I have rowed both on the flat water and surf boats for many years so I’m probably biased, but rowing is an incredible exercise but it’s not always easy to get on the water. Fortunately, our fluid rowers are just like being on the water. We spent a lot of time getting the best rowers we could and are so happy to be able to bring the Australian brand of First Degree Fitness fluid rowers to NZ. Fluid rowers truly feel like rowing on water, there is no slack at the front and back like chain/air or magnetic models and they are therefore easier on your back. See First Degree Fitness here…www.firstdegreefitness.com
Rowing machines are a fantastic way to gain fitness and a great body shape, you just need to spend a little time working on your technique to get the best out of them. While it looks like your arms are working hard in rowing, it is actually your large glute and leg muscles that power the stroke – that’s why your heart gets such a good workout and your bottom shrinks! After your legs drive, then your core muscles have to engage to swing you back and hold and then your arms are the final lever, with beautiful triceps resulting. Then coming forward, the order is the opposite – arms, back/core then legs.
Here is a diagram from First Degree Fitness on how good rowing technique.
Sit with the legs straight, back straight but leaning slightly back from the hips, arms straight and hands level with the lower ribs.
Now swing to
Legs still straight, back still straight, but now leaning slightly forward from the hips, arms still out in front.
Note that this has taken your hands forward of your knees while your legs are still straight.
Now slide to
Position C – “The Catch”
Legs fully compressed – aim to get shins close to the vertical, but not beyond. Back still straight, and leaning slightly forward, as in position B, and arms still out in front.
And drive hard to
Knees partially straightened so seat is now at mid-point of travel, back and arms still just as in positions B and C.
And maintain the stroke to
Knees nearly straight, so seat is at 3/4 point of travel, back still straight but now leaning slightly back from hips. Arms still straight.
And squeeze through to
Position F – “The Finish”
Legs now fully straight, back as in position E,arms pulled in so hands are close to chest, forearms horizontal, and elbows close in to rib cage.
Focus on making these movements blend together as smoothly as possible.
The three phases from Catch to Finish are generally grouped together as “The Stroke”, as this is when the effective work is done, and the three phases from Finish to Catch are called “The Recovery”. But think of all six movements as a complete cycle, in which one phase flows seamlessly into the next, each movement is a transition between the one just finished and the one yet to follow.
Rowing is a wonderful exercise, the fluid rowers are soothing and are a great engineered machine. Email or call us on 0800 23 22 21 to talk to us.
New Zealander’s are the world’s greatest rowers – maybe it’s the right thing for you too.