How to Properly Use a Rowing Machine

Do you want to lose 280 calories in just 30 minutes of working out? Then shift to the rowing machine, an exercise equipment that busts calories and strengthens the leg, arm, and core muscles as well as increases endurance and stamina. But before you can achieve all of these, you need to know the proper use of the rowing machine. Wearing tight fitting exercise attire will prevent accidents caused by the rowing machine catching part of your clothing while you are exercising. Here are some guidelines on the proper use of the rowing machine.

  • In using the indoor rower, you will be working against its resistance. You must select the level of resistance that is appropriate for you. If it is your first time to use the rowing machine, select a low level of resistance. Most beginners start at 2 to 3 levels. As soon as you know your capacity, you can increase the resistance level gradually.
  • After sitting atop the machine, secure your feet using the straps on the footpad. This is to keep your feet stable as you go through the motions of rowing. Make sure that the straps are secured tightly and safely. If your feet are released while you are doing the routine, this will disrupt the workout.
  • Slightly bend your knees and slide to the top of the machine. Use the overhand grip to hold the handles of the rower. Avoid holding the handles too tightly unless you want to have blisters in your palms. Keep your back straight as you prepare to row the machine.
  • Use your leg muscles to push the foot plate at you slide while holding the handle. This step will help tone the muscles in your glutes and your quads as you apply force to the foot plate using your legs. While doing this, maintain the position of your arms and trunk.
  • Once the foot plate is pushed fully to the other end of the machine, lean back at a 45-degree angle with your spine straight. The muscles in your pelvis and torso are now locked together by the core muscles, so that you cannot move your spine. Remember that moving the spine can cause an injury.
  • After reclining your back at an angle, you can now target the muscles in your arms and shoulder. To make this happen, pull the handle towards your body until it touches the lower part of your chest. This lets your latissimus dorsi or the flat muscle on your back to contract, stabilizing the shoulders.
  • You will now target your core muscles as you extend your hands and tilt your upper body at a 45-degree angle. Bend your knees and hold the handles as you slide to the other end of the machine and to your original position.
  • To repeat the procedure, push the foot plate as you grip the handle and slide to the top of the machine. Then, follow the steps on how to return to your original position. You can repeat the process several times.

Now that you know the proper use of the rowing machine, it is time to know what not to or what to avoid. Here the things that you must avoid when using an indoor rower:

  1. If you are a beginner, avoid higher settings. Take a look at the settings and make adjustments to suit your level.
  1. Avoid targeting just one muscle such as leg muscles only or arm muscles only. Use as many muscles in your body when doing this exercise.
  1. Your legs and muscles must not move simultaneously. Start with moving your legs as you push the foot plate and your arms as you grip the handle when sliding down. Moving all parts of your body at the same time will not give you the results that you expect.
  1. Do not slouch or bend your back while rowing. Doing so will result to muscle pains in your back. Keeping the right posture all throughout the process is a must in order to have a pleasurable and effective exercise.

Knowing the proper use of a rower and the things to avoid when doing the exercise will enhance your workout experience. You might think the rowing machine is difficult to use but as long as you follow these procedures, you will have a successful workout.

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