Rowing is to cardio machines as kale is to the natural food community. Rowing machines have been around forever, but are recently the talk of the fitness town… maybe Crossfit or Bob Harper have something to do with their new celebrity?
My curiosity (and tendency to do whatever Bob Harper says) prompted me to go for my first row at the gym a few weeks ago. I had no idea what I was doing, but thought I would get my feet wet with a 30 minute tester. I rowed at a pretty steady pace, worked up a sweat, and had sore glutes and shoulders the next day. I decided I would do my homework and come back for more.
I find that I get the most out of cardio activities, when I come prepared with information about proper form, technique and a general workout plan. Recently, Sarah Fit partnered with World Championship rower Josh Crosby to create a rowing video (see below). It provides a great overview of rowing – form and tips for getting the most out of a rowing workout.
Josh’s 3 Steps to Effective Rowing:
- Order: Push out with this sequence – push with legs, lean back with core, pull with arms. Return back with opposite sequence of: arms, core, legs.
- Power: 60% power comes from legs, 20% core, 20% arms. Rowing is a pushing sport (rather than pulling) as most of the power comes from the legs.
- Timing: quick out and recover as you come in. One count of power (row out), and two counts of rest (return in). The count is: 1 (power), 2 & 3 (recover).
Additionally, Josh shares two interval workouts that are detailed on Sarah Fit’s blog. This morning I combined both of them for a 30 minute cardio session. The first 3 minutes I practiced the order (push with legs, lean with core, pull with arms) until I felt like it was a fluid movement. Once I established the form, I moved into the first interval (5 minutes) and then the second interval (22 minutes). I enjoyed the change from my usual gym cardio (stairmill and elliptical). Also, I like that the rowing machine allows for cardio and leg work without impact. It just might become a regular part of my cross training routine!
Check out Sarah and Josh’s video! Come on, give it a row!