Rowing Rowing

Muscle Groups: Cardio

Machine Parts

Before starting an exercise routine, get to know the parts of the machine. The basic parts of any rowing machine include pull handles, foot rests and a sliding seat. The monitor can be set to read calories burned, time expired, and number of repetitions achieved. The wheel or frictional damper can be set from low to high resistance, with about a number four setting mirroring actual rowing resistance.


When you sit on the rowing machine, your back should be relatively straight and not bent forward. Feet should be strapped into the footrests snugly. Upright positioning should remain throughout the rowing motion with neither forward nor backward lean, which could strain your back.


The basic rowing maneuver is in three parts: catch, pull and release. Start by sitting comfortably on the saddle, snugging the foot straps around the balls of your feet and grasping the handles with both hands (never just one handed). Your legs should be bent and your arms extended easily at the beginning of the cycle. Push backwards with your legs straightening and pull on the handles so your arms are bending as your legs are straightening. Then smoothly return to the original position for a repeat stroke. Ensure that you exhale when pulling and inhale when releasing.

Easy Does It

A few stretching exercises to limber up your back and legs should be done before starting each routine. Start with a low frictional damper setting and a routine of ten minutes or less. Daily routine, an easy start regimen and a gradual increase in time and damper setting will keep the routine going.