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Rowing Machine Workout Routine Guidance

Using the rowing machine for a total body workout is a great idea. Whether you are using a water, air or magnetic rowing machine, this is a no impact exerciser making it a joint saver but nonetheless providing a total cardiovascular workout while increasing range of motion, building rhythm and fine-tuning coordination.

To maximize a rowing machine workout, fitness enthusiasts should incorporate all four parts of a complete health regimen into this program: commitment, exercise, muscle building and nutrition.

Make Commitments

Commitment keeps people going. People want happiness; a healthy, well tuned body is happy. It is able to do what is asked of it, when it is asked and without complaint. The desire to be trim, lean and sexy is what makes people buy and use one of these fantastic exercise machines. A body in good condition has the energy to do things and go places. People do not have the commitment to get on a rowing machine and sweat; the commitment is for the results the sweating brings.

Workout Types

The exercises for rowing machine come in two parts: Start up and Step-it-up.

Novices need to spend time learning the right procedure; equally, an experienced hand should start out slowly for two or three sets as a warm-up. The correct posture increases the efficiency of the exercises and decreases the chances of an injury to the back. The movements should always be smooth; the chain should move back and forth on the flywheel without erratic motion, going slack then suddenly taut again.

A rowing machine workout routine is just like rowing a boat across water. The person sits comfortably on the seat that glides smoothly on the rail. Their feet are on the foot rests, the knees are slightly bent, the shins are perpendicular to the floor and the arms are forward and extended. That is called the catch position.

The drive starts with the legs almost fully extended and the handle is pulled towards the stomach until the elbows extend beyond the body and the handle almost touches the abs. The recovery returns the body to the catch position by extending the arms forward while bending at the hips as the hands pass over the knees. The knees are flexed as the body returns to the starting position.

Watch your Form

The correct form is extremely important, as the back should be almost upright throughout the process. Novices have a tendency to lean too far back and too far forward. The drive is always started with the motion of the legs, not the back. Ideal performance is to start slow and perfect the technique for at least 10 minutes, giving the body a chance to warm up and limber up.

For maximum benefit, a rowing machine workout should include periods of higher speed and intensity. The resistance is increased. Muscles in the body respond quicker when the routine is varied. This is easy to do with a good rowing machine workout plan. Moving at a rapid pace for a set number of repetitions or minutes, slowing the pace down and then picking it back up increases the intensity and variety of the workout, making it more effective. These periods need to be constantly changed in duration and rotated in sequence for maximum benefits.

There is a total body workout which also targets the cardiovascular system. Muscles in the legs, core and upper body are used to generate force without impact on any joints. The catch position works abs and lower back while the drive works the quads in the legs.

Pulling the rowing handle towards the stomach exercises the latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles, the two largest muscles in the upper back.

The biceps come into play when the handle is pulled towards the body. Developed rhythm of the movements improves coordination and body awareness while increasing range of motion and building bone density.

Diet is Important

Nutrition is an important part of any rowing machine program. An hour and a half before the exercise program starts, complex carbohydrates eaten will provide the fuel the body needs to operate efficiently. Simple carbohydrates like fruits or fruit juices and protein ingested 15 to 30 minutes before the workout provides an immediate energy source for the body to draw on. Drinking water or juice after a workout replenishes the body’s liquids and allows muscles to recover quicker without as much soreness.

To reduce body fat, simple adjustments in the daily diet will return great rewards when combined with a rowing machine. Switching to a healthier eating style of more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains eliminates unwanted weight. The exercise burns calories and reduces fat stored in the body cells. Muscles use more energy; lean body masses operate at a higher metabolism.


Incorporating the four components of a healthy lifestyle; commitment, exercise, muscle building and nutrition, add years to the life of the exercise enthusiast and life to the years of the active, fit and trim body. Strengthening the body core adds flexibility and the cardiovascular activities build a healthy heart. A rowing machine is a fun and easy way to get necessary exercise without damaging joints.