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Everything you need to know before getting on the rowing machine in the gym

Of all the cardiovascular training machines available within a gymnasium, possibly the most complete is the rowing machine, since in addition to the cardiovascular work itself it will also allow us to perform strength work , both upper and lower train.

However, this machine has to its credit that it requires an adequate technique of use, since a bad position or poor execution of the movement could easily cause an injury with the passage of time.

Musculature involved in the rowing machine

When we use the rowing machine of the gym, we are working practically all the muscles of our body (from the musculature of our forearms to make a good grip to the muscles of our legs), which is why we have indicated in the introduction that It is, possibly, the most complete cardiovascular exercisethat we can perform in the gym.

Top train

In relation to the upper train, we could point out the following parties involved in the execution of this exercise:

  • Forearms : the musculature of our forearms will be fundamental for a good grip and that the bar from which we throw does not escape us.
  • Arms and back : the arms, together with the back, are going to be the generators of the upper train movement of this exercise, since they will be the two parties involved in pulling the bar and bringing the grip to the chest or abdomen.
  • Shoulders : speaking purely as far as the movement is concerned, the posterior head of the deltoid is going to be the part of our shoulders that carries out the most work , hence the importance of strengthening it correctly.

Abdominal muscles (core)

The core, or abdominal muscles , will be of utmost importance in this exercise, since it will be in charge of helping us to maintain a correct posture and not “sink” in the seat of the machine or arching our back to avoid possible injury .

To avoid this error, we must try to keep our back neutral , making the movements back and forth with the flexion and extension of our hips.

Bottom train

Despite being an exercise that at first sight could seem like a superior train, when we use the rowing machine we are also putting into play the muscles of our legs , since our legs also flex and stretch during the movement, so the Musculature of our legs will intervene secondarily.

For this reason, the rowing machine can also help us gain resistance in our legs.

Main mistakes we make when using this machine

Positioning of the back

One of the main mistakes we can make when working with the rowing machine in the gym is a bad positioning of our back. This can be caused by two points mainly: the first of them, very common in the exercises that involve back work, would be an excessive bowing of the spine when we go forward or perform a lumbar hyperextension when moving backwards.

The second of the failures in terms of the positioning of our back , would be caused by a too weak core and a “collapse” in the seat , which would cause us not position in a “compact” and this would generate a potential risk of injury.

To avoid these mistakes and acquire a correct technique, our back should remain neutral as much as possible , being able to lean slightly backwards when we pull but without getting to lean forward as much as to adopt a “chepada” position.

Neglecting the placement of our elbows

Another common error in this machine would be to place our elbows, when we perform the pull back, over the shoulder horizontal: on the one hand it causes a reduction of the subacromial space, with the consequent risk of injury , and on the other hand it will induce us to a forced posture of our neck , increasing the tension in all the cervical musculature and, consequently, increasing the risk of pulls and contractures.

To avoid these failures, the ideal is to always try to keep the elbows as close to the ribs as possible , since this way it will be impossible for the elbows to exceed the horizontal of the shoulders. If for some reason we were not able to stick our elbows so much, we can open them as long as they do not exceed the horizontal line that mark our shoulders.

Bad timing legs-arms-back

The rowing machine is a machine that requires good coordination between our arms and legs , since we can not be pulling the machine if we are flexing the legs or vice versa. In addition, a bad synchronization will provoke an unnatural posture in the execution of the exercise since our body will try to compensate this unnatural position in other ways, increasing the risk of injury.

Types of training on the rowing machine

Distance training

This type of training consists of marking a limit distance as an objective and covering it in more or less time . For beginners this is, along with time training, the best way to become familiar with these cardiovascular machines.

With the passage of time and as we improve our physical form, we can try to travel the distance each time in less time or with greater resistance.

Workouts by times

The training by times consists of marking a time limit during which we will be rowing regardless of the total distance traveled or the resistance of the machine . As we progress in our physical form, we can play with the resistance of the machine to try to row during the same time with greater resistance or to travel at that same time a greater distance.

Interval workouts

Within this form of training with the rowing machine, would be framed the routines type HIIT , through which we would work for fractions or periods of time in which we would be paddling, then rest for the indicated time. If we want to add intensity, we just have to play with the regulation of the resistance of the machine or try to travel more distance during the time we are paddling.

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