and everything about it was 100% up our alley. Rowing? YES. Floor work? YES. Something different? YES. Unfortunately, when we finally tried a class at the Union Square studio, we were underwhelmed.



If you’ve never rowed before, do not let that deter you from taking this class. It’s not too complicated and, with a little proper instruction, you’ll manage just fine.

All of the rowers at CITYROW are WaterRower row machines as opposed to Concept2 ergs. You aren’t actually rowing on water, it just means that the wheel of the rower is inside water that provides the resistance for your stroke.  

The class started with a warm up alternating between the rower and stretching on our yoga mats next to our rowers.

After the warm up was complete, we started our interval and floor work. First, we completed as many meters as we could in two minutes and thirty seconds. We then got off the rowers and did a series of plank exercises and we tackled this combination three times. We then dropped our intervals down to one minute and thirty seconds combined with more plank work. And then finally we were down to thirty second sprints.

The second portion of class was spent doing some light dumbbell work off our rowers. Bicep curls, overhead presses, side lunges, and wall sits for good measure.  

We capped the class off with a 500m row.


We just weren’t wowed by Melissa. While she was welcoming and friendly, the combination of her laid back demeanor and laissez faire approach didn’t have us calling all our friends to tell them to go take her class. We left wanting a little more “pep” and “fire” from Melissa to help make sure we were pushing ourselves and getting our money’s worth.

We were also slightly distracted by the fact that the only way to adjust the music was on the actual system, which meant that Melissa had to travel back and forth to manually raise or lower the sound every time she needed to talk.


The studio is located in an office building in the heart of Union Square. You get to the studio by entering a small office building lobby and riding the elevator up to the 15th floor. You walk down a small hallway and finally get to the studio; there’s no grand street level entry here. The reception consists of a small desk, a small hallway with a water cooler, a few retail items and a bench.

The studio space itself is one decently sized room with approximately 15 water rowers and cubbies (no locks) at the back of the room for personal belongings.

There are no showers or locker rooms. If you need to use the bathroom, you must get a key as it is located in the hallway and shared with other offices on the floor.

CITYROW Union Square

80 5th Ave #1501, New York, NY 10011
Union Square Rowing $$$$

CITYROW Union Square

Union Square Rowing, $$$$

80 5th Ave #1501, New York, NY 10011

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