Training with the rowing machine will help you improve your fitness and, at the same time, you will observe a growth in your performance.
Whether you are looking to improve your endurance or strength, lose weight or increase muscle mass, in short, whatever your goal, there is a machine in the gym that meets all your needs and that, for sure, you have long forgotten: the rowing machine.
The versatility of this machine will allow you to use a variety of muscles, which combined with an adequate diet will keep you lean, strong and in excellent shape.
There are many fans of rowing training, thanks to the fact that it is a cardiovascular exercise that combines strength and endurance, providing us with many of the benefits of traditional rowing. But let’s find out more about this tool.
In the beginning, it was an exercise designed for competitive rowers; however, it gradually began to attract more and more attention from sportsmen who in their spare time practiced rowing outdoors.
Then, even those who were simply looking for a way to train the whole body in the gym or at home. Those who watched House of Cards will remember the protagonist and his wife intent on long rowing sessions in their beautiful home.
As an added benefit, it is an exercise advisable for anyone; however, it is always best to consult your doctor before engaging in physical activity that requires significant effort.
Basic rowing technique
Just like in swimming, rowing – where we use most of the muscles in our body – it is essential to pay attention to the technique.
It is better to start with the basic techniques and continue working from them instead of focusing on the effort, leaving the technique aside.
Let’s start by making sure that the straps are securely fastened around our feet and that they are in the correct position. They must be positioned so that the pushing force is exerted from the tips of our feet, as in cycling.
When holding the handle of the bar, initially, our knees should be slightly flexed, while our arms extend in front of our torso.
From this position, being careful to keep the back straight, we push with the legs before pulling both with the back and with the arms, immediately after we stretch the legs and reach full extension.
If we follow these simple guidelines, we will prevent the arms from doing most of the work, which will allow our legs and back muscles to exercise more, which in the long run will allow us to “move” further and faster.
When using the rowing machine, it is extremely important that you keep your back straight at all times and make sure not to arch your back too far or forwards.
Above all, we must pay attention to the following points:
- Make sure your elbows are close to your body.
- By the time the movement starts, the pelvis and back should move forward accordingly.
- Keep your back completely straight, without arching your shoulders.
- Tilt forward and backward is allowed, but lightly.
- Strength must come almost entirely from our legs.
- Try to do the whole exercise with a fluid movement.
How to train with the rowing machine?
Below, we present a series of exercises that you can perform with the rowing machine that will be very useful to incorporate into your training routines whose goal is to train your back, torso, and arms.
Exercise with the rowing machine for the back
It is an ideal exercise for working the lower back. We start from a position where we hold the bar with prone adhesion.
We keep the grip prone to move quickly towards a medium paddle that will allow us to work the muscles located in the central area of the back. Alternatively, you can switch to a medium grip that will activate the muscles of the upper back and shoulders.
This exercise is so simple that it will also help improve posture.
Exercise with the rowing machine to activate the torso
We have to keep the torso motionless and the upper body, on the other hand, let the lower part of our body do all the work. We bring the bar with the inclined handle to us again and again, without forgetting that we must perform this exercise with the back straight.
One-arm rowing machine exercise
Holding the bar between your fingers at the heart level, without rotation and with your torso acting as a stabilizer, pull the bar backward.
If we want to have a higher intensity, we can incorporate the rotation on the same side of the arm, in order to generate a higher intensity.