So you have a rower at home. Or perhaps you’ve been doing rowing exercises for quite some time now. However, it doesn’t quite feel right. Rowing machines, though simple to use, are complex gym equipment pieces. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to make mistakes now and then, especially as a beginner.

Yet, with constant practice and the proper techniques, indoor rowing can wholly cater to your fitness needs. When rowing, there are specific rules to follow to make every workout worth it.

If this is your first time using an indoor rowing machine, there’s a big chance you’re committing the common mistakes made by first-timers. Educate yourself and check if you’re guilty of the following:

Common Indoor rowing mistakes for newbies

1) Focusing Primarily on Speed

A common newbie mistake is focusing mainly on rowing speed. Although this mindset is quite understandable, especially if you’re new. If you think about it, faster speed gives you the illusion of doing more. Therefore, helping you gain more benefits. As a newbie rower, however, your primary focus should be on finessing your technique and building power.

Only seasoned rowers can do fast rowing since they already know the proper techniques to do it. For beginners, you first need to master the appropriate use of your muscles.

Remember that rowing uses a lot of muscles in the body. Every stroke you do activates specific muscles, and focusing on speed might not be efficient and helpful. Remember to take it slow and be mentally aware of how you move your body when pulling and releasing.

2) Ignoring Your Posture

Sometimes, you want to finish your rowing circuit quickly. And because of that, it’s easy to forget how to execute the required posture and technique properly. You might find yourself slouching or pushing yourself too hard. Other beginners also do a “death grip” on the handle because they feel like they’ll let go of the handle if they don’t hold it tight.

Having the proper posture solves everything. If you straighten your back, you can activate the upper body muscle to support every stroke.

3) Forgetting to Breathe Properly

A coach encouraging a newbie rower

Like any workout regimen, proper breathing is vital because it keeps you going in between your workout circuits. Rowing can be intense since it uses a lot of body movements. Chances are you’ll quickly feel out of breath after a couple of strokes.

However, while it requires you to make a conscious effort, proper breathing can ease this uncomfortable feeling.

So how do you execute proper breathing? You might ask. Rowing coaches recommend that you exhale when driving back and inhale before pushing forward again. Doing so helps you get into the rhythm.

4) Exerting Too Much Effort on Your Upper Body

Rowing is not solely an upper-body exercise. It involves ample use of your lower body too. A common rookie mistake is to use the legs only for support while the upper body does all the pulling. Not only is that wrong, but it can put intense strain on your upper body too. The correct way to do rowing is to exert force on the legs and the upper body. This way, the whole body shares the load.

What could happen if you continue doing this? Well, it’ll give extreme muscle soreness on the shoulder and neck. Your abdomen might feel sore too. Always remember that you need strength from your legs as well.

How would you know if you’re doing the right thing?

If you’re alone, you can face a mirror and check if your posture and technique are correct.

What Can You Do?

The road to weight loss, a toned body, and general fitness through indoor rowing isn’t something you can achieve in a day. It’s best to have the willingness to learn the ropes and work your way up until you have perfected your technique.

Remember that consistency is losing weight. Excellence is a habit. And most importantly, seek professional help. Working with a rowing coach can help you easily avoid these mistakes and even provide you with some helpful tips to shave valuable time off the learning process.

Enroll in a Class Today!

Nothing still beats the guidance of an expert trainer who knows every rookie mistake. At Live2Row, we offer both in-studio and virtual classes that can help you become a master rower. We can also guide you in terms of your posture and technique. Even more, we can also provide recommendations for specific workouts and indoor rowing machine equipment.

Call us now at 407-970-1855 to get started.