What should a beginner know before rowing

Effective rowing training for beginners

With the right technique on the rowing machine, your motivation and the fun of the training will be maintained. In addition to the regularity, the technique also determines the effectiveness of the training. It prevents signs of wear and tear and injuries and contributes to optimal training of important muscle groups:

  • Calves, lower legs and thighs
  • Longitudinal and transverse muscles of the foot
  • buttocks
  • entire back muscles
  • Shoulders
  • Upper arms, forearms
  • belly

The heart muscle is also trained, whereby this requires an appropriate load range: Of course, the pulse should be increased a bit during training. If he rests because of the exertion, it is counterproductive. Use the following guideline value for the upper pulse limit as a guide, although other values ​​may apply individually depending on your state of health, constitution and resting heart rate.

Info:220 minus age is the rule of thumb for the upper limit. At the age of 40, this results in a value of 180 pulse beats per minute as the maximum value.

For effective training, the pulse should be between 50 and 75 percent of the maximum value. If you are 40 years of age, a range of 90 to 135 pulse beats per minute applies, which you should not fall below or exceed during cardio training.

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This is how you benefit from training with the rowing machine

Beginners are often at a loss at first considering the many training devices. Basically, it doesn't matter which one you choose - if you exercise regularly, you will benefit from the exercise. The advantage of a rowing machine over other exercise bikes such as the treadmill, cross trainer or ergometer is that it stresses the entire bodyinstead of just training a specific area.

A rowing machine is by no means only designed for strength and endurance sports, but they use a large part of the muscles, around 85 percent, and develop them evenly. Since many muscles are active, given an appropriate heart rate range, fat is also broken down in many areas of the body. The calorie consumption is higher than when training on a treadmill or the ergometer.

Info: Depending on your constitution, level of exercise, this includes the resistance level and training speed, the consumption can be between 200 and 800 kilocalories per hour.

Exercise variant that is gentle on the joints

Another advantage of the rowing machine is the possibility of training that is gentle on the joints, as the movements are gentle and flowing: When running, the joints are stressed by shocks and their own weight. This also applies to the back or the spine. There is also the risk of injuring yourself through incorrect behavior. On the other hand, if you adjust the level of difficulty in rowing to suit your ability, they are Minimized risks.

Even with existing joint problems and osteoarthritis, training on the rowing machine is occasionally recommended. It can also be a gentle exercise for the elderly.

Warning: Always discuss the physical strain with your doctor if you have joint problems, back problems or injuries. Rowing can often help, but possible risks must be ruled out.

Training in the right amount supports and stabilizes the musculoskeletal system. The muscles are built up, the blood circulation is stimulated, the tissue is strengthened, bones are strengthened and the joints are lubricated. The most important prerequisite is the correct sequence of movements and avoidance of overload.

Which rowing machine is right for me?

Some rowing machines are particularly gentle on the joints, others are particularly suitable for beginners, and still others are for professionals who want to continue their training at home and optimize their performance. There is a suitable model for every requirement and every challenge. We have researched the numerous products and identified the best eight rowing machines for you.

First of all, try to assess yourself. How fit are you?

  • Untrained or overweight people do not need a particularly high level of performance to get started, but those who do sport need more challenge.
  • If you are new to rowing, you will probably get along better with a pulley system.
  • If you want to burn fat in addition to building muscle, lower your resting heart rate or strengthen your cardiovascular system, a heart rate monitor and appropriate training programs should be integrated.
  • If you want training that is particularly easy on the joints, a water rower with a water resistance system can be the right choice. In principle, however, a magnetoresistance is also suitable.
  • You will find a particularly wide range of training options in rowing machines, which can also be used as recumbent exercise bikes. This is also an excellent option if several people with different training goals want to use one device.

Fun and success in training

Athletes usually know what is important in training. If you have less experience, sit down at your rowing machine full of vigor and motivation and get started, you can quickly lose the joy of it. Ligaments, eyes and muscles can be overloaded and pain, joints and spine are put under incorrect strain. However, if you follow a few rules, you can fully enjoy the training on the rowing machine.

Warm up, training, cool down

First of all, the body should be prepared for the load. This is what the warm-up is for. You don't necessarily need to do lengthy stretches or buy a second piece of exercise equipment to warm up before rowing: Just start at a very low resistance level. The repetitive movement, without much effort, stimulates the blood circulation. This prepares the muscles for their task and they are adequately supplied with oxygen during the subsequent exercise. Warming up directly on the rowing machine, low level, moderate speed, is what experts even call ideal, because it gently gets the whole body including the cardiovascular system going.

Tip: About five minutes are enough - the musculoskeletal system should be prepared, but not tired from warming up.

The warm up is followed by the real thing Training at the level that is individually suitable for you. Then the body should calm down again. To do this, proceed as with the warm-up, about five minutes are again sufficient.

As a guideline, you can use a pulse rate of 40 to 60 percent of the maximum value for the warm-up and final phase.

The sequence of movements is independent of the rowing machine

Which rowing machine you have chosen does not matter for the sequence of movements. You may find it a little more difficult for yourself at the beginning: You learned to walk from an early age and you no longer have to think about how exactly one step is taken in front of the other in order to move. As well internalize the sequence of movements when rowingif you first perform it step by step and consciously pay attention to correct posture and breathing.

Rowing training is divided into two phases - the recovery phase and the pull phase. You start by adopting the correct posture and then the recovery phase. During this you breathe in, during the pull phase you breathe out.

That is how it goes: Sit on the device. The feet are in the supports provided, fixed with buckles or straps. Put your hands on the handles. The upper body is now leaning forward, the legs are bent, the arms are straight.

Now slowly straighten your legs so that the seat moves backwards. At the same time straighten your upper body. The arms pull the handles with the hands. The is in the starting position from which the recovery phase starts Upper body leaned back slightly, legs straight but not completely straight, arms bent close to the body. You can pause in this position for a moment and take another deep breath.

The actual, repetitive sequence of movements begins, with the recovery phase and inhalation. The arms are stretched again, the upper body follows the movement forwards and the legs give way until arms are straight, torso is tilted slightly forward, and legs are bent.

This is followed by the pull phase and the exhalation. The legs are straightened, the upper body straightens up, the arms pull until the starting position is reached again.

The recovery and pulling phases are repeated continuously while breathing in and out. Your body is initially completely unfamiliar with this cycle of movements and some concentration may be required in order to correctly perform the interplay between legs, upper body, arms and breathing. That doesn't matter: Start with the lowest resistance and take your time.

Alternatively, you can first practice the individual movement stages: The AOK has published an instruction video and explains exercises in four phases up to a complete rowing movement. You will learn how to train with the rowing machine step by step.

The exercise intensity

At the beginning, in addition to internalizing the sequence of movements, you are faced with the challenge of figuring out the correct load intensity. This depends on how well your muscles are trained, as well as heart rate and endurance. If the pulse is measured during training or if the rowing machine has a training program in which it is automatically taken into account, you can easily adjust the intensity accordingly. With regard to the muscles, simply choose a very low resistance at the beginning. This also gives you the opportunity to practice the sequence of movements. Your muscles are well supplied with blood and get used to the strain.

What intensity and duration of exercise is specifically suitable for your purposes also varies with the training goal. If you want to burn calories, lose fat, strengthen the cardiovascular system and increase endurance, 45 minutes with less resistance is a good guideline. You can, however, start with 20 minutes and keep extending the time. 45 minutes are a guideline and do not represent an upper limit: If your constitution and time allow, you can train for an hour or more. Just don't overdo it.

If it is primarily about strength training and muscle building, the opposite is true: the resistance should be higher, the duration much shorter. Choose a level where you can hit 20 beats per minute and feel the muscles. The interval, on the other hand, should only last around five minutes. Give the muscles a break with easy rowing and then start another interval. Here, too, increases in training intensity are the goal.

Tip: For an effective workout, you should plan at least three units a week. Give yourself, your musculoskeletal system and your muscles time to relax and take a break one or two days a week.

The goal in mind

This can all sound a bit complicated to a layperson. If you want to do something for your body and your health, the rowing machine is still an optimal option because it allows one more effective training than other exercise bikes. You will soon have no more problems with the sequence of movements - your body adapts to it and over time carries out the interrelated sequences as naturally as many other everyday activities.

Take it slow, do not put yourself under pressure and train knowing that the correct sequence of movements and regularity are essential for success. Drink enough, especially during and after training, and make sure that your body is getting the right nutrients with your food: He needs this in order to remain efficient and to slowly increase the efficiency. This is just as important as the training itself.