A Rowing Machine is a low impact full body work out tool that has become quite popular which is known for adequately working your arms, legs, core and back muscles. Rowing machines are used to simulate actual watercraft rowing which is an outdoor sport or recreational exercise.
Rowing requires lots of muscle toning and total body strength. Continuous rowing is a good form of exercise but can be a little inconvenient getting to the water as often as you need. The solution to this is an indoor rowing machine and an important part of this is knowing how to use a rowing machine correctly.
Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine
Aerobic exercise is an essential part of keeping your body in good shape. Choosing a fitness plan that works all the required muscles can prove to be tricky especially when it comes to choosing equipment. A rowing machine works your arms, pectoral muscles, upper back, abdominal muscles, obliques, calves, glutes and quadriceps; working all these muscle groups increases your heart rate and makes this an all in one effective cardio work out.
There are several choices of cardio exercises to choose from like jogging or running, weight lifting and several others that require lots of strength and endurance and also puts some strain on your joints. Using a rowing machine correctly has a low impact on your joints while effectively working your muscles for maximum benefits.
If targeting a particular weight is your aim, rowing burns about six hundred calories an hour and helps tone your muscles as you continue to work out.
Read: Best Rowers for CrossFit
Lower and Upper Body Work Out
Exercising on the rowing machine works your shoulders, upper and lower back, abs, biceps and arms all the way up to your wrists giving you better upper body posture. Along with that is your lower body; it also focuses on the leg muscles, it works your quads, glutes, and calves which improves balancing and flexibility.
Great for Your Heart and Lungs
This cardio exercise increases your heart rate, pumps more blood and increases your oxygen intake making your heart pump faster at the same time working your lungs.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Working out on the rowing machine releases endorphins in your body helping reduce stress and the same time going through the motions can be meditative giving you a peaceful and centered workout ride.
Easy To Use
Starting out would likely be the tricky part but once you get the hang of it, it becomes very easy to use and flow along within the convenience of your home.
How to Use a Rowing Machine Correctly
Using a rowing machine correctly is very important and essential to your fitness plan. If not properly used you may end up hurting your back and knees resulting in more harm than good. The rowing machine works about sixty five percent of your lower body and thirty five percent of your upper body and here are some things to avoid while using a rowing machine;
- Loose foot strap; this would cause your feet to slip whenever you move.
- Hunching your back; this means you are putting most of the pressure on your shoulders and may cause back pain.
- Raising your arms too high; this ends up burning up more energy than is required.
- Opening your knees wide; this means you are not working your inner thighs and might end up straining your knees.
Here are important tips on how to use the rowing machine correctly
Fitting into your rowing machine
Your feet are important and should be properly put in place by fixing in the foot strap. Use the foot strap to lock your feet in so they don’t slip out.
Gripping your oars
This is important and should be observed; you do not want to have a death grip on your oars rather a firm one. The kind of grip also determines the muscles you work, a wider grip works your latissimus and a closed grip works your trapezius muscles.
Legs and Arms Isolation
Work on your legs and arms isolation while practicing through the catch and slide motion to ensure your knees and arms do not hit each other through motions. Keep your knees bent but not wide apart and put your weight on the balls of your feet. For your arm isolation, when your legs are straight, bend your elbows out and pull the oars close to your chest.
Keep your back straight and tighten your core as you move through your arm and leg isolation movement which has been practiced earlier. With your feet firmly placed pull forward with your upper back and pull your arms towards your chest and push back with your lower body and continue the motion.
The complete movement
Ensure you properly distribute the motions through legs, arms and core with a sixty – twenty – twenty percent distribution. push back with your legs and core for ‘the catch’ and pull back with your arms and shoulders for ‘the slide’ while keeping a straight posture to ensure you are working all the important groups of muscles in your body to achieve your fitness goals.
Follow the sequence
It is very important to follow the sequence of each motions, do not move with your whole body all at once. Always remember to push with your lower body and pull with your upper body while maintaining a straight posture at all times.
A rowing machine has become quite essential to your fitness routine because of its low impact and effective cardio workout and knowing how to use a rowing machine correctly is very important to achieving your fitness goals. Ensure to get the perfect rowing machine that fits you and most importantly always remember to check the settings on your rowing machine to ensure it is right for your requirement. Once you get the motions right, you start a fun journey into achieving a healthy and fit body with your rowing machine.