A rowing machine is popular exercising equipment that helps in a full-body workout. It is similar to working with a rowing boat. You have to pull the cable towards you that engages your core and abs. A rowing machine is highly beneficial in burning your fat and toning your stomach muscles.
In a nutshell, a rowing machine is helpful in improving the overall fitness of your body. When a person starts to work on a rowing machine for the first time, there are plenty of questions and doubts in their mind. It is important to resolve all those queries before working out. Some want to know whether it is effective for fat burning, others want to know which muscles they work on.
While we have already answered the former question, the latter will be better answered in this article. If you wonder which muscle a rowing machine works on, this article is for you.
What Muscles Does Rowing Work?
Also known as ergometers, rowing machines help in easing your muscles up to 86%. As a result, it is beneficial in improving your endurance and strength. Additionally, it helps in toning your muscles. A rowing machine is good for a full-body workout. Hence, it focuses on the lower body (quadriceps, glutes, etc.), upper body (lats and deltoids), and core muscles.
Undoubtedly, a rowing machine is a comprehensive exercising machine that will help your entire body muscles. It tones, strengthens, and improves the endurance of your muscles. Read on to learn more.
What Are The Benefits of Rowing?
There are many key benefits of rowing that you can avail of with regular use. It is important to understand the benefits of the machine to use it optimally. Here are the popular benefits of rowing:
- Cardiovascular Conditioning
A rowing machine affects your heart rate; that way offers aerobic and cardiovascular workout. At least 150 minutes of rowing per-week can offer you better cardiovascular health. You can achieve this target by rowing for at least 30-60 minutes. It is also beneficial to monitor your heart rate with a chest strap.
- Total Body Workout
Rowing works 86% of your muscles, which directly indicates it is great for a full-body workout. It comprises 60%-75% leg work and 25%-35% upper bodywork. Together, you can get a full-body workout with a single machine.
- Low Impact Activity
Compared to other equipment, rowing machines encourage low impact activity. It is a great piece of equipment to burn some stubborn calories without stressing joints. It will control the pace and movement, which is ideal for those who cannot work out rigorously.
- Great Alternative To Elliptical and Treadmill
With regular use of a rowing machine, you can actually ditch your treadmill and elliptical. It has a similar impact on your lower body and core like a treadmill. People generally avoid rowing due to its difficulty, but it has a significant impact compared to other equipment.
- Good For Your Heart and Lungs
It is good for cardiovascular health. Hence, you can improve your heart and lung condition. Rowing will help in expediting the function of blood flow and transporting of oxygen throughout the body.
- Meditative As Well
To some extent, rowing can prove to be meditative as well. Rowing can help in connecting your mind and body together. It is important to follow the right steps to achieve optimal benefits. Rowing is also proven to release endorphins.
What Are The Rowing Mistakes You Need To Avoid?
Not everyone is good at using different exercising equipment. However, it is important to learn the right way to use a rowing machine to optimize its function. There are plenty of common mistakes that people tend to make while using this machine. To help you prevent them from committing, we have prepared a list for you. Make sure you don’t make these blunders while using a rowing machine:
#1 Forget To Check Damper Setting
Damper setting is the setting of the lever that sets the intensity of the pull. A lot of beginners start working out on the machine without caring about the damper setting. For instance, if the level is set at higher, the machine will feel heavy, and you will exhaust very soon. To avoid such an uncomfortable situation, you must concentrate on setting the damper before pulling the lever.
#2 Rowing With Just Your Arms
Most of the beginners tend to make this mistake and consider this machine similar to rowing a boat. When rowing a boat, your arms are at maximum use. However, both your upper and lower body should work harmoniously when you are using a rowing machine. Using only your arms is not the right way to work on a rowing machine. Also, putting a lot of pressure on your arms can lead to injuries.
#4 Mixing All The Steps Together
There are different steps in rowing like drive, catch, finish, and recover. Each step should be done at the right time and in the right way. Beginners tend to mix up everything and blame the machine for not providing the required results. To avoid this mistake, you must divide your routine into each step and achieve the right balance. Mixing everything will also put unnecessary pressure on your upper body.
#5 Hunching Back While Stroking
Many people tend to hunch their back when stroking. It is a bad practice that will negatively impact your health. The golden rule of rowing that you must not hunch your back if you want to get the best results. It happens when you work so much on the desk that your body is accustomed to taking that position. To change your habit, you must start sitting with your back straight.
#6 Banging Butts on Heels
It is a natural mistake that every beginner can make. When you try to go faster and want to reach the imaginary line, it may lead to unnecessary slamming your butt into heels. For this, you need to concentrate on your stroke times. The stroke ratio should be set at 1:2. This will prevent you from smashing the butt. Try not to hurry while rowing; it will only impact your body negatively.
When you avoid all these mistakes, you can engage in a good exercising regimen. Rowing can benefit your body in different ways. All you need to do is use it in the right way.
What Muscles Does Rowing Not Work?
When we say rowing, the machine is good for a full-body workout. There are certain muscles that are left out. Rowing majorly focuses on all the major muscle groups, but you can engage in strength training of the upper body for better results. It is true that rowing dedicatedly concentrates on the lower body, cire, and slight upper body strength. If you are looking to tone your biceps or strengthen your shoulders, it is best to look for some other strength training. This doesn’t mean that you should give up rowing altogether. It is also a core part of your exercise regime. But if you want to work more on the upper body, you should add something more to it.
Should You Row Every Day?
Rowing is a go-to exercise that your regimen must include. With a single piece of equipment, you can work on your whole body. That’s the beauty of a rowing machine. When it comes to whether you can row every day, the decision is up to you. It depends on your capabilities and the frequency of exercise that you will decide. In general, you work on a rowing machine for 30-60 minutes (depending on your strength). It is important to maintain a moderate pace of working to increase the time period. You must not engage in rigorous exercise that will directly impact your strength. Start with a shorter period, like 20 minutes, and then move to a longer period. You need to prepare your body before you can put pressure.