Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and works all muscles in a single bound… look! It’s a rowing machine, and it offers a comprehensive workout by strengthening most major muscles groups while simultaneously providing a cardio kick
Port or Starboard? — The Need-To-Know
No need to memorize any boating terms to get the most out of a rowing machine. Indoor rowing builds cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and evenly trains almost all muscle groups
Ready, Set, Row! — Your Action Plan
Fortunately there are no megaphone toting scullers to be found at the gym, so “catch, drive, finish, recover” will be the beat of choice for an indoor rowing machine. Be careful when sitting, because all rowers have movable seat pads, and then follow these four steps for a world-class stroke:
- Strap feet flat, straighten the torso while contracting the abdominal muscles, and grab the bar in a palms down grip by bending the knees, not rounding the spine. The shoulders and arms reaching forward are straight and relaxed. This starting position is called the catch.
- Drive back with the feet to straighten the legs and begin to pull the bar with the arms. Focus on a strong leg push, as most of the power in the stroke happens during this phase. Pull the handle in toward the abdomen as the legs approach full extension. The pulling stroke is a rapid, constant horizontal motion.
- Finish with the legs fully extended, shoulders back, and the handle against the upper stomach.
- Recover by stretching the arms straight out. The body moves forward over the hips and the knees will begin to bend as the seat moves back to the catch position.
Now do it all over again and again and again: catch, drive, finish, recover. Workouts can be adjusted for all sorts of variety, including long, steady state and short, intense interval training like Tabata Protocol. It’s music to our oars, er, ears. Photo: sportsandsocial Have you tried indoor rowing? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!