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If you’re fresh in the exercise scene, a standard question you’ll come across is: why does form matter? Maintaining proper form on any machine, specifically on your indoor rower, is vital to getting faster and stronger during your workout without injuring yourself.
When combined with the correct form, rowing engages significant muscle groups in the back, lower body, and core. Therefore, it can be one of the best and most dynamic workouts you can do. However, there’s always room for error when using a rowing machine at first.
Here are three common technique mistakes to avoid on the indoor rower and how to correct them.
Whether performing barbell bent-over rows or using a rowing machine, the movement will almost always require you to isolate your back muscles and biceps.
It isn’t uncommon to see athletes “pull with all their might.” However, it helps to note that this uncontrolled mentality can place excessive pressure on your arms, back, and shoulders, resulting in injury.
In reality, your arms should only account for about 20 percent of the power you generate during a row. Your legs should contribute 60 percent, while your core muscles are responsible for the remaining 20 percent. It helps to focus on straightening your legs and pushing yourself away from the machine. The action engages significant muscle groups in your lower body.
While rounding your back is a bad habit in general, it's especially detrimental to do so while rowing. Slouching shoulders and allowing your arms to gravitate too far forward during the catch can add strain to your shoulder cuffs.
Instead, you want to sit tall with a stacked posture and look forward. Making these subtle adjustments engages your core and keeps those collarbones facing upward, allowing for additional breathing space and a better workout.
Once you find a rhythm, getting in the zone and increasing your drive pace is easy. The faster you move, the more you’ll notice your seat colliding into the front of your rower machine, causing you to jerk forward consistently.
You can correct this lack of control by focusing on the timing of each stroke. Your stroke ratio should be a 1:2 count, allowing you to press through your heels and power yourself backward. Displacing most of your weight on your legs can take the strain off your arms as you pull, avoiding excessive pressure on your arms during the stroke.
While rowing is a low-impact activity that’s safer on the joints, incorrect form may cause you to overexert your muscles, leading to strain. These indoor rower technique mistakes may be common, but they’re easy to avoid! If you remain conscious of your form and actively correct errors, you can enjoy yourself and make the most of your time on your machine.
Regarding exercise equipment, top-quality machines can make all the difference! You can locate an in-home rowing machine here at California Home Fitness to help you start your fitness journey.