How to Use a Rowing Machine

once relegated to the back of the gymnasium, the rowing machine is experiencing a rush in popularity — then much so that there are now entire boutique studios devoted to it and its amazing total-body benefits.Ka-Young S, et alabama. ( 2015 ). Effects of indoor rowing exert on the body composition and the scoliosis of visually impair people : A preliminary study. DOI : 10.5535/arm.2015.39.4.592 But the machine can be intimidating at first base. Do I lead with stage or arms ? Should my shoulders feel sensitive ? And why do my feet keep slipping out of the straps ? You ’ rhenium not entirely. The most crucial thing to remember is : “ It ’ second about exponent, not speed, ” says Melody Davi, director of teacher operations at SLT. If you walk out of a rowing class with a huffy back, you ’ re doing it incorrect, Davi says.

alternatively, focus on using your lower-body powerhouse muscles — glutes, hamstrings, quads — to push yourself out and then gently glide back in. Before we dive into more proficiency, hera are two terms that will help guide your exercise :

Rowing terms

Strokes per minute

This is how many times you row ( accident ) in 1 infinitesimal. Keep this issue at 30 or less, Davi says. Remember : It ’ sulfur about exponent, not merely flinging your body back and away .

Split time

This is the amount of time it takes to row 500 meters ( or a third base of a sea mile ). Aim for 2 minutes or less. To increase your pace, push out with more might — don ’ metric ton just pump your arms faster.

How to master proper rowing machine form

1. Try leg isolations

contribution on Pinterest Start by holding the oar with arms extended, knees bent, and weight unit on the balls of your feet. This position is called “ the catch. ”

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With your back straight and core engaged, push back using only your legs, rolling through your feet so they ’ ra flat when your legs are extended. Keep your arms extended throughout .

2. Add arm isolations

share on Pinterest After you ’ ve gotten used to pushing with your lower soundbox, practice arm isolations. With leg straight, pull the oar toward your chest. Bend your elbows out to the sides and touch the oar good under your chest. Hold the oar lightly ( more on that below ) and use your upper back ( not shoulders or biceps ) to pull the oar toward you. Engage the lapp muscles as you do for a bent-over row .

3. Bring it all together

partake on Pinterest With your back straight, core engaged, and balls of your feet hard in the straps, crusade back first with the lower soundbox, then use your upper back to pull hands toward your breast. Release your arms toward the nucleotide and bend your knees to glide back to starting position. Think : legs, arms, arms, legs. hera ’ s another tip : Take one all in to push out and two beats to glide back, Davi says. In other words, your go back should be doubly angstrom fast as your render to starting status.


nowadays that you ’ ve perfected your form and understand the basic terminology for row, take it up a notch and do Melody ’ s rowing exercise here. You ’ ll do moves both on and off the rowing machine to keep things interesting and acute. expect planks, lunges, and squats ( among others ) for a total-body exercise. It will effectively target and strengthen all the muscles you need to bring unplayful power into your row sessions.

particular thanks to Melody Davi, who modeled perfect rowing form for us. Davi wears a C9 by Champion top, Lorna Jane leggings, and her own nike sneakers.

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