Indoor Rowing - GulfToday

Indoor Rowing

Elaine Superio

Elaine Superio

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club


The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

One of the most overlooked fitness equipment is the rowing machine. This is one of the cardio machines I personally find really challenging, even just a few minutes will feel like an intense workout. It is a true total body cardiovascular workout.

One of the cool benefits of this machine is that you can measure your workout in either watts (power), calories (energy), distance (meters) or time, which gives you a variety of options for measuring your performance.

Tracking how many meters you can row or how many calories you expend in a specific period gives you direct feedback for monitoring your progress. To receive the greatest benefits from the rowing machine, proper form is essential.

To be able to help you maximise its benefit, let’s talk in detail.
Watts (power) - Measures the amount of pure power you are producing. Watts, measures the amount of power you produce on each stroke and can also be an indicator of fitness and efficiency. A person of average fitness can generate around 1.35 watts per pound of body weight. Elite athletes can manage around 2.7.

Iraq-Gym Workout The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Calories (energy) - a calorie is a measure of unit of energy; specifically, it is the amount of energy necessary to increase the temperature of 1 litre of water by 1 degree centigrade. Energy is neither created nor destroyed but is merely transferred from one form to another.

This means that when you eat food that contains 100 calories, you will do one of two things with it: You will either expend the energy through activity (technically called kinetic energy) or save it for use at another time (referred to as potential energy).

Know the basics…
The rowing stroke How it works: The drive is the work portion of the stroke; the recovery is the rest portion that prepares you for the next drive. The body movements of the recovery are essentially the reverse of the drive. Blend these movements into a smooth continuum to create the rowing stroke.

The Catch
Arms are straight; head is neutral; shoulders are level and not hunched. Upper body is leaning forward from the hips with the shoulders in front of the hips. Shins are vertical, or as close to vertical as is comfortable for you. Shins should not move beyond perpendicular.
Heels may lift as needed.

The Drive
Start the drive by pressing with your legs, and then swing the back through the vertical position before finally adding the arm pull.
Hands move in a straight line to and from the flywheel.
Shoulders remain low and relaxed.

The Finish
Upper body is leaning back slightly, using good support from the core muscles. Legs are extended and handle is held lightly below your ribs. Shoulders should be low with wrists and grip relaxed. Wrists should be flat.

The Recovery
Extend your arms until they straighten before leaning from the hips towards the flywheel. Once your hands have cleared your knees, allow your knees to bend and gradually slide the seat forward on the monorail. For your next stroke, return to the catch position with shoulders relaxed and shins vertical. In rowing, the body has three contact points with the rowing machine or boat: the hands, feet, and behind. Over time, these points can become uncomfortable.

The hands
Blisters generally develop first, followed by calluses. Even with calluses, be careful about suddenly increasing the duration of your rows. The key is to increase your rowing time gradually. Also, avoid letting your calluses get too thick. It is up to you whether you wear gloves or not.

The feet
It is important to find the right combination of socks and shoes. Choose good socks and shoes that aren’t too wide at the heel or have a heel with too much rise. If you don’t wear shoes, try a thicker sock that has some grip.

The behind
If you need extra padding, try a folded towel or a piece of bubble wrap. You could also try our seat pad or rowing shorts, which provide padding in a slightly different location than cycling shorts

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