A rowing machine is one of the most effective tools for burning fat and improving cardiovascular conditioning.
The machine uses your upper and lower body muscles to increase your conditioning and build aerobic endurance and muscle strength.
Being a machine that can be used at home mistakes are bound to occur leading to injuries occasioned by lack of proper techniques and training.
The following is a step by step guide on how to use a rowing machine:
Get your Feet Locked in the Straps
Start your fitness session by strapping your feet tightly into the pads of the rowing machine. Make sure the straps sits across the bed of your foot and should be tight enough so that the foot will not slip around on the footplate while rowing.
Get Into the Starting Position
The starting point in rowing is known as the catch and entails bending your knees to the point where your body is close to the handlebar at the front of the machine. You need to securely grab the handle with both hands and ensure the back is straight as possible. Ensure your torso is slightly tilted forward over your legs and keep your spine straight with good posture.
Tone Your Leg Muscles by Pushing Off Foot Plates with your Legs
A rowing machine allows the body parts to move one at a time starting with the legs. Push off the footplate with the help of the hamstrings and progress by using your legs, then your core and last your arms in sequence.
Engage Your Core Muscles
Focus on improving and toning your core muscles by leaning backwards into a 45-degrees angle. Straighten your legs out and keep your spine straight and use your hamstrings while leaning backwards to ensure you effectively engage your core muscles.
It is advisable to keep the pelvis and torso tightly together while in this position to make your back stable and eliminate any unnecessary movement along the spine that may result in an injury.
Keep Your Shoulders Working
While rowing, ensure your shoulder blades are kept together and put more focus on the way your core muscles are holding up your body into that slight angle.
Complete the Movement
Once you pull the handle to reach your chest and your legs are straight with your back tilted, you can then practice the arm movements.
Hold your torso at an angle of exactly 45-degrees as you pull the handle towards your chest and bend your elbows.
Pull the handle inwards to touch your lower chest to help contract the latissimus dorsi and stabilize the shoulders and the triceps.
Now extend your arms out first and pull your torso forward as you keep your knees bent, bringing your legs to the top of the machine to make a complete stroke and begin returning to the starting position.
Once the sequence is complete, the process can be repeated over and over again for several times to make the workout a success and effectively tone your muscles. Resist from shifting around on the seat and shifting in the wrong way to eliminate any mistake that may cause an injury.