The right way to use a rowing machine

You only benefit from exercise if it's done the right way. In fact, if you use home gym equipment the wrong way, you could actually end up doing more harm than good. That's why it's important to learn the right technique for using a rowing machine before you start your work out. Follow these tips for a great row machine workout...

  • Always wear sports shoes when working out on your row machine. The base of your foot will be under pressure during this exercise, so it's important to have the right footwear.
  • Ensure your heels are resting comfortably against the foot pedals, and firmly (but not to the point where it's uncomfortable) secure your feet with the straps.
  • Start with a few warm up exercises. Do a few stretches then start rowing at a low level.
  • You can use overhand or underhand grip, and hold firmly without squeezing.
  • When you come forward, keep your head up and don't hunch your back. Bend your knees against your chest and lean forward slightly.
  • Push against the foot pedals and extend your legs while bringing your hand to the upper abdominal area. Lean back a little, but avoid overarching.
  • The correct technique uses the thigh muscles to drive most of the stroke. Many first time rowers will overuse the muscles in the upper body, which can cause pain in the lower back.
  • Keep your elbows in tight to the body throughout.
  • If you suffer from back pain, consult your doctor before you start rowing.


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