You don’t have to be a rower to enjoy the benefits of a good rowing session! The rower is an excellent tool for full-body training that is both challenging yet low-impact. Used correctly, the rower works both your upper and lower body at the same time. Here are some things to keep in mind while rowing:
Proper technique is the foundation of the rowing workout so it is important to ensure you’re not building bad habits by rowing incorrectly. Start off in the catch position and push back through your legs while leaning back. After leaning at an approximately 45 degree angle, pull the bar to towards your upper abs while your elbows are lifted and hold for one full second before returning. To return, extend your arms before your torso and come forward all while keeping your core as firm as possible. Bend your knees to go back to the catch position you started in.
2. Workout style
The rower can be used in a variety of ways: distance for time, intervals, ascending/descending pyramids, ladder workouts and circuit training are just some examples. Try this sample pyramid workout for size:
The workout starts with a warm up for 2 minutes by rowing for 200 metres. After which, begin by rowing 100m at a fast pace and following it up with 5 repetitions of air squats, walk-outs, push-ups and tricep dips. Increase the rowing distance by 100m and the bodyweight movements by 5 reps with each step of the pyramid, stopping at 300m and 15 reps before descending back to 100m and 5 reps. Finish the workout off with 2-3 minutes of light rowing up to a distance of 500 metres.
Rowing uses up to 84 percent of the muscles in your body! Aside from building muscles and burning fat, rowing also helps to reduce stress and increases heart function. Light rowing makes for an excellent aerobic exercise which improves the lung, heart and circulation systems while more intense rowing makes for better anaerobic endurance training.
With the various benefits and relative simplicity of rowing, it’s popularity is understandable and well-deserved. A rowing machine is a definite must-have in modern gyms, and should be used to the fullest extent when possible. If you’re lucky enough to have one where you train, try incorporating a rowing workout on your next off-day to see what it can do for you!