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6 Rowing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

man on rowing machine

Rowing is an extremely effective full-body exercise which builds power, strength and endurance. As a beginner, the ergometer (its official name) may look intimidating, but this doesn’t mean you should avoid it. On the other hand, if you get on the rowing machine with no idea of what you’re doing, you could be putting yourself at risk of injury.

With the popularity of the ergometer on the rise, we bring to you an article over at Huffington Post which has some expert tips to stay safe whilst rowing. It lists the top six common mistakes and offers solutions on how to fix them:

Mistake 1: Forgetting To Check The Damper Setting

Lots of newbies will sit down and not adjust the damper setting, the lever on the side of the air-resistant flywheel on a Concept II rower.

The fix: Practice your form before you set your sights high. “The damper setting is like gears on a bicycle,” says Larcom, noting that the higher the gear, the heavier the feel on the body.

Mistake 2: Rowing With Only Your Arms

You’ve seen rowers with built upper bodies, so you’re ready to pull the handle with all your might, right? Wrong! Putting too much pressure on your arms, shoulders and back can cause serious injury to your body.

The fix: “Roughly 60 percent of your power should come from pushing with the legs, 20 percent from bracing the core and 20 percent from pulling with the arms,” says Crosby.

Remember to not be over-confident when you first start rowing – too many beginners think short-term and try and get the best score possible during one workout. What you should be doing is breaking the movement down and reinforcing good habits until you are moving your body in the correct way.


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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.

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