There are easier machines to use but more and more people are looking at indoor rowing as an all-round fitness machine. To get in shape, pump the heart muscle and increase strength and endurance you may look at this machine in a new light.
Never be shy to ask for help, make sure you understand the technique before you start rowing for miles or let Row Flow assist, you can visit their site by clicking here. Basic rowing is going to be very boring after just a short while so make sure you know a few basic beginner and intermediate exercises before you begin but even more important check your posture.
Although indoor rowing is a leg based exercise remember you will be working all the major muscle groups. Make sure your back is straight all the time, never hunched or curved.
If you feel yourself yanking on the handles with your arms then you are doing it wrong!
Start with low resistance whilst you learn to perfect your indoor rowing form. Start with resistance of around two to three. Don’t think about speed, rowing is more about rhythm and technique. Think about strength, power and endurance.
Check out some of the pyramids in training to make it more interesting, building up and then winding down, using different resistance as you go.
With varied routines you can easily build up the time you spend rowing without getting bored and without injuring yourself.
- Place your rowing machine on a carpet, the last thing you want is to be slipping around on your new wood laminate flooring
- Adjust the foot straps so that the strap goes across the ball of the foot, if your feet are too high, then so will your legs be too high and you will be awkward and inefficient
- You can place some weights near the front of the machine to prevent it jumping when the machine cord is pulled hard, this should not happen unless you get really carried or swept away, rowing for the USA!
- Avoid twisting and turning the rowing handles on either side, always keep it in a straight line to avoid injury
- Apart from some warm up exercises always keep both hands on the handles
- If you work up a sweat, take a break, if your hands sweat do not be tempted to take one off the handles
- Use chalk or gloves if you suffer the affliction of sweaty hands!
- Wear the appropriate form clothing for this exercise
- If your posture is not perfect with a straight back you are at risk of injuring your knees
- On the forward motion there is a danger of twisting your knees
- The backward stroke can cause a repetitive strain injury if you are not rowing correctly; if you do not feel rhythmic then you are not rowing correctly
- Line up your toes in the same direction as your shin bone; do not straighten your knees during the stroke cycle
- If you already have a knee injury wear a knee brace
- Use ice and heat on the knees if you do feel strain
- Stretch your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and ankles before and after rowing
- For best results before rowing use heat on your knees and after use ice
- Massage your knees and palpate for any sore spots and knots, you can use heat as well
- Keep out of the way of the kids, it is not a toy
- Always make sure you lock the machines frame before moving it
- It is a good idea to do simple partial movements to start, this will help to wake up the muscles gently and prevent in shock (bearing in mind that this is low impact and still kinder to your hips and knees than running)
- Start with legs straight, body upright, elbows bent so handle is pulled fully into chest. Keeping your back and legs straight, extend your arms away from your body, reaching towards your feet, and then bring them back to the original position. Shoulders should be relaxed. Repeat for two minutes.
- Then, engage your back. After you extend your arms forward, hinge forward slightly at the hips. Then, keeping your spine neutral, reverse the motion by leaning back from the hips when your body is fully upright, as you pull your arms and handle into your chest. Repeat for two minutes.
- Now warm up your legs, after extending your arms and hinging forward from the hips, bend your knees slightly so your seat rolls halfway towards the flywheel and your arms extend forward past your feet, grasping the handle. Reverse the motion by pushing with your legs first, then leaning back and finally pulling your arms onto your chest. Repeat for two minutes.
- Now you are ready to take a complete stroke. You may now bend your knees fully so your shins are perpendicular to the ground and your heels lift up slightly. Repeat for four minutes.
So now you know some of the dos and don’ts of rowing, how to warm up, how to keep yourself and your machine safe from harm.
All you need is the commitment to get your gear in, get on or in and get rowing.