Row Machine.

I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts outlining and critiquing the various things that I have tried at the gym. Some thing I love, some I don’t. I am not a professional trainer, so all of these posts will be my own opinions, and personal findings.

The first post was dedicated to cycling, and can be found here.

So for this post I am going to focus on rowing.
Description: The row machine looks like this:



 It is a stable machine designed to mimic the motion of rowing a boat. The handles are the oars, and the seat moves as you push your feet. It’s kinda hard to explain while typing, so here is the video that I learned proper rowing form from:

I was actually a little intimidated to try the rowing machine. I wasn’t sure if I would know how to do it right, I thought I would try and then everyone in the gym would be starring at me while I was doing the motions completely wrong. This video really helped, and now I feel pretty confident about my skill level.

Duration: I usually row in increments of 10-15 minutes, but you could definitely do more. On days that I don’t have a class to attend I will do circuit like workouts, and rotate between strength exercises with 10 minute cardio blasts in between each set.

Level of like (10) or dislike (0): A 9 or maybe even a 10. I love it for short, quick cardio blasts. I find that I work harder when only doing it for 10 minute sessions, compared to 30 minutes all at once. But that’s just me.

I will usually do intervals, go really hard and fast (TWSS) for about 30 seconds, and then I will slow it down for 15 seconds. Repeat.

-It’s a great low impact cardio option. Because you  sit while you are working, I find it not to be as difficult as running, but my heart rate still spikes. Plus I don’t worry about injuring my back or knees as much as I do with other activities.
-It utilizes a lot of muscle groups. My legs, my upper body, and working to stabilize my core.
-Its a great aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Your body is dealing with resistance while utilizing your oxygen supply with repetitive motions.

Advice for first timers:
-Make sure to use your legs to really drive the motion. Your legs hold the power more than your upper body. Not to say that you don’t use your upper body, just don’t neglect the legs, they are your biggest muscle group.
-Be prepared to get calluses on your hands. Or at least I get them. But that could be because I lift dumbbells first, then row, then lift, etc. A lot of friction is put on my hands in a small period of time.