A fitness expert offers advice on technique and consistency for rowing
Rowing provides a tremendous full-body workout and packs many powerful benefits for your heart, lungs and overall health.
Not many stationary exercise machines provide you with a real upper-body workout. But when you sit down at the rowing machine, muscles worked primarily include your back, your shoulders and the pulling muscles in your arms, along with your glutes, thighs and even a bit of help from your calves as you push away from the foot platform.
The fact that your feet never leave that platform is a bonus too: Because you’re not bouncing or jumping, rowing is considered a low-impact workout, which means it may still be tolerated by people whose joint, bone or muscular health keep them from doing high-impact jumping workouts.
Improve your base fitness
A recommended way to get started would be to use the rower for a sustained period at a lower intensity. Rather than pushing too hard, the focus is on consistency in your strokes per minute, technique and breathing patterns. You can then work towards high-intensity intervals.
Have the right foot strap position
The foot strap should allow your mid-foot to flex, rather than being too tight and keeping it rigid. If the straps become loose as you row, they will prevent you from applying pressure and pressing through your feet, as you extend your legs.
Use a low air resistance Rowing Machine
One of the most common misconceptions is that using a higher resistance setting means you are fitter, stronger or better at rowing. The way to develop power is to increase your speed over a distance. A resistance setting of between 2 and 6 is more than enough even for professional rowers.
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