The rowing machine can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an effective way to spice up your cardio routine. But while the rowing machine, also called an ergometer, is a calorie buster (about 280 calories in 30 minutes for an 130-pound woman) and a good leg and core workout, improper form can lead to back injuries if you’re not careful. Read on for our tips on proper rowing form.
Before you start, there are a few things to note about using the rowing machine. Make sure you wear formfitting clothes, otherwise you risk getting fabric caught in it while working out. Don’t set the resistance too high — experienced rowers generally use the rowing machine at 3-5 during their workouts, so setting the machine at 2 or 3 is perfect for a beginner. Keep your strokes per minute somewhere in the low- to mid-20s as well.
There are different ways to measure your workout, so use the change display button on your machine to track your strokes per minute, calories burned, kilometers traveled, or your split (how many minutes it takes you to travel 500 meters).