Okay let’s first up get the facts right. Rowing outside whether professionally or just for an adventure is never easy. With the winds gushing on your face and the ever changing currents being prepared and well trained is important and the best way to prep is on an indoor rowing machine and preferably on a Concept 2 Model D Rowing machine as these tend to be stable, durable and yet affordable, thus perfect choices for newbies.
But neither are these rowers simple. So before your struggle on it turns into serious injuries here’s what you need to do to improve at it.
Don’t avoid other exercises
Lots of rowers tend to stick only to the rowing machine. Yes you’re a rower but rowing alone won’t make you stronger or better. So if you haven’t yet, it’s time to hit the weight room.
Your glutes, calf need to generate tons of power while pushing and workouts such as squats, leg press etc. help with exactly that. For better strokes you’ll need stronger shoulders, chest etc. for which I would suggest workouts like bench press, shoulder press, bicep curl.
Let your legs do the work
While a lot of trainers will tell you rowing is all about hand movement but truth be told it’s not the case. It’s your legs that tend to do most of the hard work. Newbies tend to put in too much effort into the pulling but instead focus should be on utilizing the glutes to generate the power.
Remember rowing is a push movement rather than a pulling one and you’ll only get better with practice. Here’s the right rowing technique.
Take it easy
I hardly find people rowing right be it any kind of fitness center and one the most common mistakes I have noticed is that people pull too far and do it too fast. This leads to incomplete strokes so next time take it easy. For an effective and accurate stroke keep your movement slow.
This way you’ll need to generate more power thus engaging more muscle fiber and it will ultimately correct your form and technique too.
Switch to other endurance workouts
My only biggest issue with indoor rowing is that it tends to get really boring irrespective of how motivated you are and this is why I suggest people to keep mixing it up. Cycling, running or even skiing are few other sports I love and keep the boredom away.
Cross-training is a proven exercise routine and will help you stay fit by challenging your body at different levels and will keep you refreshed both physically and mentally.
Tag a friend along
Peer pressure can at times get the best out of you and having a friend row better than you is exactly the motivation you need to take it up a notch. Competitive teammates, friends etc. can help you improve focus and drive you to achieve you goals.