Are you still using that treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical trainer for your cardio workouts? Consider using a rowing machine instead. Rowing machines are an excellent choice for fat-burning full-body workouts.
In addition to developing aerobic fitness, a rowing machine can improve your overall stamina, burn calories and rehabilitate muscles, ligaments and joints after an injury. Rowing workouts are also low impact as little stress or pressure is placed on your joints. And rowing is done in a sitting position and displaces most of your body weight.
Before you begin your rowing machine workout make sure you have warmed up properly.
Actively stretch your back, arms and legs to prevent muscle strain, a good practice before any activity.
Proper Rowing Form
Always use proper rowing form. You will start from the starting or “catch” position with your knees bent, your back straight, and your arms reaching forward holding the bar. Now push back using your legs and lean back simultaneously.
Once you reach a 45-degree angle, pull the bar to your upper abs while keeping elbows lifted. After the bar touches your abs, hold this position for a fraction of a second then bend your knees and return to the catch (start) position. You have now completed one complete “stroke”.
How long should your rowing workouts be? Try 3- 5 minutes for beginners, 10-15 minutes for intermediate training and 15-20 minutes to gain or maintain a higher level of fitness. If you complete your target time and want to row for a longer period, take a short break then continue to row for another 5 minutes. As a beginner, shorter sessions more frequently is better than one long session. If you have one available, use a heart rate monitor if possible to monitor your intensity.
The resistance level of your rowing machine can easily be adjusted. Lower resistance and rapid and intense rowing will burn more calories while increasing the resistance will increase the difficulty of your rowing and increase muscular definition and strength. Your rowing machine for home can provide both strength training and a great aerobic cardiovascular workout.
High Intensity Interval Training
Your rower is the ideal High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) machine. HIIT involves short bursts of intense training followed by a short period of active rest. This HIIT training will burn more calories and then CONTINUE to burn calories hours after your workout. Try this simple approach: After your warmup, do one minute of all-out intense rowing followed by 30 seconds of slow relaxed rowing as your active rest. Then another minute of intense rowing followed by another 30 seconds of active rest. Continue this alternating cycle for 20 minutes (or more) and burn a minimum of 500 calories!
Rowing machines provide a quick and efficient fat-burning workout that improves strength, cardiovascular endurance and is still fun, try it!
Still not sure what rower would be best for your home gym? Check out our guide to the best rowing machines for home 2016.
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