Looking for a full body workout that gets your heart pumping, arms moving and core strengthening? The elliptical rowing machine at the gym can be your solution for an all-in-one approach that won’t have you fighting for the treadmill or the traditional elliptical machine. But before you get started, speak with a trainer or instructor for suggestions on proper form and execution as to prevent any back injuries. Once you’re comfortable with the movement, hop on board to a row workout that is easy to master.
Improve your flexibility and performance by stretching your legs, arms and back before mounting the rowing machine. Simple back stretches can include pulling your knees into your chest as you lie flat on a mat. Or you can lift your knees and roll them to one side, holding them before transitioning to the other side. These movements will help you to release your lower back and prepare you for a rowing workout that relies heavily on your back muscles.
The 20-Minute Workout
Who has time to spend hours in the gym sweating in a room full of die-hard fitness freaks when you can get in, get out and still have time to stop for breakfast? Try a total body workout that is perfect for beginners who are looking to strengthen muscles with an easy-to-follow rowing machine plan. Start with a few quick strokes, aiming for 10 to 12 strokes per minute. After 9 minutes, stretch and being the stroke sequence again. Cool down at 19 minutes by slowing down the number of strokes per minute to between 6 and 8. As you increase your endurance and strength, work on increasing your strokes per minute.
The Runner's Solution
Getting a little tired of your traditional workout routine? Or are you a runner needing a great cross-training workout to keep your body in shape while allowing your muscles to recover? The Shockwave rowing workout practiced at Equinox fitness centers may just be your best bet. This 30-to-45-minute workout involves a series of rowing techniques using an Indo Row machine, which is also available for home use. According to an article in "Time", each stroke should start with your legs, followed by your core and then your arms. “When the stroke is done, you reverse the order by reaching first with your arms, then shifting your body weight forward and then starting back at original position with your knees bent,” writes Alexandria Sifferlin.
As you get used to the rowing machine, improve your posture and increase your endurance, you’ll want to begin incorporating more advanced techniques to keep the body from adapting to your normal workout. Slowly begin to lengthen your workout and incorporate more strokes in shorter intervals. For example, try completing 10 light strokes followed by 10 hard strokes. Continue to push yourself to increase your intervals until you’ve reached at least 50 strokes light and then hard.
Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert who has been writing about beauty, fashion and health since 2009. Her work has been featured in "Frugivore Magazine," "Black Enterprise Magazine" and various online publications. Dorsey holds a Bachelor of Science in international trade and marketing for the fashion industries from the Fashion Institute of Technology.