Are you a fan of the rowing machine but aren’t confident that you’re working out in the right way? This is a very common insecurity with people using all different sorts of fitness machines. The complex world of nutrition and exercising can be difficult to navigate. So, we’ve done our research and compiled the best rowing machine tips to help you make sure that you’re working out as best as you can!
Table of Contents
The Best Rowing Machine Tips
- How Rowing Machines Work
- Rowing Machine Benefits
- Weight Loss and Rowing
- Rowing Machine Tips for Beginners
- Rowing Machine Tips for Form and Technique
- Effective Rowing Workouts
How Rowing Machines Work
A rowing machine is a piece of indoor exercise equipment. It is designed to mimic the movements that you would make if you were outdoors on a body of water rowing a boat.
Rowing (the outdoor sport) is a surprisingly competitive and intense sport with a long history. In addition to the general spirit of competitive team sports, rowing is favoured as a means of training due to how much it exercises your body.
While you may not get to hop on a boat with a handful of other like-minded fitness enthusiasts and get out on the beautiful water, indoor rowing machines are pretty nifty.
These machines use an energy damper (a braking system) that is connected to a chain or handle. While your feet are placed in footrests, you’ll pull a handle towards you, which will be returned by a spring or elastic cord. You make the rowing motions, pulling the cord towards you, and following it back to its place of rest.
Rowing Machine Benefits
There are plenty of benefits to choosing a rowing machine as one of the core elements of your home gym or workout routine. The #1 reason why people tend to gravitate towards this piece is that it’s a full-body workout! This exercise will work out the following body parts:
- Your upper back
- Your arms and pecs
- Your abdominal muscles
- Your obliques
- Your quadriceps
- Your calves
- Your glutes
This machine will also work up quite a sweat, making it a great option for those seeking to lose weight and burn some fat. Though, it’s also great at building muscle. So, if you want to slim down and tone up, this machine could be your new love.
Rowing is also pretty low impact. You won’t be putting much stress on your joints. You’ll also have complete control over your speed and what resistance level you choose. This makes it a great option for those with joint problems or people who are recovering from an injury.
Weight Loss and Rowing
As we mentioned, using one of these machines is a good way to exercise if you want to lose weight.
Our best rowing machine tips for weight loss encourage you to boost the intensity of your workout. A vigorous 30-minute session on the machine can burn as many as 377 calories, according to Healthline!
Combine this workout with a calorie-conscious diet and you may hit your goal weight in no time.
Rowing Machine Tips for Beginners
We often feel the urge to hop on a new piece of equipment and start out strong. However, not taking the time to get used to fitness machines is the easiest way to hurt yourself and learn how to use it improperly.
Spend your first handful of workouts getting used to the rower. Do not aim for a high-intensity workout during your first week on the machine. Instead, take the time to work on your form (which we will explain in the next section) and figure out what your limits are.
Once you have a better gauge of where your starting point is, and know how to use it properly, you can slowly ramp up your workouts.
Rowing Machine Tips for Form and Technique
Any fitness machine will work your body better when you’re using it properly. That means sitting and pulling with the right physical form!
Here are a few rowing machine tips on how to sit and use the rower:
- Start by pushing with your legs and then lean back
- Once you lean back, begin to pull your arms to your body
- Keep your abdominal muscles engaged with every stroke of the machine
- Don’t keep your shoulders rounded
Not only will keeping a proper form enhance the benefits you receive from using the rower, but it will also help prevent injuries. This machine can easily put too much stress on your back and shoulders. So, let’s keep them safe!
Effective Rowing Workouts
Now that you know some tips on how to use the rowing machine, you may be wondering what your routine should be. There are, of course, various different rowing machine workouts out there.
Some may choose to row at medium intensity for a longer period of time. Others will row with serious intensity for a few minutes until they’re burned out. These options may work for some people, but we still think that a HIIT rowing workout is the best.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) combines periods of intensity with periods of easier exercise to give the body a chance to rest. An effective rowing workout using HIIT will look something like the following:
- Spend 3 minutes rowing at a conversational pace to warm-up
- Row at a higher intensity for 30 seconds
- Rest for 45 seconds
- Repeat 3-5 times
- Spend 3 minutes rowing at a conversational pace to cool down
HIIT rowing workouts give you the chance to build your stamina and endurance. Over time you’ll be able to feel yourself reaching higher peaks of intensity, while also being able to spend more reps doing the high intense periods.
Not up for HIIT just yet? Spend far more time in the rest phase before jumping back into an intense phase to get into the swing of things.
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Our list of rowing machine tips is meant to help increase your confidence while on the machine and help you get the most out of your workout. If you don’t feel like you’re maximizing your potential just yet, remember that it’s okay! We all start somewhere. Seek to spend more time on the machine and you’ll feel more relaxed and empowered in no time.