Don’t want to make a fool of yourself the first time on the rowing machine? Even though rowing machine is considerably easy to use, there are still many mistakes which you could make while rowing.
But this shouldn’t discourage you from taking this up because it is one of the most effective and efficient training activity to burn calories. Its low impact exercises make it a perfect machine for people of all ages and sizes.
So we have compiled a list of mistakes which every beginner makes and how you can avoid them:
Pulling excessively with your torso
Most newbies make the mistake of leaning their torso way off the 90-degree angle in correspondence to the floor which sets their back in a vulnerable position. A lot of rowers try this so that their power readout will increase but this actually places you in a position of expectant injuries.
How to fix this: Make sure that your feet are strapped onto the machine and you pull your torso as far as possible without breaking contact of your feet. Try squeezing your glutes when you are in the end stage of the arm pulling so that you are more erect.
Incorrect sitting posture
Most common mistake made by a lot of newbies is to not perfect their sitting posture and just randomly keep on rowing with the incorrect posture.
This not only puts them at a risk of injury but also is counterproductive to the whole rowing process. These people, with their curved backs and rolled forward hips, end up facing a lot of trouble while rowing.
How to fix this: Practice rowing only with your torso and place it right above your hips. Move back and forth from the hips while your legs and arms are stretched out. Once you are done with the second part of the drive stage, you will be able to feel the seat move with your torso.
Not checking the damper settings
A frequently made mistake is to not set the damper settings which suits your level. Lots of newbies just sit down on the rowing machine without changing the settings first which leads them into being exhausted in just a few minutes. If you don’t set the damper settings on a low level, chances are you would feel very difficult to row as the resistance would be high.
How to fix this: Set the damper settings before you start your rowing exercise. Make sure you start with a low level and then gradually increase your levels once you are comfortable with it.
Incorrect order or operations
Another frequently made mistake is to jumble up the time of your legs and arms movement. Although it might not seem like a bad idea at the moment, but this could put unnecessary strain on your body and have harmful health effects.
How to fix this: The correct order would be to first push the panel with your legs, then pull back your hips so that you are in a slight laid back position, and then finally pull your arms inwards. Once you are done with these three steps, reverse the order and go back to your original position.
Using your arms exclusively
Rowing is not all about using your arms. I know it must feel that rowing is all about your arms and upper body because most rowers have a well built upper body but this is far from the truth. Your whole body utilization is important while rowing unless you want to get seriously injured while doing it.
How to fix this: Make sure you use the power of your legs to push the panel where your strapped in feet are placed. Rowing should be 60% legs, 20% core and 20% arms.
If you are one of those people who hunch most of the time regardless of whether you are standing or sitting on your desk, then chances are your body will assume the same position when you are rowing which could prove highly detrimental to your health.
How to fix this: Practice a stacked posture by focusing on your abdominal muscles or by utilizing your core and make sure your spine is relaxed and not exerting any kind of pressure.