Rowing is a cult favorite full body workout, and when executed correctly, it does wonders for your body. Like with any workout, improper form can lead to delayed results and even injury. You wouldn’t lift a two hundred pound barbell without any background knowledge and expect that things will work out perfectly fine. The good news is that learning proper rowing form and workout techniques is relatively simple. Once you’ve got it down, you’ll quickly find yourself hooked.

The Benefits of Rowing

Rowing is the ultimate workout for the person who wants a little bit of the best of everything. People who don’t have much time to work out at the gym and people who don’t have a lot of space to create a fully equipped home gym will undoubtedly benefit from rowing.

The unique nature of rowing allows fitness enthusiasts to engage their entire bodies with the simplicity of a single workout. It’s a little bit of cardio and a little bit of strength rolled into one experience, saving time and money while improving the user’s health. A rowing machine benefits everyone of any age at any level of fitness

Exercising with a Rowing Machine

A rowing machine simultaneously targets cardiovascular and muscular health. A rowing workout burns calories while engaging the muscles, encouraging gains in strength and muscle tone while helping to trim away inches of excess fat.

The machine manages to target the entire body for both cardio and strength while remaining low impact and eliminating stress on the joints. There are no weights involved, and there are no repetitive motions that involve stressing the joints by forcing them back to the ground. The rowing position is comfortable and doesn’t require the user to fight gravity or feel its force, like running, jogging, or jumping rope will.

The strain of rowing is minimal, and speed and effort are voluntary. Beginners can take it easy, where intermediate fitness enthusiasts can choose to voluntarily boost the intensity. It’s the versatility of the rowing machine that makes it a suitable one size fits all solution for anyone with any fitness goal.

The Proper Rowing Form

When performed properly, rowing utilizes the body’s natural form and works with intuitive body mechanics. Rowing posture is simple, and isn’t all too different from excellent standing or sitting posture. The shoulders are to remain straight up, never hunching over with the motion of rowing. The arms remain straight out.

The body should come forward from the hips, without slouching the shoulders, as the body leans, the shoulders should come in front of the hips. The calves should be vertical, as the legs should be straight out. The heels will naturally move as you row, and this motion is normal.

While keeping the shoulders relaxed, begin the motion with the legs. Press forward with the legs and finish the motion by pulling with your arms, keeping your hands in a straight line, bringing the handle toward your ribcage while your knees rise. As your upper body leans back, be sure that your core is engaged and that your shoulders remain comfortable. As you release, your knees should bend back down until your legs return to their vertical starting position.


Beginners should allow themselves a gentle, slow start with their rowing machine. It’s important to develop a sense of proper form and come to know that form through muscle memory. Once the form “feels right”, it’s easy to add speed and intensity to your rowing workout as you desire. Don’t push yourself - slow and steady will always win the race. As you gain proficiency, you’ll be getting an even greater workout each time.


Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.