Indoor rowing machines offer a great full-body exercise that burns fat and tones muscle. Once you have mastered the basics of a new rowing machine and are ready to expand your exercise, there are numerous videos and video series that have workouts for all levels of experience and any muscle group.
Proper Grip and Adjustment – One of the first things you should when using a rowing machine is adjust the machines foot straps. Make sure your heel is resting comfortably against the base of the pedal and that the strap has been properly secured.
As a beginner, the resistance on your rowing machine should be set at a low level. Setting the resistance level too high will cause your upper body to tire faster. Do not cut your aerobic workout short. Save the heavy resistance for your weight training exercises.
A proper rowing grip is firm but relaxed. A rowing grip that is too tight may cause your hands and forearms to fatigue faster. Your grip can be either underhand or overhand and alternating between the two will decrease arm fatigue.
Proper Body Mechanics – Your rowing technique while using a machine is important, just as with other exercises. In particular, a rowing machine user who has poor form is at risk for injuring their back. To avoid straining your back, primarily use your leg and hip muscles. Do not overarch your back when you finish each stroke. Be sure to sit up straight and bend forward at your hips. When pulling the oars or handles, your elbows should remain close to your body.
There are three major phases of rowing training: the catch, the power stroke and the recovery. The catch phase position refers to when you come forward on the rower. Keep your knees bent and against your chest. Your upper body should be leaning forward slightly while still maintaining good posture. Your back should not be hunched over and your head should be up.
The power stroke is when you push up against the foot pedals as well as extend your legs while bring your hands to your abdominal area. Exhale as you do this. When you have reached full extension, lean back a little to achieve maximum benefit. However, it is important to avoid leaning back too far as this increases your risk for back strain.
The recovery phase simply involves allowing your arms to straighten bending your knees and bringing your body forward. A successful rower is able to blend all three of these phases into one another.
Fitness 4 Home Superstore has a wide variety of indoor rowing machines from brands including Spirit, BodyCraft and First Degree Fitness, all designed to fit your exercise needs – visit one of our Valley stores or our online store today to find out more.