How to Properly Use Rowing Machines

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How to Properly Use Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are great for working out allowing you to strengthen your core, legs, arm, neck, and back muscles. To have the most effective workout, you need to use the machine with your body in the correct sequence.

If you are a beginner, rowing can be dangerous, so you need someone who understands and knows rowing to teach you the correct way to use rowing machines. You can do things in a gym that would cause you to flip out of a boat on water.

When you use the rowing machine properly, it will make a huge difference in the results you will see and feel.

If you do your rowing at a gym, check the rowing machine’s setting from very high to low before you start. You probably don’t want to start at a high setting if you’re a beginner.

The rower will feel heavier as you move in the higher gear. Start at three to five if you are a beginner.

If you don’t possess your own rowing machine, go to your gym and ask the instructor for a demo. It’s easier to see rowing in action rather than reading about how to do it. You can have someone watch you to let you know your mistakes or if you’re doing it right. You don’t want to hurt yourself. Find a real rower, not somebody who has never been on the water.

The four methods for the correct rowing techniques are:

  • Catch—holding handle in your hands, lean forward and bend your knees.
  • Drive—push off with your feet with arms following.
  • Finish—pushing your legs until almost straight pulling your arms into your lower chest area with your elbows slightly behind your torso.
  • Recovery—let your arms be pulled back in, lean a bit forward, bend your knees to come back in.

Push off hard with your legs; your lower body is the main working area. This is followed by the abdomen and upper body. Your legs provide all the power at about 60%. Your core provides 20% and your arms 20%. By keeping your upper and lower body strong and connected when pulling the handle or when trying to drive the oar handles out in a real boat on water, you’ll feel less stressed physically. When your back and core muscles are not strong, you will not have power and they will be sore when you’re finished.

Be sure to sit up straight and tall. Don’t over exaggerate your body swing by leaning back too far and then nose-diving too far forward. Do it in this order: legs/back/arms.

Remember that your power drive is primarily dependent on your legs, swinging your back, then bringing your arms into your body for a smooth accurate finish movement.

After the drive is done and your arms are at your body, they must move rapidly to go back out and take all the energy and power from the drive. This is where the stroke ends.

Now that your arms are away from your side, return to the catch slowly. This is the recovery cycle. As you move towards the catch, keep your heels down on the foot treads. This gives you a good connection between your legs and the structure of the rowing machine or an authentic boat on water.

A rowing machine exercises your cardiorespiratory system and most of the major muscles in your body, building physical endurance and strength. If you want to work your lower body, check out the exercise bikes to do this.

If you want low impact to your joints, cardio respiratory fitness, and overall muscle toning, see elliptical exercise machines that are affordable and show your data on the top control monitor.

Whatever your choice for staying in shape up into your older years, you’ll be happy you did something besides sit around all day losing muscle tone.

Rowing Techniques video.

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