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Tips for Maximizing Your Rowing Machine Workout

Credit: Unsplash
Stroke, stroke, stroke.

Rowing on a rowing machine is a fantastic physical pursuit. It is interactive, competitive, and communal! However, not everyone possesses a boat, not everyone resides close to a stream, and close social interactions are discouraged at present. This is where owning a rowing machine comes in handy. It offers a wonderful opportunity to engage in a comprehensive body workout from the comfort of your home. Some rowing machines even come equipped with video games! Much like actual rowing (and most physical activities), maintaining proper technique is crucial.

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First rule: correct body alignment. When initiating the rowing motion with your arms, there may be a tendency to arch your back to facilitate arm extension, but it’s best to resist this instinct. Poor rowing posture can strain your back unnecessarily and impede proper breathing. Maintain a straight and tense back while pulling your shoulders down to relieve pressure from your neck.

Second rule: timing is key. There is a synchronization you need to master while rowing. You should aim to coordinate the bending of your knees with the return motion. If you bend your knees during the return before fully extending your arms, you might resort to an awkward scooping action to avoid hitting your legs. This can be detrimental to your limbs, and once this habit forms, breaking it can be challenging.

Credit: Unsplash

Third rule: proper hand grip. The rowing bar is not a chin-up bar. There’s no need to clutch it as though your life depends on it. Gripping too tightly will only result in hand discomfort and faster energy depletion. Maintain a firm yet relaxed hold on the sides of the bar and engage your upper back muscles to alleviate strain on your hands.

Adhere to these guidelines, and you’ll soon excel in rowing like a pro, even if it’s within the confines of your home. I must admit, I’m uncertain about how well rowing machine skills transfer to actual rowing.

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