Common Mistakes When Using a Rowing Machine
The entire purpose of using a rowing machine (or an exercise machine, for that matter) is to increase your physical health and strengthen muscles. They are fantastic machines and if you have not had the privilege of using one, you should head over to Home Rower to see just how incredible they are. For those of you who actively use them (or are just starting), however, you may be making mistakes that create unsatisfying results. If so, stop doing them now as you are defeating the purpose of the machine.
Too Much Pressure on Your Arms
It is no secret that rowing machines strengthen upper and lower-body muscles. That does not mean, though, that if you want strictly an upper-body workout you should ignore your legs. Doing so can cause serious injuries to your arms and back, as more than half of your power should come from your legs.
Too Quick of a Pace
Whatever you do, do not row with the notion that the faster you go the better your results will be. It is all about technique, and chances are, the slower you go the more likely you will be to keep your technique strong. However, when do you know that you are going to fast? One adequate way to tell is if your seat contacts the front of the rower on a consistent basis. This informs you that you are out of control, and must slow it down.
Not Loosening Up Your Muscles
As with any workout that you partake in, it is generally a good idea to warm-up beforehand. This is especially important if you like to exercise as soon as you wake up. Stretch out your hamstrings, do a few push-ups, or simply go for a walk because it is not smart to dive straight into a full-fledged exercise before loosening up your muscles.
The simplest aspect to rowing can also be the most difficult. Without even realizing it, you could be sitting incorrectly when rowing. Do not shake your head at this or laugh hysterically that this is an issue, as this can seriously hamper your results. For example, if you row with your back curved and your hips rolling forward you are doing it wrong. Be sure to always keep your posture straight.
Not Adjusting the Damper
Depending on what type of resistance your machine uses, some will allow you to manually change the levels. If your model is designed like this, then do not forget to adjust the damper setting to suit your liking. While this will not have negative effects on your body (unless you are rehabbing), it can cause you to exercise harder than you would have liked.
Not Properly Breathing
Any athletic trainer will tell you that one of the most important aspects of exercising, is to properly breath. For those of you who are perplexed that this is an issue, there are incorrect ways to breathe. For example, when doing so on a rowing machine, you want to inhale through the recovery process and exhale while in motion.
No, this is not referring to the speed in which you row with. After all, that issue has already been addressed. This is referring to the idea that you must be patient when using a rowing machine. Unlike elliptical machines (which simulate walking, running or jogging), rowing machines can take some time to get accustomed to. Do not expect to master it after your first couple of sessions. As a matter of fact, it is not a bad idea to receive proper training on how to use one. Through it, all, though, remember to stay patient.
A Loose Grip
When you are rowing, your hands should be firmly placed on the handlebars. Not doing so can put strain on your muscles, and if you must tape your hands directly to them.
Do not be intimated by all of these mistakes. Yes, excelling in this type of activity is not an easy process. Not to insult your intelligence, but the more practice you get at it the less prone you will be to make these errors. Give it a chance, because it is a worthwhile exercise to do.