6 tips to help you row correctly

6 tips to help you row correctly

With every stroke you take on the rowing machine, almost every part of the body is being used. It’s an efficient way to tone up, lose weight, and it’s not all about shoulders. Rowing strengthens the core which is the basis for all exercise. 

Get it right and you’ll see results fast, but get it wrong and you’ll twist and give yourself an injury.

Follow these six tips to get it just right:

  1. Ensure you don’t set the weights too high before you’ve perfected your technique. It’s a beginner’s downfall to put the weight setting up and burn out too soon on the rowing machine. Set it down a few notches and take it slowly to start.
  2. Don’t rely on your arms. People assume rowing is all about the arms, and particularly the shoulders. Actually, 60 per cent of power should be coming from your legs, 20 from engaging your core and the final 20 from your arms. This way you also get a smoother action on the rower.
  3. Don’t hit everything at once. You shouldn’t be pulling with your arms and pushing with the legs all at once. It should be done in stages. Push with the legs, pivot at the hips and then pull with the arms. In that order.
  4. Sit tall. It’s easy to slouch with rounded shoulders when you’re rowing. But you should maintain a good posture throughout.
  5. Engage your core so that you don’t shoot backwards after pushing with your legs. By engaging these muscles you’re getting a good all round workout as well.
  6. Draw out in long motions. It can all get a little bit squashed up if you’re trying to row fast without thinking about technique. If you think about extending the legs as far as you can, engaging your core and stretching through and then pulling right back with the arms you’ll row far more effectively.


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


DeletedFname2135143 D.
14 September 2015

DeletedFname2135143 D.

thank you for this, it conforms what i was doing last time on machine, however you don't explain how to engage core, I presume U do the same sitting as when taking part in Pilates class, which I am doing, Last week started again after Summer Hols, Arnold 64yrs old

Matthew C.
11 September 2015

Matthew C.

Row, row, row your boat... I wish I hadn't got rid of my rowing machine now!

craig t.
10 September 2015

craig t.

I love rowing and I don't have to do much of it to feel I've done a really good workout. These tips are helpful and would definitely agree with the 'sit tall' advice. You will get a much more efficient workout and feel the difference from slouching. Talking from experience here!

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