The Best Rowing Machine Technique

best rowing machineRowing machines have fast become one of the top fitness machines in gyms across the US. There are many reasons why, including the fact that it is one of the few machines that provides a total body workout. Aerobics and strength training benefits are both the result of using a rowing machine.

Success with a rowing machine fitness regime relies on learning the proper rowing machine technique. In fact, proper rowing machine technique is going to be one of the most important steps that you must take if you want to see results. Incorrectly using the rowing machine may result in injury or a poor workout.

Proper rowing machine technique is akin to swimming. Both the arms and legs are in movement, while the core of the body is used to stabilize and provide strength. It truly is a great way to workout, it gets your cardio heart rate up, and will burn a few hundred calories. Normal full on workouts can burn up to 800 calories a session.

When using a rowing machine, it’s important to understand the three main movements that occur on the machine. The first movement is called the catch. The catch is when your body propels forward. At this time, your knees should be bent and held close and tucked to the body. The second movement is called the power stroke and describes the motion of pushing on the foot pedals and straightening your legs, while at the same time you bring your hands back towards the body. It’s important to exhale during this motion. The recovery is the final movement and consists of straightening the arms, bending the knees and moving the body forward.

The proper rowing machine technique starts when you first step into the machine. Set the machine to it’s lowest level if you are a beginner. Depending on the type of rowing machine that is being used, other settings may have to be adjusted as well, such as incline, heart rate, etc. The first step is to make sure that a comfortable foot placement is achieved. Place your feet in a comfortable upright position and don’t let the feet point in or out. Doing so will put too much strain on the knee joint while the body moves back and forth. Once your feet are in place, be sure that the seat is adjusted so that you have a comfortable grip on the handles.

The proper rowing machine technique requires you to maintain good posture while exercising. Keeping good posture will ensure that no back strain or muscle injuries occur. The back should be upright at all times. An easy mistake to make is to hunch the back or lean too far forward or backwards. Instead of using the muscles, sheer momentum will put too much pressure on the lower back area, causing strains. Only the arms and legs should move, the back should remain static.

In order to help keep the back straight, you should keep your head up and looking forward at all times. The shoulders will not be able to roll down and the back is less likely to become hunched over this way. It is also easier to breathe and to focus on exhaling at the proper time. Keeping the back straight and head up will increase the benefits of the workout, as all the right muscles are being used.

Good rowing technique may take a few tries to get right. Rather than allowing momentum to pull the body, think of pulling the handles through the back as you move on the machine. Try pulling the shoulder blades together during this movement, as it helps you find the exact muscles you should be working out. By pulling through the back with the with the handles this way, the muscles will protect the back from injury, as well as provide the strength building aspect of the workout.

Rowing machines force you to rely on the muscles in your hips and legs to do most of the work. Having the seat adjusted correctly will assist in avoiding the tendency to slouch or slide in the seat. The arms get a workout as well, however. Try to never arch the back and always sit up straight in the chair for the most beneficial rowing machine workout.

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