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While rowing is such an explosive workout, it is often not done the right way. In fact, most people avoid the rowing machine altogether just because they would rather not make some common mistakes which they consider embarrassing. If this is your case, then it is a very crazy thing to do. For what’s it worth, you might not find a fitness machine as powerful as the rowing machine. Instead of running away from mistakes, you can start by learning about them so that you don’t look like a complete fish out of water.
Although we are taking about mistakes, a bad machine wouldn’t do you any good, no matter how good a rower, you are. Not all rowing machines can get you all fired up; some are actually better than others. Thus if you plan to get the best rowing machine available, then it will help to check a good rowing machine reviews. This will help you make an informed decision. Now let’s quickly consider some rowing mistakes, common especially among beginners.
Not Sitting Properly
Learning to sit properly is the first thing you should learn how to do when it comes to rowing. An improper posture could rob you from getting the very best from each workout. Instead of rolling your hips forward or bending your back, try to keep your hips and torso in line. Also, make sure you are not slouching on the rower, as this will hinder you from getting the best from each workout. Sit tall!
Rowing with only your arms or only your legs
As we mentioned earlier, in order to make the most of your power when rowing, there is need to use the proper form. Most people, especially beginners, are fond of moving only their seats, with their legs forward. As long as the seat is moving, they are OK! While it is possible to achieve some level of success, you can never truly reach your highest potential by rowing this way. Instead of extending only your legs to move your sit, engage the rowing handle as well. Your feet must be well positioned in the footrests, while your handle should be able to travel at the same rate as your seat. If not, you will not be able to optimize your power.
Do not be in a hurry to use your arms or legs. Strive to make progress gradually. Usually, your legs are supposed to do the greater work, while your arms and upper body is expected to do the lesser part.
Focusing only on power
Many people actually believe that by being as fast as possible, their rowing sessions will probable produce greater impact than when they just maintain a normal profile. Quite not!
While there is nothing really wrong with being fast, there is everything wrong with being “too fast”. Contrary to what many believe, going for speed will make your strokes less effective. Except you are an experienced rower, it is more likely that as you get faster, you will probably shift all the attention on your legs, which is not really ideal if you want to get more power and impact from each stoke. If you must derive optimum power, then your core and arms should also be duly engaged. Thus, instead of trying to speed things up, why not focus on how to carry every part of your body along. Focus on power, not speed!
Improper grip on the handle
When rowing, most people are either using an underhand grip, or just holding the handle with only the first knuckles of their finger. While it seems OK, it is not the proper way to row. The recommended position is to fully wrap your hand around the handle, so that your second knuckles is facing forward, while your thumb is placed underneath. Your wrist should be flat all this while. You don’t have to hold on to the handle so tight or apply too much pressure; just make sure you are well positioned with the grip to navigate comfortably. If you tend to get carried away easily, then you can use a Popsicle stick to wrap your wrist as a reminder. When you feel a lot of pressure coming from the stick or if it suddenly pops off, then it means your wrist are no longer in position.
Apart from the list above, it is possible there are other rowing mistakes you are making. Don’t worry, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. The only difference between a good rower and a beginner is experience. With more practice, you should also be become more comfortable. If possible, you can get a personal trainer to hasten things up.
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Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.