• Deanne Pandey

Benefits of Rowing

There are many options at the gym today to assist a person in reaching his or her fitness goals, but for some reason people tend to stick to just one or two machines or a particular group of exercise classes to achieve results—rarely varying the routine. However, a person’s body responds more effectively to a varied, balanced program that changes frequently and utilizes all the muscles of the body. With that in mind and if you haven’t tried it yet, the rowing machine is an excellent training option to add to your exercise routine. A rowing machine is essentially a piece of exercise equipment that mimics the motion of rowing a boat in water, making it a full body workout.

How does the rowing machine work?

Rowing takes place through four stages: The Catch, Drive, Finish and Recovery. During the catch, the triceps work to extend the arms and the flexor muscles in the finger grips around the handles of the rowing machine. Your hip flexors are used to hinge your torso forward.

Next is the drive, where the powerful leg muscles such as the quadriceps initiate the action of pushing your feet away from the machine's platform. Your shoulder and back muscles contract as your biceps pull the rowing machine's handles to move in toward your abdomen. At the same time, your erector spinae, glutes, quads and hamstrings engage to extend your body away from the machine.

In the finish, your upper body leans back slightly, as it is supported by the muscles of your core. Your legs are extended with your hands holding the rowing machine's handles in close to your body, near your lower ribs. Your grip is relaxed as your shoulders are low and aligned with your wrists, which are parallel to the ground.

During the recovery, your abdominals stabilize the rest of your body, while your calves, hamstrings and hip flexors contract to return your feet to the platform. Your core muscles contract to keep your torso upright. Your triceps engage to push your arms forward, moving them away from your body, as your abdominals flex your torso forward.

Here are some great benefits of the rowing machine-

1. Great Upper Body workout

The benefits of a stronger back and shoulders include improved posture as well as a reduction in back pain. In addition to your backside, rowing machines also provide a nice workout for your biceps, pecs, and abs, which helps you develop a stronger core.

2. Full Body workout

Rowing provides upper body conditioning and gives the upper and lower back and the shoulder muscles an excellent workout. Due to the sliding seat, rowing also provides a lower body workout as well. Every stroke requires the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques, pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, upper back, and lats to engage in the activity.

3. Beneficial for Heart and Lungs

Rowing exercises help improve heart and lung function. Again, depending on the reps, sets, and resistance used for the exercises, you sweat and breathe in more oxygen, thus making your heart work harder to meet the oxygen demands.

4. It’s easy to operate

Exercising on a rowing machine is relatively simple to learn and ideal for all ages and abilities. It’s important to make sure you use proper rowing technique when you exercise. It will help to both maximize your workout and minimize the potential for injury. Your feet should be securely fastened in the stirrups with your shins close to a 90 degree angle to the floor. It’s best to keep your back straight, your core engaged, and to row in a smooth, fluid motion.

5. Low risk of injuries

For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Like stationary bikes, rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery.

Before you start a full rowing machine workout, you must warm up. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do

Add low resistance. Sit on the rowing machine, hold the pulley’s handle with your hands extended, core engaged, and back straight.Place your legs on the leg rest. Keep them extended.Pull the handle to your chest. Do not move back or hunch your back.Slowly get your hands back to the starting position.Do this 5 times.Pull the handle and move forward as you extend your hands again.Do this 5 times.Pull the handle of the pulley and as you extend your hands again. Bend your knees and slide forward.Slide back as you pull the handle of the pulley.

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