One of the most unique fitness machines you can find at your local gym is the rowing machine. This machine is built in the same way as how an Olympic rowing sport works. Either you have tried using it before, or you are a first-timer, it is best to learn more on how to improve your rowing training and avoid some misconceptions. In this article, you will find some rowing exercise training and guides to help you get started right away.
Why Should You do Rowing Exercises?
Unlike other cardio training machines like treadmills and bike machines, there are some significant benefits you can get by using rowing machines, such as:
- Correct Your Body Posture – The main goal of having a rowing exercise is to correct your body posture. This type of exercise requires you to do it in a proper body posture to give a maximum amount of impact to your body.
- Full-Body Workout – This exercise will help you train your whole body as it also needs full-body coordination to correctly do it. So instead of improving only parts of your body, you can gain more at once by doing this exercise.
- Reduce Joint Pains – You can avoid injuring your joints as this exercise doesn’t require a lot of stresses put on your muscle. You can easily pull it with decent strength.
- Build up Stamina – One feature that not many exercise machines have is the freedom for the user to set the machine depends on their comfort. With this machine, you can start small and build up your stamina and strength over time, even if you are a beginner.
- Burn a Great Number of Calories – Usually, people burn around 200 to 500 calories per session with this exercise. But, the number depends on your age, fitness, weight, physical health, and diet.
Rowing Exercise Techniques You Need to Know
There are four techniques that you need to execute and pay attention to in one cycle of rowing. They are:
- The Catch – This is the beginning phase. Sit upright, extend your arms to the front, grab the handle, and put your feet on the footplates with your knees bent vertically. You will feel as if your body is being pulled to the front.
- The Drive – Remember this: Leg-body-arms. The next step is to push your legs forward until they are straight enough. After that, your body and arms should stay the same. Avoid pulling the handle with your arms first! Instead, you should drive with your legs first, then your back and hips, and your arms come last.
- The Finish – At this step, your legs are fully extended, lean slightly on your back (usually at the 11’o clock position), your arms pulled, and the handle is very close to your chest. Stay in this position for around one or two seconds before finally going to the next step. Again, you will feel like your whole body is stretched.
- The Recovery – The final step is preparing yourself to go back to the first position. Go back to your upright position, rest your legs, slide your seat forward, and extend your arms until the handle is positioned past your knees.
Correctly do these four techniques counts as one cycle (or one rep) of rowing. Each person will do different reps in their sets, so suit yourself with your own physical condition. Usually, people will go for 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps in a single session. Or you can also do a 3-5 minutes set.
Step by Step of How to Start Your Rowing Exercise
- Warm-up – Always start your exercise with a warm-up. You can do stretches, push-ups, sit-ups, etc, as long as your body is ready for the workout to avoid further injuries.
- Adjust Your Seat and Footplate – It is essential to sit in a comfortable position to help you exercise with a proper body posture. Remember that this exercise requires a correct body position for it to give a maximum impact.
- Assign Your Reps and Sets – If you are a beginner, you can start with 3-5 minutes set and gradually work your way up depends on your stamina and physical condition.
- Repeat the Cycle and Sets – If you feel like you can do more, you are free to increase the time limit or sets and reps of your exercise. Just remember not to push yourself as it will negatively impact your body instead of positive ones.
- Cool-Down – Lastly, always end your exercise routine with a cool-down. In this step, you can cool down with some light stretches just to reduce the after-effect sore from your workout.
Some Ways to Improve Your Rowing Exercise Regimen
- If you are using the commercial rowing machine (the one with a fan), you can gradually improve your resistance by increasing the fan setting. But, there is also another type of rowing machine, which is a lat rowing machine. In this case, you can improve your resistance and strength by adding the weight bars you pull gradually. Remember that the main goal of using a rowing machine is to correct your body posture. So, it would be best if you don’t put too much weight load.
- Watch some rowing exercise videos to help you on your sets and reps every time you exercise. Some videos will also provide you with exercise plans that you can follow to increase your resistance and cardiovascular activity.
- Pay attention to your stroke per minute (spm). Don’t go too fast or too slow. Instead, try to achieve a balanced spm so that you can feel the impact of the exercise quickly.
- You might want to mix the rowing exercise with other fitness exercises to strengthen your core, such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, planks, etc. The tip is to do intervals between sets rowing and sets core exercises alternately.
With that being said, rowing exercise is definitely a must-try exercise. This exercise is very suitable for any fitness goals you want to achieve. At the same time, it also grants you lots of benefits, and it is easy to execute. Just keep in mind to have a proper body posture every time you do it.