Ultimate Guide to Rowing Machines

Using a rowing machine is an excellent way to get a great cardio workout whilst enhancing the fitness potential of your entire body. Here’s our ultimate guide to rowing machines.  A lot of people mistakenly believe that with a rowing machine, they only get to work out their upper-body and arms, but this actually isn’t the case. Instead, you get to work your legs, core, and arms whilst building the endurance of your lungs and heart. Many people shy away from the concept of rower hire, because the machine can seem somewhat intimidating to a beginner, but once you have gotten the hang of a regular routine, it’s actually an incredibly effective and efficient way to workout.

Step 1: Adjust your Machine Accordingly

Remember that even if you get a professional to come and set up your rowing machine for you through the company you are hiring from, you will still need to adjust it to make sure it’s properly situated for your shape and size. Sit down on the seat and place your feet into the foot pedals. Your heels should be secure against the back of the pedals, and the straps should tighten well over the top of your feet.

Next, adjust the resistance levels. Sometimes, rowers have various different levels of resistance to choose from, whereas others expect you to use only the resistance of air. With air resistance, there will be a flywheel on the front of your machine that helps to draw in air as you pull back on the handles. The quicker that you row, the more resistance you will create for yourself.

Depending on the type of machine that you are using, you may see that a monitor or display is available for when you start to move. From that point, you may be able to select a certain workout based on time, distance, or custom pre-sets that have been entered into the machine for you. If you’re not a natural rower, you may benefit from choosing a manual setting so that you can set the limits appropriate to you.

Step 2: Start the Movement

The very first step in rowing motion is referred to as the ‘catch’, and it begins when you hold the handle in a comfortable position, with your palms facing downwards. Your knees should be vertical to the floor, and carefully bent so that your chest is close to your thighs. Next, make sure your abs are tight and your back is straight. Then you’ll be ready to push forward into the drive. Through the drive, you will press your feet into the pedals and extend your legs, whilst rowing the bars back towards your abdominals. Pull your elbows back until they rest just beyond your torso, with the handles ending up around an inch from your bellybutton. Avoid arching or extending your back too far during these motions.

Then you simply return back to the starting position of your movement, and make sure that you bend at your hips, instead of hunching over your knees.