Rowing Machine Techniques for Beginners | Steps Explained

Are you starting out to get fit? And for sure if you are a beginner then you must have high aims. In order to achieve those aims, proper rowing techniques can help you achieve better.

Though exercise makes us fit and helps us to stay active all day. But also, we all know in this era, class of getting fit and masculine body attracts other people also.
So these above two factors are the primary urge to do gym or workout. So, if you have a firm decision to get fit then why not do this in the proper way?

Not using proper tricks and methods will fed you up after some time, as you are putting in your effort but they aren’t yielding results.

Otherwise, if proper rowing machine techniques are not implemented you might get sick of the tiring routine of going to gym every day and not getting results.

To avoid any kind of this disaster and let you make yourself fit and healthy follow the rowing machine drills explained below.

Your exercise could be made enjoyable and achievable more just by following some proper methods mentioned in the article below.

Mostly when we go to the gym we see that all of the gyms is full but mostly the rowers are empty because people don’t like to erg(another term for rowing).

It is a machine that requires very little technical understanding to get more benefits.

rowing machine techniques for beginners

A complete fitness formula

Why should I be recommending you better rowing machine techniques instead of some other gym equipment? Why should someone try this? What urges one to row?

It’s because you can get most out of the rowing machine as it is the complete workout formula that contains involvement of almost all the body parts. That’s why I recommend one should try this for sure.

As we have seen mostly in the gym ergometers are the most ignorable workout machines. The reason for this is people don’t consider this much calorie-burning stuff.

But people need to understand this machine. The muscle movement in this exercise is great. It is understandable by an analogy of rowing using oars in the boat. So, the rowing machine is just an alternative to watercraft rowing in which cable is connected to the wheel which is drawn backward after each stroke.

It is such an efficient exercise in which almost the whole body is involved. According to a study, 83%-86% of body muscles involves in indoor rowing including your lower body parts like legs, shins, shanks, feet, thighs, hips, and upper body parts like shoulders, and all abdominal parts.

You want to get most out of the one exercise! Don’t worry, you got one. An ergometer or rower provides you all. You don’t need to do jumping or do cycling or running on a treadmill.

If you are a beginner you must learn this indoor rowing machine technique. Although if you are an intermediate or expert you can get an idea of better rowing techniques from this article.
I have seen a lot of times, in gyms people do put a lot of effort but in a wrong way. Thus, wasting their time.

So, let’s have a tour of better techniques to row.

Also Read: Treadmill Stress Test Interpretation

STEP 1: Initialization (The Catch Phase)

It means how you initially adjust your body for better rowing.

Good initial posture enhances the return of your exercise and pays well for your workout. Your body’s position should be as follows

Arms should be straight.

The torso is relaxed.

Shins or shanks are vertical.

Your back and upper body should be straight but leaning a little bit forward from the hips(i.e.your shoulders and back should make an angle of about 75° with your hips).

Hold the handle in such a way that it shouldn’t slide away during the stroke, not too tight nor too loose but in a relaxed manner.

Adjusting the shoe holder strap. It is pretty simple. Simply push your feet in the strap. Stick the strap over your shoelaces and tighten it to the limit that comfortables you. Do check while tightening the strap, it shouldn’t be too tight nor too loose, but relaxed.

In rowing, the hands and finger muscles are also engaged as they help to grip the handle.

STEP 2: Stroke (The Drive Phase)

To initialize stroke the drive should start by pushing your legs on footrest, with no pulling of the strap with the arms.
Remember to exert greater force with the legs during drive.
The muscles which will be getting effect during the push of legs are thighs, glutes, and shank.

Then move backward with your arms straight and lean a very little bit back(at 110° angle) when your legs get straight.

Once your legs get straight now pull the handle towards your chest below your bra line or slightly below the ribs with the help of your hands.
This part will play role in strengthening the biceps and triceps.

The stroke phase is complete.

Now relax! Breathe out and then proceed to the recovery phase.

STEP 3: Termination

The end of the drive phase is the ‘termination’.

In this phase, your body posture should be as follows

Upper body leaning back with arms pulling the rowing machine handle towards your chest(slightly below the ribs).
Legs are extended, shoulders are relaxed and wrists are flat and relaxed.

At termination take a little pause of about 1sec.

STEP 4: The Recovery Phase

The recovery phase is when you have relaxed for almost 1sec after drive, and now you are ready to recover back to your catch position.

Now initialize the recovery.

When returning back the sequence will be like this arms should move first, then the body(back locked with hip joint and both moves simultaneously), and finally your legs.

The legs will bend completely until they get vertical.

One important thing, your recovery will not be in a rushed manner, rather it will take twice the time of the catch in order to stabilize you for the next movement of catch. In this way, you can move quickly at the catch after recovery for the second stroke to accelerate the flywheel again.

Also Read: Rowing Machine Slipping


If you follow proper techniques and methods, you definitely achieve more than you can expect. Mostly, beginners get nervous in gym when their coaches ask them to do high length. By choosing the right strategies you can easily go up to 2500meters on the rowing blocks in your early days’ workouts.

Now you are all set to go! I have provided you with the best stuff to stand out. So, gear up and boost yourself to get into a healthy routine. I’m sure most beginners have made or will make these mistakes. So, grab these rowing techniques to better drill your rowing.

1 thought on “Rowing Machine Techniques for Beginners | Steps Explained”

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