No surprise. Rowing is a great full-body exercise that uses 86% of your muscles and challenges your cardio with intense aerobic activity without much impact on your joints.
the only problem? Rowing machines can be very intimidating for beginners and easy to misuse. Many people are new to rowing and find it easier to hop on a treadmill or exercise bike and do some more intuitive movements. Case is a six-time New York state champion rowing coach whose rowers have set more than ten world records. .
3 Common Rowing Machine Mistakes
“Most of the mistakes I see have to do with bad form, either because of bad posture or a lack of understanding of the biomechanics of doing a rowing stroke,” says Power. says. Luckily, learning how to paddle properly doesn’t take time or money. Most of the resources you need are already at your fingertips (that is, if your fingers hold your smartphone).
Mistake 1: Bad Form
Before getting on the ergometer, it is essential to learn the basics of proper rowing. First of all, slouching or slouching on his rowing machine doesn’t work the core muscles properly. Not only does this make your stroke less efficient, it can also injure your back and shoulder muscles.
Another common form problem seen among beginners is not pushing the drive part hard enough (when pushing away from the machine). Many people think of rowing as an upper-body exercise, so they put too much emphasis on pulling on the handlebars, when in reality most of the power comes from pushing with your feet.
Even if you can’t afford coaching, Power says there are plenty of great beginner resources online. For example, there are YouTube videos to help you learn the basics, and Machine Tips to learn advanced techniques. “Watch a few videos detailing the intricacies of rowing technique and try to memorize as much as you can,” he says.
What to see next? your own video. “For beginners, I recommend filming yourself rowing so you can compare your form to correct form. This is something even elite rowers do on a regular basis. ” he says Power. “Even after mastering the stroke, you can pick up bad habits.”
Mistake 2: Rowing at the Wrong Pace
Many beginners hop on an indoor rowing machine, just ride it, and get exhausted after just a few minutes. Instead, Power recommends reading the pacing so you can get a feel for the standard pace for your height, age, weight, and experience level.
“You might also want to read up on the different cardio training zones to understand how to train in each zone each week and why it’s important,” he suggests.
Mistake 3: Not Participating in the Game Plan
Power says another common mistake beginners make is starting a session without a clear training plan or goal in mind. “As a result, they cannot pace themselves correctly, leading to poor technique and early withdrawal,” he says.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our many free online training plans. “There are many free plans that anyone can use in their own training,” he says Power.
“The best coaches spend more time coaching mindset than technique. Again, this is something you can find online for free,” he says. “Many of the suppliers of his popular rowing machines have dedicated sections on their websites dedicated to education. Take advantage of that.”