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How To Use Rowing Machine: Beginner’s Guide To Professional Rowing

how to use rowing machine

Who says rowing should only be accessible as an outdoor activity? Nowadays, indoor rowing has been gaining its popularity thanks to the attention brought by the rise of various home gym equipment. A rowing machine, also known as an ergometer, is today’s top exercise machine. Aside from its portable build, rowing machines are becoming a household name because of the low impact workout it could provide. However, many of us still don’t know how to use a rowing machine properly.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about rowing machines. Bring spice to your cardio exercises and enjoy a full-body workout like never before with this home gym equipment.


Indoor Rowing: Why You Should Try It Too

When placed in comparison with other cardio fitness equipment such as elliptical trainers, treadmills, and stationary bikes, a rowing machine undoubtedly stands out. With its numerous benefits, this home gym equipment is indeed an all-around exercise companion that will definitely help you reach closer towards your fitness goals.

Rowing machines are known to use most of your muscles. In return, it enhances your endurance, speeds up weight loss, strengthens your muscular capacity, and tones your figure. As a type of aerobic equipment, the rowing machine provides a cardio exercise that improves your heart and lung capacity.



Important Rowing Terms

Strokes per minute

When we say strokes per minute, it identifies as the number of times you can execute a complete rowing movement in a span of a minute. You must maintain the recommended strokes per minute at thirty strokes or less. This is ideal so that you would not just effortlessly fling your body without using power.

Split time

Split time is the duration it takes for a rower to reach five hundred meters. Accomplish to reach two minutes or less to get the most out of your routine. You can increase your pace by using more power to push further.


More Benefits of Rowing Machines

Indoor rowing is a total body workout.

When we say rowing, many would instantly think that this activity is plainly for an upper-body exercise. However, this is a common misconception. In fact, a rowing machine engages the muscles distributed throughout your body. Several experts from the American Fitness Professionals Association have confirmed a combination of a leg workout and upper body exercises that target a number of muscle groups. It mainly focuses on the major muscle groups such as:

  • Armsterms how to use rowing machine
  • Upper Back
  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Pecs
  • Obliques

It also provides a low impact workout that helps in strengthening the leg muscles, which includes the following:

  • Calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes

Leg muscles are responsible for providing strength towards the upper body area to get enough muscular power needed to push off the rowing machine.  These muscles must work in coordination to reach definite strokes per minute when driving the rowing machine

Indoor rowing is good for people regardless of their fitness level.

Rowing machines are suitable for everyone and do not require a specific fitness level to execute the routine properly. As long as an individual has access to a rowing machine, indoor rowing exercises are possible. However, you may learn the basics to add some knowledge regarding the proper form and movements necessary so you can have a better grasp of the exercise and the other benefits it provides.

Indoor rowing is also recommended for people with visual impairments such as those with low vision or those who are blind. Rowing machines help to keep your whole body active without needing to perform intense workout routines. It improves back strength and eases trunk flexion.

benefits how to use rowing machineIt is a low-impact body workout. 

You will also get a significant decrease in your total body fat and lower your cholesterol levels with rowing exercises. It allows you to burn a serious number of calories without adding stress towards your joints and knees. When rowing, you can control your movements and follow a pace that you feel comfortable with. This is why many fitness experts turn to row machines when it comes to rehabilitation and recovery sessions.

It is the most recommended option for seasoned gym-goers and those experiencing the early stages of osteoarthritis. It can improve several muscle rotations along with the elbows, knees, lumbar, and shoulder areas. These are not possible for high-impact routines.

Rowing indoors can improve your heart and lungs.

Rowing exercises primarily activate the cardiovascular system, which makes it one of the most sought-after cardio exercise as compared to others. It improves several body functions, including the heart, its blood vessels, and blood in general. It also helps in transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout various parts of your body.

Rowing is known to improve heart strength, so many people with an increased risk of heart problems find this exercise beneficial.


How to Master the Use of Rowing Machines

Leg Isolation

Start by properly holding the handle with your arms extended while leaving your knees in a bent position. Keep in mind to carefully place the weight towards the balls of your feet. Remember to keep your core engaged while pushing back using only your legs as you maintain a straight posture. You are doing it correctly when you notice that your feet remain flat when your legs and arms are extended.  

Arm Isolation

steps how to use rowing machineAfter focusing on your lower body, now is the time to get used and practice your arms. Keep your legs in a straight position, and gently pull the handle towards your chest area. You can bend your elbows out to precisely place the handle directly under your chest.

When pulling the handle, make sure that you use your upper back and not the biceps or shoulder muscles. This will decrease the risk of muscle tearing and fatigue. Your upper back is also the key muscle for a bent-over row.


Now that you’ve mastered both leg and arm isolation, it’s time to bring those two techniques together. While maintaining your posture, start pushing back using your lower body. Carefully extend your legs as you use your upper body to pull the handle toward your chest area. Release and extend your arms and bend your knees afterwards, returning to the starting position.


Common Rowing Mistakes to Avoid

Incorrect posture

Many people hunch their back while rowing, which means that they use the strength coming from their arms and not from the upper back. This is not acceptable and can put your posture at risk. Having a hunched back while rowing may place tension around your neck and affect breathing patterns and muscles.

Sliding and Scooping

mistakes how to use rowing machineOne of the most common mistakes people does when rowing is using a scooping motion as they row. It would be best if you kept in mind that you’re not supposed to slide across the rowing machine to get the proper form.

Arm position too high

As you place your hands on the handle, gently pull away and maintain the correct level directly below your chest. After each row, you should bend your elbows outside to allow your forearms to reach the rib cage.

Knees dropping on sides

It might be challenging to keep your knees in proper alignment with your hips. However, letting your knees go too far wide will only decrease your inner thigh muscles’ engagement. Remember to keep your knees closer together as you push back in. There are some models of rowing machines that have protective foot straps and other accessories to avoid your knees from flapping. This adjustable strap will comfortably support your feet as you do your routine.



Taking Your Knowledge into Action

Now that you have learned the proper techniques and the common mistakes to avoid when rowing, you can start taking your knowledge into action. Get the most out of your rowing machine routine with the best home gym equipment from Home Gym Australia.

Experience world-class quality products from the top brands and leading manufacturers across the globe. Find the best solutions for your every home gym needs, from fitness equipment, accessories, and apparels. You name it; we got it.

For inquiries, feel free to contact us and send us your messages. You can also browse through our website for more information.



Home Gym Australia is strictly implementing stiff rules and regulations when it comes to its investigative procedures. It has performed well-organised surveys and interviews based on client preference and expert opinions. Home Gym Australia also makes sure that peer reviews and product studies from reputable gym establishments and manufacturers are sourced out without bias and with fair judgment.

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