How do you use a rowing machine

How do you use a rowing machine?

Thanks to the advent of CrossFit and the outbreak of specialized workout studios in cities around the world, rowing is becoming quite popular as one of the best ways to get a satisfying cardio and toning workout.

Upper Body Exercise: How Do You Use a Rowing Machine Right?

However, unlike using a treadmill, where you just have to jump on and run or pedal away on a stationary bike, using a rowing machine takes some time to get used to get results or get used to the entire system. Considering this fact, how do you use a rowing machine?

First of all, strap your feet to the machine’s foot pads so they won’t be everywhere while you use the rowing machine. Make sure your feet are firmly flat on the foot bed and strap them securely but comfortably.

Start your strokes by adjusting your knees up and reaching for the handlebar of the rowing machine. This step is known in rowing as “catch.”

While in this position, your torso should also be slightly forward and over your legs to make it easier to row. You should also keep your spine straight as you get into this position.

In rowing, your legs are essential to get everything rolling. When in the catch position, the next step you need to do is use your hamstrings and push off from the footplate to get moving.

Make sure that your arms and your upper body are still in the first position when you are doing this step.

The next thing you need to do is get your core in line. Once you get your liftoff, lean backward at a 45-degree angle and pull the handlebar towards you, up to the point it is hitting your chest, just below your upper chest. Bend your elbows to help you pull the handle close to your chest.

Now head on to the “finish” phase, where you put your shoulder blades together and feel how your core muscles are holding you at a certain angle that is slightly tilted.

Slowly, ease back to the catch position by extending your arms forward, then follow it up with your torso while bending your knees. As you go back to this position, you should be pushing your legs close to the top of the machine to make this your first completed stroke.

To make rowing easier and more comfortable, here are some tips and reminders.

  • Before you get on the rowing machine, check the settings. If this is your first time to row, start with one of the lower settings—from three to five; you can increase as you improve
  • When in the catch position, make sure you are holding the handlebar firmly and tightly to prevent your hands from sliding as you row
  • In rowing, you need to use the right muscles to get your rhythm and they are your legs, core and arms. Your legs should work most of the time when moving your body back and forth as you row. Your arms and core only work 20% each of the time when rowing
  • Use your arms and legs in intervals and not always together because it will affect the way you row
  • Do not use your entire body when you push off from the catch position. In rowing, every body part will play a role in the rowing process and your legs will be used the most, then your core and your arms/shoulders
  • Do not hunch when you row because this will give you a sore back after you row
  • Ensure that your knees are angled in such a way they are in line with your ankles to prevent injury
  • Do not grip too tight on the handlebar because it will only cause you discomfort and the development of callouses or blisters. Relax when holding the handlebar and just hold it with a good grip
  • Don’t be afraid to take each step slowly until you get your rhythm
  • Do not force yourself to row quickly or go jump to the highest gear because this can cause you to develop a serious back injury. Take your rowing slowly and increase your settings as you improve
  • Do not force yourself to row when you know your body can’t handle it. Seek the help of a professional to help you with your rowing or check the machine if it is properly set to the right level.

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