Got a gym membership, but scared of the equipment? Pounding the treadmill, but not sure you're doing it right? Here's how to make the most of the machines

We always have the best intentions when we sign up to the gym, but sometimes the row of treadmills, exercise bikes, cross-trainers and rowing machines can be a bit intimidating and we just give up altogether. Here at F&W, we think it’s time we mastered the machines with our exercise upgrade: how to boost your rowing machine workout. Here are our top rowing machine tips.

rowing

HOW TO ROW RIGHT

  1. START RIGHT – Adjust the footplate so that the strapping goes across the widest part of your foot. Begin on the lowest resistance setting to help you get used to the movement.
  2. CHECK YOUR POSTURE – Sit upright, looking ahead, with shoulders low to avoid injuring your back. Keep arms by your sides with the elbows tucked in for the most efficient stroke. And when you pull the handle into your body, aim for your mid-abdominals rather than your chest.
  3. WORK THOSE LEGS – Remember that rowing is primarily a lower-body exercise, so you should be pushing with your legs. Your arms and back only need to help towards the end of the pulling movement.
  4. STAY HYDRATED – This machine is one of the tougher ones. You’ll break a sweat, so keep water to hand so you can drink without having to interrupt your rowing flow.
  5. GET RACING – Many machines have software that allows you to race against an imaginary opponent, which is motivating and makes it more fun. The standard distance for indoor rowing competitions is 2,000m, so you could try to make that your ultimate goal.

READ MORE: SEE HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE TREADMILL HERE

SMART TIP – Avoid loose-fitting clothing that can get caught under the seat.

YOUR MUST-HAVE

The RowActiv app (iPhone and Android, free) has videos to instruct on the right technique, audio guides for workouts, plus you can log all your rows.