With a rowing machine, you bring more fitness into your everyday life. But many people shy away from it because they are unsure how to do an effective rowing machine workout: how do you properly train with a rowing machine? What are the technique and power distribution and how long should you train per unit on your device?
In this article, we’ll look at the correct rowing technique and what muscles are involved in the movement. You will then receive a 5-week rowing machine training plan that will make quick progress even for beginners.
The right technique for rowing training
Before you get on your rower with full motivation jump and start training, you should first of all, as a beginner or in case of existing injuries first visit a sports physician.
The essential thing about rowing is the right technique. Otherwise, you could harm your body long term. Only if you row with the correct technique can you get the most out of your rowing training and do it with little risk of injury.
Important: For an intense workout, you do not have to row quickly in the short term, but row powerfully over a long period.
An upright posture
With an upright posture, you’ll be the best at training and building your back. Never flex your upper body too much forward or backward. Find a fixed point at head height on the wall in front of you. You fix it and do not let it out of your sight while exercising to support your upright posture. Even looking at a TV would be conceivable and may distract you even a little from the effort.
A secure hold
With the foot straps of the footboard, you ensure a secure grip to be able to row properly. They can be individually adjusted to your foot length and thus to your height. Always tighten the foot straps well so that your feet will not slip out during exercise.
The optimal grip
Also, the handles play an important role in rowing, especially about the different muscle strain. They can be grabbed either from above or from below. While you’re training your biceps from the top, the lower grip strengthens your triceps. Beginners should start their workout with the upper grip.
A body line
Your hips should line up with your knees and feet. This is to prevent your knees from tilting too much in or out. First, move your arms forward before bending your legs so that your arms and legs do not hinder your forward motion.
The right force distribution
“60 – 30 – 10” is the name of the professionals. In the perfect rowing technique, 60 percent of the power comes from the legs, 30 percent of the power from the hull and only 10 percent from the arms. Since rowing takes up a lot of muscle, your training session can sometimes only consist of rowing and additionally train your endurance very intensively.
The movement process
Even if there are rowing machines with different resistance systems, the rowing technique during training is the same. The sequence of movements can be subdivided into two phases, the recovery phase and the pull phase. Always start in the recovery phase. Inhale during the recovery phase and then exhale in the pull phase. With time and experience, the movements will flow more and more smoothly.
Warm-Up & Cool Down
You do not have to stretch yourself extra before using the rowing machine, but in the first 5 minutes of each session, you should warm up slowly to get your body used to the movement and to improve blood circulation.
At the end of the workout, plan another 5-minute cool-down phase, in which you reduce your intensity and come to a complete standstill. In both phases, your pulse is best in the range of 40 to 60% of your maximum pulse.
And very important: drink enough water before, during and after the workout!
The draft works on this movement (positive dynamic). The pre-roll (negative dynamic) in turn serves as a recovery phase and then prepares for the next row stroke. Once you get used to the movement, rowing is easy.
To better explain the movement, we divide the two phases into five phases. This allows us to understand the details better.