8 Common Mistakes Made on a Rowing Machine & How to Fix Them

May 29, 2019

The full body rhythmic nature of rowing makes it wonderfully efficient at burning calories while also developing flexibility and strength. Rowing is impact-free and the intensity is completely user-controlled. While rowing machines can seem a little complicated compared to other cardio machines, they're in fact simple and extremely effective. Once you get proper form down, you'll be surprised at how easy and enjoyable your rowing workout can be!

Want to get started with your rowing machine workout? Look out for these 8 common mistakes made on a rowing machine to ensure you get the best workout possible:

Mistake: Not checking your settings before starting. Always make sure your rower settings are where you want them to be. If they're too low you will not get a proper workout and if they're too high you could exhaust yourself quickly. If you're not sure what settings to use a good rule of thumb is to start somewhere near the beginning then adjust accordingly based on tension and feel.

Mistake: You do not use your full body. One of the greatest benefits of exercising with a rowing machine is receiving a fully body workout. If you're not using proper form however, a true fully body workout will be difficult. Many users forget to disperse the power between the different zones of their body. Make sure to push back with your legs while then pulling with your arms.

Mistake: You have improper posture. Do not hunch your back, this puts too much strain on your back. Instead push shoulders back and down. There should be no tension in your neck. Proper posture helps with getting a full body workout, reduces risk of strain or injury and makes breathing deeply easier.

Mistake: You "scoop" with your arms. If you bend your knees before your arms are fully extended then you will need to lift the handles high in order to avoid hitting your legs. Instead wait until your arms are fully straight before going for the return and bending your knees.

Mistake: You do not pull the handle back properly. The handle should be pulled straight back to your chest. If you pull too high or too low you could expend more energy than necessary.

Mistake: Your knees drop to the side. This may feel more comfortable but if you sit with your knees slouched to the side then you're missing out on a great inner-thigh muscle workout. Instead keep your knees parallel and close together.

Mistake: You hold too much tension in your grip. Hold the handle with a loose and relaxed grip centered on the bar, shoulder width apart. Do not put unnecessary tension on your hands and instead use your upper back strength to pull.

Mistake: You focus on speed instead of quality. When it comes to rowing, timing your strokes is of the essence. Its all about having rhythmic, controlled and powerful strokes. Use the full length of the machine and power from your legs. If you focus too much on speed then you are more likely to lose control of your body, have improper form and have a less effective workout.

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