The rowing machine, a cardio machine, is popular because it’s easy to use, easy on the joints, and effective for weight loss purposes. Plus, full access to it is allowed for individuals who paid the Anytime Fitness prices of membership, a membership privilege that means one less thing to worry about.
But a rowing machine, or rower, isn’t as easy to master as it seems because of the whole body coordination required for seamless, smooth, and fluid movements. With practice, nonetheless, you can master the technique, and you can start with our tips.
Relax Your Grip
You’re giving your arms and legs a workout, not giving the handle a death grip. You should keep a relaxed yet secure grip on the handle so you don’t end up with blisters on your arms and aching forearms afterwards.
Yet another part that should be relaxed are your elbows. Keep them as relaxed as possible – at a natural angle – so these are neither lifted up at your sides nor tucked in tightly to your sides. Think of chicken wings and avoid replicating them with your elbows.
Drive with Your Legs
Keep in mind that rowing is more about your legs and less about your arms despite appearances. Your legs should then be doing most of the work when you’re rowing. Your glutes and quads should also be feeling the burn after your workout, too, a sign that your legs did most of the work.
Since we’re on the topic of legs, you should always remember the sequence of rowing – legs, hips, arms and then arms, hips, legs. With this in mind, your muscle memory kicks in and the series becomes nearly automatic as soon as you’re on the rower.
On a related note, you must avoid pulling with your arms. Instead, you have to keep your elbows straight while you’re driving your legs. Again, rowing isn’t about your arms but about your legs.
Push Straight Back
While your instinct may be to push up, you should push straight back. Otherwise, you will feel yourself lifting off the seat or, worse, you’re actually popping off the seat and landing on the rail.
And speaking of back, you must keep the angle of your back as is while you’re driving with your legs. You shouldn’t shoot your butt to the back first but you have to keep your core engaged during the entirety of the stroke.
Tip: Your seat and the handle should be in sync for the first leg drive portion.
Keep a Good Posture
We kept the most important for last so as to emphasize its importance. Always sit up tall when you’re on the rower – hinge your hips, lift up your chest, avoid collapsing your lower back and shoulders, and stay relaxed. You must also learn to breathe properly – exhale when driving back (ne count) and inhale when recovering forward (two counts).
When you’re paying for the Anytime Fitness prices, you may want to ask if it’s possible to ask for professional guidance from a personal trainer to perfect your rowing technique. You may just get it for free!