It’s a cardio staple – the perfect endurance exercise that increases muscle capacity, melts fat and keeps your overall fitness levels afloat. The rowing machine is often overlooked for alternate stints on the treadmill, elliptical and bikes. Tragically overlooked, in our opinion. Because the rowing machine comes with a crazy list of benefits, including burning the most amount of calories in the least time with the lowest perceived rate of exertion.
If you’ve been casting aside the rowing machine, it’s no surprise. Firstly, it’s often shoved into the corner without an obvious purpose like an awkward Christmas tree in January, which isn’t entirely motivating. And secondly, you probably don’t know how to use it. But it’s time to rectify that. Here are a few reasons you should be rowing – and exactly how to do it:
Order, control and execution is extremely important when using a rowing machine, if you want optimum results. Here’s how to perform with perfect rowing form:
4. Bring your arms out first, followed by your upper body. Keep your back straight, not slumped, with your shoulders back and abs engaged as you follow through. Slightly angle your body forward as you extend your arms back out, sliding your body forward on the seat and bending your legs.
5. To slide back, push your feet off first, straightening your legs with your arms extended, body leaning forward. Continue to push through your legs and move your upper body so you lean back. Pull the handles and bend your elbows so the handles touch the front of your chest and into starting position.
Whatever workout you’re doing, rowing is a great warm-up. It gets the blood flowing before something like a run and is a great light-lifting exercise before doing weights. A great way to warm up is to create a rowing playlist of three songs. For the first song, row at a light, easy and steady pace. For the second and third song, stay at the same pace until the chorus, then give it your all until the chorus ends and repeat for every chorus. Guaranteed to pump you up before a workout, every time.