A rowing machine can provide an effective cardio workout that targets most of your major muscles. Since rowing is a low-impact activity, it is suitable for people who find jogging and running uncomfortable or causing pain in the foot, ankle, knee or hip. To get the most from a rowing workout, it is important that you do it the right way. It will not only increase the benefits of your experience, it will also decrease your risk of injury.
Consult your doctor
If you are new to exercise, you have been sedentary for more than three months, you have a serious medical condition or you are significantly overweight, visit your doctor and tell him about your goal to start exercising. Explain that you will use a rowing machine so that you can give advice as to whether or not you should start exercising. In most cases, doctors encourage patients to exercise. In some cases, however, doctors may suggest changes to desired exercise routines based on patients’ medical histories.
Since rowing can increase your temperature considerably and requires large ranges of movement in your knees, hips and arms, it is important that you are dressed appropriately so that you can train comfortably. Although shorts and t-shirts are ideal, if you decide to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to train, ensure you can ventilate so your body do not overheat. Some athletes find that rowing is hard with their hands causing blisters and corns. If this is a concern for you, use weight training gloves. Since paddling can increase your temperature and sweat a lot, make sure you have a bottle of water nearby to avoid dehydration.
Warm up properly
Rowing is a full body activity that uses your major joints and muscles through a wide range of movement. Modern life is often inactive, so going from sitting at your desk or your car to paddling can be a shock to your system. To confirm that your body is ready to train, spend a few minutes warming up before you start exercising. Gently stretch and mobilize your ankles, knees, hips and spine by performing simple knee bends, hip circles, side-to-side tilting, forward and upward stretching of arms, and gentle waist twists. Since your muscles are ready, your rowing practice begins, but it starts at a slow pace and gradually increases for three to five minutes.
Choose your training
Rowing machines often come with pre-installed programs on their computers. These workouts are usually designated as suitable for beginner, intermediate and expert athletes. If you have never paddled before, even if you are in shape, choose a simple program so you can enter smoothly. Doing too much, too soon can result in an injury. If your rowing machine does not have pre-installed programs, set it for a relatively short distance of 1,000 meters, for instance, or a short time like five minutes. Increases distance or rowing time during succeeding workouts.
Use a correct rowing technique
Using a proper rowing technique can help make your workouts more efficient and enjoyable, as well as reduce the risk of injury. Your lower back is especially at risk if you fail to use a good rowing technique. Sit on your rowing machine and pass the strap on your feet so that the strap is at the widest part of your foot. Slide forward and grasp the handle with a grip above the head. Sit upright with your arms straight and your legs bent. Push with your legs and then, as the handle passes over your knees, pull with your arms. Pull the lever toward your stomach and lean back slightly. Your legs should not be stretched. Move forward with your arms stretched out and bend your knees to slide forward. Think legs, arms, arms, legs.
Once your workout is over, do not reach an abrupt end simply and head to the showers. Going straight to the shower after a sudden end can lead to muscle soreness after exercise. Instead, gradually slow down the last moments of your workout. At the end, it takes three to five minutes to tighten your main muscles. Spend extra time on your legs and back as these muscles especially have worked hard. If you find that your muscles feel hard or sore when you start your next workout, spend a few extra minutes on your warm-up.
Many individuals make mistakes when utilizing the rowing machine. After the first several times, it will start to look simple. If you are trying to stay fit and lose weight, it will be a huge mistake to stay away from it. It can be because you are scared of sheer embarrassment. You will be able to burn more than 800 calories per hour if you are exercising properly on it. That is why; follow the steps mentioned here and you will be able to use the machine for optimum performance.