Rowing machines are one of the most popular cardio machines. Like any other exercise, correct posture should always be your number one priority. It targets your arms, legs, and core muscles while simultaneously strengthening your heart and lungs. Some benefits of rowers include minimal impact workout for the body, it targets various muscle groups in one single exercise, the movement is not technical thus it comes easy to do for beginners, and lastly, it is space efficient enough to fit any room.
Rowers are a great piece of cardio equipment as long as you don’t strain your back during workout. People who use this often complain of back pain which is a result of incorrect posture and body mechanism. When properly used, rowers can be very beneficial. One should have a strong back to do well on this machine otherwise at the end of the session, you’ll have a strained and aching back.
Fortunately, there’s a way around this. Stretching is a great way to avoid back pain. Before you start on your rower, warm-up and stretch your muscles focusing greatly on your back since that area will be vigorously used. Next is slouching. Do not slouch your back towards the end of the “drive” of the row, use your hips instead. Lastly, make sure you’re rowing machine is set properly to fit your body as well as the resistance levels. For newbies, it is advised to start your session on rowers to ten minutes maximum, gradually increasing it over time to avoid muscle strains.
Here are some tips to consider when using a rowing machine:
- Make sure you adjust your rower accordingly before starting your session. Your heels should be resting flat on the pedals and foot straps are snugly fitted.
- Choose the right workout program. There are a lot of rowers with monitor displays indicating time and distance. If you’re a beginner and you’re not sure which program to start, instead of creating your own, try the preset programs first and then adjust accordingly on your succeeding sessions.
- Rowing is all about proper mechanism. You’ll be doing a motion called “catch” which is done by gripping the handles facing down while keeping your back aligned with the seat and bending your knees. Keep your chest and thighs close together and avoid rounding your shoulders. Slumping your shoulders will make the workout ineffective and may cause injuries.
- The second motion is called “drive” wherein you push the pedals with your feet fully extending your legs. Simultaneously, you need to pull the bar towards your stomach. Keep your shoulders pulled back until the bar is inch close to your navel. Avoid over extending your shoulders towards the end of the movement.
- To finish one rowing motion, return to your starting position but make sure you do this by bending at the hips and not slouching the back.
- If you’re just a beginner, it is highly recommended to do your sessions for a maximum of ten minutes. When you perfect the movement, gradually add minutes to increase endurance. With just one movement, you can target major muscle groups. Again, in order for this to be effective, make sure your posture and movement are correct.