You must have heard how great are rowing machine exercises to lose weight, get fit, and gain stamina. You must have also given a thought as to how it works. Is rowing exercise enough? Is rower gym equipment suitable for a home gym? Who can do it? Last and most importantly, how to do rowing exercises at home? With so many questions in mind, you are bound to get perplexed. So, before you plan to buy a rowing machine for your home gym, here are the details to know how to lose weight with a rowing machine.
BASICS OF ROWING
It is vital to understand the motion of rowing and the details to get the best benefit from doing rowing exercises at home.
Which body parts are involved?
Before we dive deep into the method of rowing, let us understand which part of the body is engaged in the act. A lot of people think rowing is all about the upper-body workout. However, it is more about using your legs than your core and arms. Hence, rowing machine exercise works on arms, abdomen, obliques, legs, and also back, essentially delivering a full-body workout rather than a part-focused workout, which is good because, in much less time, you can achieve a lot!
Tips for rowing correctly
Rowing machine exercise has a technique to follow, and once you master it, you can get astonishing results within no time; it can prove to be the best exercise for cardio. Before you begin rowing, there are certain tips that you should keep in mind.
- Remember the sequence of arms, core, and leg movement because it is the key to smooth and effective exercising on a rowing machine. In the forward motion, first comes the arms (straighten them), then comes the core (bring it forward), and at last, comes the legs (bend them at the knee and bring them forward). When moving backward, go with the reverse, i.e., legs, core, and then arms. Once you learn the sequence, you are good to go.
- Keep the lats engaged during backward movement by pulling them down and back, and ensure the handlebar moves along with the sliding seat.
- Keep your back straight throughout.
- Start slow in the beginning; do not stress over the speed. This will ensure correct movement and no injury.
- Do not feel disappointed if you do not get it at first. Rowing is not as simple as riding a bike. With patience, you will catch on with the sequence.
How long and fast should one row?
As a beginner, you should row from five to 20 minutes with breaks. The speed can vary depending on your stamina and the hold on correct movement. After the considerable experience, you can increase the time to half an hour. For a high-intensity workout, you will have to increase speed. Usually, the speed varies between eighteen to forty strokes per minute (SPM). Nonetheless, high speed is not proof of a good workout; the correct motion is more critical.
ROWING MACHINE EXERCISES
Once you get a hold of the rowing machine and how it works, it is time you apply some workout routines. You can take reference from the below routines to start your rowing journey. You can also make alterations to these based on your stamina and goal.
For beginners, focusing on the technique and staying at a low-intensity level is crucial. Beginner's pyramid is about twenty minutes workout that can be done at least thrice a week.
How to do it:
Start with 4 minutes set of 22 strokes per minute (SPM), followed by 3 minutes of 24 SPM, 2 minutes of 6 SPM and end with 1 minute of 28 SPM. Take a break and start with reverse order, i.e., 1 minute of 28 SPM followed by two minutes of SPM and so on. This regime will let you learn the technique thoroughly and also burn calories.
The aim is to burn a targeted number of calories within a minute. For this, you will have to set your rowing machine to count at 1-minute intervals. Each minute will have a target calorie you will have to burn; your speed will determine how soon you are burning the calories.
How to do it:
After setting the rower to 1-minute intervals, target five calories in the first minute, then rest and wait for the next minute to start. Target six calories now; again, wait until the next minute. Continue doing so until you reach the position where you are not able to reach your target calorie in a minute. Try to increase the number of calories burnt daily to raise the bar.
The Distance Challenge
In this, you will fix a distance of, say, 2km. How soon you finish this depends on the speed and intensity of the workout. You can keep it slow to gain more muscle and acquire a better hold on the technique or stroke faster to burn more calories and do a high-intensity workout.
How to do it:
Set the rower at a distance of 2km (more or less, depending on your stamina). Start rowing slowly and then increase the speed as fast as possible. Try to complete the target within 20 minutes. You may take breaks in between with rests or by doing hollow rocks off the rowing machine. Doing hollow rocks will allow you to have more breathers in between and aid you in performing better while rowing.
Mix and Match
When you hop on a rowing machine, it is not mandatory to continue doing it until you finish. Combining rowing with other workouts has shown better results. Another benefit is that it keeps you away from the monotony of rowing continuously.
How to do it:
You can combine rowing with the following:
- Bodyweight squats
- Lunges and reverse lunges
- Free-weight bicep curls
- Kettlebell thrusters
- Hollow rocks
Start by doing a few minutes of rowing and then switching to one or more of the above exercise options, then again go back to rowing. This makes one set. Do three to four sets to make a complete regime.
Tabata workout is a high-intensity form of training. But the good part is that these are short-period workouts with a short resting period. Before your muscle relaxes from the previous step, it has to be set into motion again.
How to do it:
Row at high speed / high intensity for about 20 seconds. Take a break of 10 seconds and start again with more intensity. Repeat this cycle for 4 minutes, which will give you a set of 8 rounds.
Distance pyramid, as the name says, is training that increases the distance covered with each set. The resting interval in between stays the same. This pyramid builds up energy and stamina to do more and more.
How to do it:
Start rowing and row for 100 meters. Take a break of 1 minute. Start again and now cover a distance of 200 meters. Take a break and again increase by 100. After that, start coming down to 200 meters and then 100 meters. Try to maintain the intensity throughout and not lower it with increasing time or distance.
Rowing machine exercises can be very promising if done with the correct technique and continued perseverance. The mantra is to stay focussed on the method and slowly move up the ladder. You cannot achieve the targets with a rowing machine in haste. One has to be patient and determined to work out on a rowing machine. With the benefit of a full-body workout in one go, rower gym equipment can prove to be a very effective cardio training and a good buy for your home gym.