Rowing Machine for Newbies…(And why you should do it)

Alright so I know I’m not posting about running, but erging will be a part of my training. It can be a part of yours too! Learning how to erg is honestly a great way to  work out your whole body. It especially focuses on your legs and core muscle.
WAIT SAM, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST AN ARM WORK OUT??!!! 
…no…but that’s what people at the gym think…shocking I know. Sure your arms get a work out, but it’s not as intense as you’re legs and core will get. And if you don’t know how to use the erg properly, you can truly hurt yourself. So if you ever plan on sitting down and pushing off those foot stretchers, I highly recommend you read and listen. 

OK so you’re at the gym, and what’s that you see collecting dust? An erg! You go over to it (hopefully clean it) and sit down. First things first turn it on. A pretty grey and black screen light up and you are super excited (at least I hope so).  So with my recommendations here’s what you should do next…

  1. Since you are a beginner, check the resistance on the side of the fan. The resistance should be at a three or four, if not slide it down, or you will hate this machine the first 20 seconds you’re rowing (The resistance is numbered 1-10 on the side of the fan on the machine.)
  2. Second, if you’re not familiar with the different settings the erg can do, just press “Just Row.” The “Just Row” setting does nothing but keep track of your time, and split (and other things).  If you are familiar, then find a setting you’re comfortable with. 
  3. Next, put your feet in the foot stretchers. If the size is too big or too small, you can adjust it. Then grab the erg handle.
  4. Now here’s the fun part…what you are going to do is start at The Recovery. You’re legs should be straight, and the handle should be barley touching you’re lower chest, with your arms bent to the side of you. (Don’t pull in high!) You’re back should also be slightly bent when pulling into the chest. ALSO when pulling in with your arms, your shoulder-blades should be almost touching.
  5. Then before you bend your knees for The Catch make sure your arms are out straight before bending your knees. When sliding up to the catch, your arms will be out first, as you slightly bend forward with the knees. At this point your arms should still be out straight! 
  6. Now you are about to take a stroke. This is called The Drive when you are at the catch, push off with the balls of your feet. You should feel your quads, and core muscle work as you push hard off the foot stretchers. Make sure you are sitting up straight, and use your legs first before bringing your arms back in to the recovery. This cycle repeats until you are completed and at The Finish. 
  7. The Finish is similar to the recovery. That is where you will end your last stroke. Make sure when you are taking the last stroke, it is strong. 
  8. Because you are just beginning go slow. It take years to perfect the technique, and even though I was a rower in high school I still sometimes struggle with perfect technique!  

After explaining it in my words…videos and other websites will be posted on proper erging techniques! Watch a video on it before trying! It helps better than written directions! 

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