Rowing Machine Technique in Slow Motion

When it comes to the rowing busbar machine there is no shortage of detailed information. As with so many matters of the human bodily motion the experts in this field love to label and classify every flex every bend, and every twist. In modern times this has developed into a fine science especially within the sports realm. With the invention of photography, video and computers this has gone way beyond the limits of what the average person wants to know. In slow motion we can analyze every tilt of the head, and every position of every finger that lead to a good (or bad) golf stroke. With computers enhancing every muscle movement we can know exactly how many centimeters an Olympian leaned too far forward causing a fall off the balance beam.

Some people do want to know the fine points and the fine points of the rowing technique have been analyzed for your use. To begin, of course, you sit in the seat and make sure your footrests are adjusted and your feet are secured. Double check all other adjustments are made for your body height and weight. Part of the technique of rowing is to first make sure you are properly situated for the optimal stroking motion.

Seated, adjust your body to the correct posture. Keep your shoulders back and your spine straight. A check for steady breathing is in order here too.

Now that you are ready, lean forward and grab your pulling grips. The handles should start out with any resistance or tension on them. The object is one smooth complete stroke but we’ll take this in slow motion. There are 3 steps within the rowing motion. The fist step is the catch. Inhaling, you slide forward on your seat bending your knees so that the front of your thighs approach your chest and the front of your calves approach your wrists holding the grips. This is a relaxed position with no resistance.

The second step is the stroke. With a deep exhale at this point you will simultaneously pull your oar grips towards you and slightly downwards, you bend your elbows so your forearms approach your upper arm. You will, at the same time, push away from the resistance mechanism with your feet. You will feel the resistance throughout this motion both in your arms and legs. You will feel your shoulders; back and abdominal muscles assist your arms and legs against the resistance. If done properly the resistance will be balanced between an even pull with your oar grips and an even push with your feet so that your posture stays as upright as possible. During the stroke your ideal is to use the power of your arms and legs to distance yourself from the resistance mechanism. Pull back until your legs are fully extended and your knees are locked. Your machine should be set up for the length of your legs so that your knees are locked before your arms complete the oar pull. This causes you to lean back slightly in your seat to complete the pull. You will definitely feel your stomach assisting with this last part of the stroke. This is the end of your stroke.

The third step, called the recovery, is relaxed and almost the same as the catch only in reverse. Inhale deeply and, at this point, you want to relieve the tension of the resistance on the oar grips by straightening your arms. Unlock your knees so that your seat slides forward again. You are ready to begin the next repetition.

When you put it into such description the rowing motion may seem quite complicated. It’s not that bad. There is some practice needed to coordinate your posture, arm, leg, torso movements, and breathing but you will soon find it is a smooth sweeping technique that comes quite easily. You too can reap the health and fitness benefits of the rowing motion just like the pros.

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