As a woman with a lot on your plate, you may be looking for a quick yet effective cardio workout. The rowing ergometer can deliver as it burns calories effectively is a short period of time. By including three to four short rowing workouts in your routine, you can blast body fat and tone muscle.
Proper Rowing Form
Before starting your rowing workouts, you must make sure to practice proper form. There are two phases in rowing: the row phase and the reset phase. During the reset phase, you bend your knees and bring your body forward on the rower as you extend your arms in front of you. From there, you initiate the row phase by pushing your feet into the machine. This step is critical, as each row needs to be initiated with your legs to create momentum. Once your body begins to move, you then pull the handle in with your arms towards your chest. Establish a consistent rhythm as you row over and over.
A distance workout involves you rowing up to a predetermined distance. The rowing machines have a small display that shows how many meters you have traveled. Start by rowing 1,000 meters for your first workout, taking note of how tired you feel. If 1,000 meters is easy, add 500 meters next time. Continue to add 500 meters each workout until you find a distance that is challenging and fits into your time constraints. Always start your workout with a five- to 10-minute workout, which doesn't necessarily need to be done on the rower.
Once you have done a few distance workouts, you can try interval workouts on the rower. You will need to choose to do intervals of either distance or time. If you choose distance, you will alternate easy and hard intervals of a predetermined distance. For example, you will row 100 meters hard, reaching a stroke rate of over 30 strokes per minute, and then 100 meters easy, lowering your stroke rate to around 20 strokes per minute. You can also use time intervals, alternating 30 seconds easy with 30 seconds hard. Alternate your intervals for 10 to 15 minutes. Again, make sure to warm up for at least five minutes prior to starting, and finish with five minutes of easy rowing to cool down.
Progressive rows are the most challenging, but will allow you to complete a challenging workout in a short amount of time. In a progressive row, you will need to monitor your strokes per minute throughout. Start with a five- to 10-minute warmup, and then start your workout at 20 strokes per minute. Every 100 meters, you will increase your strokes per minute by two strokes. So after the first 100 meters, you will row at 22 strokes per minute. Maintaining a consistent strokes per minute can be difficult, so do the best you can and make sure it progressively increases. You will continue to increase until you reach a level at which you can no longer maintain your strokes. Finish with a five-minute cool-down.
Scotty Brunning is a Chicago-based health and fitness writer. Having worked with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, he has a plethora of fitness experience. He is an ACSM-certified health fitness specialist and a Cooper Institute master fitness specialist. Brunning holds a master's degree in health and fitness.