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How To Row Correctly with Rowing Machine?

March 7th, 2008 · 5 Comments ·

I hope that I have convinced why you should give rowing machine a try. For beginner, using a rowing machine may not as easy as using some other exercise machines, such as treadmills and stationary bicycles. They take some degree of coordination and practice to use properly. Here are the steps:



  1. Ensure your heels are resting comfortably against the base of the foot pedals. Secure the strap so that your feet will not move freely. Don’t do the rowing barefoot because your soles may feel the pain because of the pressure later.
  2. Set the resistance to a low level as a start.
  3. Grip the handle firmly, but not squeeze it too hard. If it is too tight, your forearms will get fatigue faster. You can go for overhand or underhand grip.
  4. When you come forward on the rower, your knees are bent and against your chest. Your upper body is leaning slightly forward while still maintaining good posture. That is, your back isn’t hunched over and your head is up.
  5. Then, you push against the foot pedals and extend your legs while bringing your hands to your upper abdominal area. At full extension, lean back a little for maximum benefit. Avoid leaning back too far, though. Overarching puts you at risk for back strain.
  6. Straighten your arms, bend the knees, and bring your body forward again.




Things to Watch Out:

  1. If you have back problems, then you should consult a physician before you start rowing to avoid making things worse. Always remember to keep your back reasonably straight. Many people make the mistake of rowing from their lower back, which can cause problems.
  2. Also, to maximize strengthening benefits to the arms, it is important to keep elbows in tight to the body.
  3. Just like other exercise, warm up and stretch before your workout.
  4. Do not continue your exercise if you feel pain in your lower back.

This guy fails to keep his elbows close to his body and he has leaned too much backward.

Non-rowers commonly overemphasize the muscles of the upper body, while correct technique uses the large muscle of the thighs to drive much of the stroke. Also, good technique requires that the angle of the upper body is never too far forward, nor too far back, both of will jeopardize the lower back.

Enjoy your rowing machines!



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Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment

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5 responses so far ↓
  • aw // Mar 7, 2008 at 1:33 AM

    The guy in the video is doing it way too mechanically. Perhaps it’s for demonstration purposes only. But you should do it more fluidly without stopping to keep the heart rate up and get the maximum cardio benefit.

  • trey // Mar 8, 2008 at 1:20 AM

    Concept 2 rower is the best. try looking it up, its worth every penny.

  • HJ // Mar 25, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    The technique on the video is pretty poor.

    The hands should keep moving at the finish and the body should swing forward once the arms are away. Speed on the slide should be far slower and the seat should not nearly hit the heels at the front – this guy is way over-compressed resulting in a weak back position at the catch.

    Doing it like this video is a recipe for back problems.


  • Robert Edmondson // Mar 7, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    The Concept 2 ergometer is a good machine, but it’s just a machine, not a holy icon. Concept 2 , through successful marketing, has convinced the world that it is an innovative company, but the reality is, Concept 2 had one good idea about rowing machines a long time ago (flywheel/air resistance) and have been milking that one idea ever since. All of the improvements they have made since 1985 have been cosmetic and electronic, not mechanical. One year after purchasing the Model D I had made more mechanical improvements to the machine than Concept 2 had made in the last 25 years.

  • kenr // Sep 23, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    whether your technique is good or bad is irrelevant. most people who exercise are not professionals. we use the concept 2 because it works. i am 68 years old and i have been using the machine on and off for more than 15 years. my muscles are tight and i do not get headaches or eye strain as i did when i used free weights. for better technique visit the concept 2 website

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