Did you know that rowing is one of the best exercises for developing aerobic fitness? It not only helps exercise the cardiovascular system, its one of the few low-impact exercises that ensures all your muscles get a thorough work-out too. A typical rowing stroke is composed of 65 to 75 per cent leg work and 25 to 35 per cent upper body work.
Its ideal for anyone looking to burn off excess fat around problem areas such as the arms, abdominals, hips, buttocks and thighs. Vigorous rowing is one of the most effective calorie burners, potentially using up more than 800 calories per hour.
As a sit-down routine, you also dont have to worry about orthopaedic trauma placed on your body, compared to other aerobic activities such as jogging, cycling, or using a treadmill or stair-climbing equipment.
And the great thing is you dont have to be an athlete to learn to row. Most gyms now have a good range of rowing machines or rowing ergometers with instructors nearby to help guide you.
A quick word of caution here: there is a wrong way to perform a rowing stroke so its important when you start that you learn how to do it properly. Beginner rowers should be mindful of any strain on the knees or the lower back.
Fitness trainer Emma demonstrates how to avoid common mistakes that can lead to an injury. Its best to think of rowing as one smooth motion. One of the first things to be aware of is sitting with the wrong posture known as hyperextension of the back. Always make sure you dont hunch forward. Keep the spine straight at all times.
Notice Emma drawing her arms back in a long, smooth action, with elbows tight against her torso. Her legs remain slightly bent to help her spring back off her feet as she moves backwards.
Make sure you dont draw your hands too high into your chest or too low at hip level bring them level with the solar plexus. Just avoid your bellybutton line. Once you get the hang of it, you can concentrate a little more on minimising any short or jerky movements as you settle into a good pace and rhythm.
CJ – Fitness