Many people avoid rowing machines at the gym because they sometimes seem to be very intimidating. But really, once you learn how to use a rowing machine at the gym, this piece of equipment will spice up your cardio routine. Rowing machine is an amazing calorie buster and leg and core workout.
Before using a rowing machine, make sure that your clothes are formfitting. You do not want to have any fabric caught in a rowing machine while working out. Make sure not to set the resistance too high. Experienced rowers keep the rowing machines at three to five. Setting a machine at two or three is perfect for beginners.
So, the first step for using a rowing machine at the gym is adjusting the damper settings. Avoid setting your sights high.
Many beginners row only with their arms. That is a big mistake. Putting too much pressure on your upper body can lead to a serious injury. About 60% of your power should come from pushing with your legs. Using the power of your legs for each stroke is extremely important.
Many beginners tend to mix up the order of operations. Using your arms and legs at the same time might feel like the right thing to do. But, it is not. There are three steps to the rowing stroke. First of all, focus on pushing with your legs, while making sure that your shoulders pass your pelvis. Then, pull the arms into your chest. Once you pull the arms into your chest, go back to the starting position and repeat the process again.
Also, hunching your back during the stroke is a very bad habit. You have to make sure that you are sitting tall. Focus on engaging your abdominal muscles and relaxing your shoulders. Your spine should be in a neutral position.
Rushing and banging your butt into your heels is something you should avoid. This usually happens when you are “in the zone”, making your strokes as fast and as strong as possible. Usually, this is when your seat starts slamming into the front of the rower. Your body starts jerking forward uncontrollably, too. In order to regain the control, pay attention to the timing of your strokes. The strokes ratio should be 1:2 counts. This way the body will expand lots of energy, while the legs are pushing and arms are pulling. The second half of the stroke should be more relaxed.
Sometimes your legs can be pushing so quickly, causing your rear to shoot out ahead the rest of you. Then, your upper body will awkwardly try to catch up. This will definitely make your strokes less efficient, and it can even lead to an injury. To avoid this, make sure your abs are active. This will help your hands and feet stay connected.
Using a rowing machine at the gym should not be a problem for you anymore. Follow these simple steps and make your rowing exercises effective!