Rowing machine exercise is one of the most complete forms of exercise you can utilize. It works your arms, upper and lower back, your chest muscles, your abdominal muscles and your legs. Being an exercise of almost constant motion it is highly aerobic in nature, and very effective at increasing cardiovascular health. You may begin wondering why it is not the most popular machine in most gyms.
The simple fact is rowing machine exercise is challenging. It requires good coordination, can put stress on your lower back if proper form is not used, and requires getting down near floor level. As anyone who has mastered exercising on a rowing machine can tell you, overcoming those few hurdles can lead to the greatest benefits possible.
Before you start using a rowing machine in the gym or at home, you must take a few minutes to warm up and stretch your back. Rowing machines are more intensive on your back than many other forms of exercise. Your lower and upper back muscles are used extensively in rowing machine exercise. Make sure you get a good stretch in your legs, too. Your legs will be providing much of the power used on the rowing machine.
Using nearly perfect form is very important on the rowing machine it minimize your risks of back strain. The first part to keep in mind is keeping your back straight and flat throughout the exercise. When you start off a repetition on the rowing machine use your legs. Push strongly with your legs to start the motion. You then engage your lower back, arms, and upper back muscles to draw the rowing handles to your chest while leaning slightly backwards. We need to repeat the part of keeping your back straight. Keep your back flat and straight even while you power back and lean back.
Keeping your back straight is required as you move back to the starting position again. This return movement is when it becomes very tempting to allow your back to round off as you extend your arms to the starting point. Do not allow the temptation to win, make sure to maintain great form.
As you are completing your workout make sure to focus on the muscles you are putting into use. Feel the power of your legs driving the seat back. Notice the strength of your lower back and buttocks helping to drive the seat and transitioning you to the arm pull. As you pull with your arms feel your biceps and upper back muscles drawing the handles to your chest. By paying attention to the muscles your are using you will keep better form, and get a better workout.
You will quickly discover rowing machine exercise is very effective at building lean muscle and burning fat quickly off your body. You will not only be improving your cardio fitness, but the overall shape of your body, too. This could be the most effective exercise machine you will ever use.