Not many people realise but using a rowing machine is one of the few cardio machines that works out your entire body. Rowing on this machine for an hour can burn up to a whopping 800 calories! Unfortunately many of us don’t us then correctly so we are not getting a full workout.
As a rower I cringe when I go to the gym and see people rowing on the machines who look like they are on a paddle boat, working up a sweat by just flapping their arms around. So here is how to do it properly (and look like a pro while you’re at it)
Hook your feet into the strap on the foot plate, don’t just put your feet on top as you need the security to pull yourself back and forwards.
Grab hold of the bar and slide forward so your knees are bent and your back as upright, don’t lean forwards or bend your back.
Slowly straighten your legs as you push yourself backwards on the slide/seat. Keep your back in the same position and arms out straight.
When your legs are halfway from the bent to straight position as you slide backwards on your seat start to pivot your body backwards from the hips. When your back reaches a 90 degree or upright angle start to bend your arms and pull the bar towards your chest in a straight line, hence why you need to push your legs down first.
You should finish the stroke with your legs straight, back straight and slightly pivoted backwards at approximately a 45 degree angle with arms bent under the chest.
Reverse the motion exactly, start to straighten your arms and pivot the body forward and slowly start to bend your knees and you will finish in the same position as you started. These movements may feel jerky when you start off, but go slow and master the technique and it will become second nature.
Tips: Use your hamstrings to push your legs down, and tighten your core to keep your straight posture. This will really help especially in high intensity sessions.
Here is a video link on the basic movement