How to Use a Rowing Machine

How to Use a Rowing Machine

How to Use a Rowing MachineOnce relegated to the background of the gym, the rowing simulator has experienced a surge in popularity-so much so that now there are entire boutique studios dedicated to it and its incredible benefits for the whole body.

Ka-Yang S. et al. (2015). The effect of indoor rowing exercises on body composition and scoliosis in people with visual impairments: a preliminary study.

But cars can be intimidating at first.  am I driving with my foot or my hand? Should my shoulder hurt? And why do my feet keep slipping off the straps?

How to Use a Rowing Machine
How to Use a Rowing Machine

You’re not alone. The most important thing to remember is, “It’s about strength, not speed,” says Melody Davy, SLT Instructor manager. When you come home from rowing with a sore back, you’re doing it wrong, says Davy.

Instead, focus on using the powerful muscles of your lower body-the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps-to push off and then gently slide back. Before we delve into other techniques, here are two deadlines that will help you navigate your workout:

beats per minute

This is how many times you row (stroke) in 1 minute. Keep that number at 30 or less, Davy said. Remember: it’s about strength, not just throwing your body back and forth.

divide the time

This is the amount of time it takes to swim 500 meters (or a third of a mile). Cook for 2 minutes or less. To increase your speed, push away with more force – don’t just swing faster with your hands.

1. Try to insulate your feet

Start by holding the paddle with your arms outstretched, bending your knees and shifting your weight onto the pads of your feet. This position is called “catch”.

With a straight back and the core involved, push back using only the feet, rolling over the feet so that they are flat when your legs are stretched out. Keep your arms outstretched.

2. Add insulation sleeve

Once you get used to pushing off with your lower body, practice isolating your hands. Keeping your legs straight, pull the paddle up to your chest. Bend your elbows to the sides and touch the paddle just below your chest.

Hold the paddle slightly (more on this below) and use your upper back (not your shoulders or biceps) to pull the paddle towards you. Use the same muscles as when performing a series with a slope.

3. Putting it all together

Keeping your back straight, the body is tense, and the foot pads are firmly attached to the straps, first push off with your lower body, then use your upper back to pull your arms up to your chest. Lower your hands to the base and bend your knees to return to the starting position. Think: legs, arms, arms, legs.

Here’s another tip: do one tap to push out and two taps to slide back in, says Davy. In other words, your step back should be twice as fast as your return to the starting position.


Mistake #1: You bend your back

this usually means that you let your shoulder do all the work.

improvement: start with perfect posture.

In the grip, pull the shoulders back (to open the chest) and down (so that there is no tension in the neck). Keep your back straight, straining your whole body and breathing deeply. Believe us, it’s hard to take a deep breath if you have bad posture.

Mistake #2: You make a scooping motion when rowing

When you bend your knees before your arms are fully extended when you return, you should do this scooping motion to avoid hitting the paddle on your legs. Rowing is a chain reaction, so one wrong choice of form can lead to another. What’s next…

Mistake #3: You raise your hands too high

Don’t chop off your own head with an oar! Pulling an oar up to your chin isn’t just bad form, it can mean you’re expending more energy than necessary, says Davy.

correction: position the paddle just below the chest.

Use the muscles of your upper back to pull the paddle up to your chest. At the end of each row, the elbows should be bent more than 90 degrees, and the forearms should be at the same level with your ribs.

Mistake #4: You lower your knees to the side

We like to relax, but leaving our knees stretched out is too much for physical exercise. This may mean that you are not engaging the inner thigh muscles or activating the hip flexors.

improvement: finish so that the knees are in line with the hips.

Use the inside of your thighs to keep your knees close together, or consider zipping up your legs as you push off and slide inside.

another solution: put the strap on the joint of the big toe.

The second way not to drop your knees is to properly fasten your legs with straps. Adjustable straps pass through the joints at the base of the big toes. The toes should bend comfortably so that you can push off with the pad of your foot.

Mistake #5: You have a death grip on the paddle

Hey, let’s relax. We know you’re excited, but there’s no need to wrap your thumbs around the paddle or hold on to it as if it were a pull-up bar. It is likely that such a grip will create an unnecessary load on your forearms.

Repair: hold the spatula with three fingers.

Place your hands on the outside of the shoulder blade (not in the center). Tear off the little finger from the tip and put the thumb on top; do not wrap them around. Hold the shoulder blade with the first, middle and ring fingers of each hand.

Every time you pull back, remember to use your upper back, not your shoulders and biceps. This will help take the pressure off your hands.

Now that you have perfected your form and understand the basic terminology of rowing, go up a notch and do the melody rowing exercises here.

You will perform the movements both on and off the rowing simulator, so that the classes are interesting and intense. Expect planks, lunges and squats (among other things) for a general body workout. This will effectively target and strengthen all the muscles you need to bring serious strength to your rowing classes.

Special thanks to Melody Davy, who modeled the perfect shape of the paddle for us. Davy wears a Champion C9 top, Lorna Jane leggings and his own Nike sneakers.

FAQ How to Use a Rowing Machine

How long should a beginner use a rowing machine? If you are a beginner, try swimming 250 to 500 meters, rest for 30 seconds to a minute, then do it again. If you keep track of your time, you can try to beat that with each new line. Some people need two minutes to cover 500 meters.

A good rowing simulator for slimming the abdomen? Compared to other types of exercise equipment, using a rowing simulator is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight in everything, including the stomach. In addition, this exercise is low impact and offers you a full-body workout, as well as building strong and prominent muscles, including abs.

Is Rowing a good way to lose weight? Rowing promotes weight loss by providing significant calorie burning, although you need to be sure that you combine it with the right diet. In terms of calorie consumption, this is comparable to running, although it has less impact on your joints.

Can you get in shape just by rowing? The main reason why a short workout on a rowing simulator is effective is that rowing is a full-body workout from the very beginning. Rowing activates muscle mass almost twice as much as other activities such as running and cycling. One stroke on the rowing simulator will involve your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, arms and back muscles.

Should you lean back while rowing? 5. Lean too far at the end of the pull. You just want to drop your upper body back to the “1 o’clock” position. Too far back is just a lot harder to get back to our kick.

Which is better-rowing or walking? Rowing is a strenuous exercise, but it’s also a great exercise for the cardiovascular system. Walking, on the other hand, is a milder exercise that can be performed for a longer period of time. Rowing is better for weight loss because it provides a more intense workout and requires more energy than walking.

What should a Beginner know before starting rowing? Know the basic terminology if you do not understand what “nose”, “Karma”, “starboard”, “sufficient weight”, “back”, “snap”, “stop”, “stroke”, “bow man” and “left side” mean, you are not ready to row. These are the basic words used while rowing that you need to understand before entering the water.

How long do I need to row to see the results? You may start to see rowing results within the first few weeks after starting regular rowing training, but often you experience more impressive results after 90 days. Rowing is a cardio workout that burns calories, which can quickly strengthen your body.

How much should I row a day to lose weight? When rowing for the purpose of losing weight, the sequence and duration of exercises are crucial. To achieve maximum results, try to row for 30-50 minutes five to six times a week. Strive for a comfortable moderate intensity, steady job where you can still have a conversation. Add intervals for variety.

Is rowing better than a treadmill? Using a rowing machine builds more muscle than a treadmill, and we know that this muscle will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Muscles weigh more than fat, so you may notice a smaller difference on the scales. However, your overall fitness will improve significantly due to the extra muscle mass.

Does Rowing tighten your abs? Rowing is an amazing workout for the whole body: just jumping on the simulator and rowing for a few minutes, you will work out your abs.

Is Rowing useful for knees? It affects the joints very easily. Rowing is a low-impact sport, so it’s perfect if you’re treating an injury. If your feet are placed on shoes and your hands are fixed on the handles, there is practically no impact on the ankle, knee, hip, elbow and shoulder joints.

How long does it take to burn 500 calories on a rowing machine? If you plan to reduce your intake of 500 calories through a healthy diet, then you just need to row until you burn 500 calories. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on several factors such as age, weight, heart rate and rowing intensity.

Is Rowing more useful than running? “In general, rowing builds muscle mass faster than running,” says Elmardi. One study found that rowing engages nearly 85 percent of the body’s muscles, while running is considered a lower-body exercise, which means it engages fewer muscles overall, Elmardi says.