Looking to lose those few unwanted extra pounds as fast as possible? If yes then you are looking in the right place as rowing machines can burn more calories than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. You can tell this is true because if you walk into your local commercial gym you will notice how only a couple of people will be using the rowing machines and the rest will be sat on an exercise bike coasting along. However if you really want to make a change in your body, don’t you have to do something that is isn’t used to and push yourself?
Rowing machines don’t just help you lose fat as they also help to strengthen a range of muscles in your body such as legs, arms, core, back and shoulders. This helps to tone these areas helping you achieve that toned firm look that we all desire.
The only problem with rowing machines is that the majority of people are unaware of how to use a rowing machine correctly and you will often see people predominantly using their lower back and arms to complete each row. However it should be a fluid motion that incorporates your lower body to help generate the maximum amount of power and in turn burning the maximum amount of calories.
This is why I shall now go through the correct form of how to use a rowing machine so that you get the most out of your workouts and reach your goals in the shortest possible time.
There are 4 main phases/positions to completing a “row” or rep on a rowing machine. However you must firstly make sure that you seated correctly on the rower. Firstly sit on the seat and put your feet on the footplates and fasten them with the foot strap. Make sure to adjust the height of the footplate if you can so that the strap isn’t fastened over your toes and is over the top of your foot comfortably.
This is the position that you will start each row from. Your shines should be roughly perpendicular to the ground with your knees bent and your arms straight out in front of you holding the handle. You knees should be positioned just underneath your arms and it should almost feel as though you are hugging your legs.
So you are now doing a “row” from the catch position and you start by driving with your legs and then once the handlebar is over your shins start to lean back with your torso rotating at your hips. Once your legs straighten engage your arms to pull the handlebar in to your chest completing the “drive” and you will be in the finished position.
So you have just finished your drive motion of the exercise so your legs should be straight, torso leaning back slightly, arms bent with your elbows pointing outwards and the handle is touching the bottom of your chest.
Body’s over/ arms away
To return to the catch position you basically do the drive in reverse. Start by straightening your arms, then leaning your torso forward by rotating at your hips and then bend your legs until you are back into the catch position.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Whether you are just beginning to use a rowing machine or are very experienced it is important to practice your form regularly. Often people who think they have immaculate form don’t and this is how they end up with a sore back or even worse getting injured.
Your warm up is an ideal opportunity to really perfect your form and optimise your time spent on the rowing machine maximising your results.