Rowing machines are a total body workout1. Rowing is a total body workout

It really is! For some people rowers may seem to be all about the upper body. In fact, you’re working 9 major muscles groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulder, triceps, back and biceps.

Rowing is all round strength building and great cardio!

2. It’s low impact

Rowing is the perfect low impact alternative to running. The smooth action minimizes the chance of injury while still providing a high powered workout.

If you’re interested in losing weight, increasing your fitness level, or simply becoming more active, but a sore knee, hip or ankle restricts you from participating in traditional exercises such as walking or jogging then rowing may be just what you need.

Research has found that low impact fitness activities like rowing may actually promote the healing and recovery of damaged joints, thereby allowing you to return to other activities over time.

3. Great calorie burning

According to Harvard Health Publications, rowing at a moderate pace for 30 minutes burns about 210 calories for a 56 kilo person and 311 calories for a 84 kilo person.

The amount of calories you burn obviously will depend on the speed you row, the level of resistance and the length of time you row for.

4. You are in control

Your rowing workout is controlled by how hard you push or pull. You can also set different levels of resistance on a good quality rowing machine.

For people who struggle with balance or adjusting a moving treadmill, a rowing machine is a great option.

A quality rower will also include a range of programs to make your workout more interesting. Things like distance rowed, time, races and games are commonly included with the latest sophisticated performance monitoring consoles. Have some fun with these and get fit at the same time.

Don't grip the handle too tightly5. It’s easy to do

Rowing is simple to learn and most people get the basics within 10 minutes.

Here’s the important things to remember…

  • If you’re new to rowing start with the resistance set to low while you get used to the action. You can crank it up once you get some form.
  • Secure your feet in the straps. They should be tight enough so that your feet don’t slide around.
  • Bring your knees up and slide towards the handle. Grab the handle using an overhand grip, but don’t hold too tightly.
  • Move your upper body so that you begin to lean slightly back and push off with your legs.
  • Keep pushing until your knees are almost straight but not locked. By now your arms are still extended and your body is leaning slightly forward.
  • Next, lean back slightly and pull your hands up to your chest, holding the handle so it is right at your breastbone. Elbows should be pointing down against your sides. This is the top of the stroke.
  • Slide back down the machine with your arms going out first, followed by your upper body. Keep your back up, not slumped, with shoulders back and abs engaged as you follow through. As your arms move forward your upper body will go from slightly angled back to slightly angled forward.
  • Congratulations! You’ve completed your first stroke.

TOP TIP: Don’t grip the handle too hard. The power for the drive back comes through your legs, and gripping too hard while pulling on the cable can cause hand blisters and back problems.

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