Now open: Cru Row Club

Co-founder Elizabeth Fulmer in a baby-friendly class.

Sitting in an infant seat, baby Benjamin watched his mom work the rowing machine last week at Cru Row Club, now open at 2905 Garfield Ave.

“It’s a great little sound machine,” said Elizabeth Fulmer.

Row Club 6
Cru Row Club co-founder and instructor Besty Koch (at right) tells rowers, “This is your class, your race.”

Babies are welcome at the row club, co-founded by Fulmer and Betsy Koch, who met at a baby-wearing barre class and ran a half marathon together shortly after giving birth.

“It kind of hurts when you get a little older,” Fulmer said.

Both mothers of three, they started searching for heart-pumping, lung-burning workouts that were easier on their bodies. They rediscovered rowing, a sport where they both competed in college, and decided to launch a business. The co-founders have both worked at General Mills, and Koch, who teaches classes, has also worked at Life Time Fitness.

“We’re brand people and business people and we love fitness,” Fulmer said.

Row Club 7Koch said rowing works more than 80 percent of the body’s muscles, and the machines can adapt for sculpting moves like bicep curls.

“There really is nothing like it,” she said. “It’s a full-body workout.”

The row club started as an outdoor pop-up last summer. With children in tow, they rented a 26-foot U-Haul to bring rowing machines to the State Fair and Open Streets at 50th & France.

Now anchored for the winter at the Minnesota Power Yoga space, classes focus on sculpting or incorporating yoga, and daycare is available in an adjoining lounge. The first class is free.