Rowing looks pretty easy doesn’t it? When I first saw my uncle row on the Thames when I was a little boy, I thought I could easily get in and whiz down stream. Well it’s a lot more difficult that it looks. The process of using a rowing machine is not too difficult, but for the newbie rower, it can often be a little tricky.

When you get on a rowing machine for the first time, it will feel a bit uncomfortable and strange to star with, but this will sound wear off once you get going and use it for a few weeks. It is crucial to know that as with all other types of exercises, getting used to a rowing machine is also going to take some time and a little bit of practice, so there is no need to become frustrated if you ever find yourself having some troubles with it to begin with.

Preparations and Things to Know

So first thing first you will of course need to buy yourself a rowing machine if you don’t have one yet, although you do have other options like using one in a gym if you feel more comfortable that way. Or lend from a friend which I doubt will be a good idea, just in-case anything goes wrong and you get up having to pay for repairs or even worse, a new one.

Once you’ve got yourself a rowing machine, do not jump in and start rowing yet. You have put some consideration on the adjustments and grips. These are very important because they are going to put a serious effect on your overall workout.

The very first thing you should do is to adjust the foot straps, adjust it into the position where you feel most comfortable. It depends largely on your weight and height, so do adjustments accordingly every time you are planning to use it. Get it into a habit.

Always make sure that your heels are placed and rest comfortably against the base of the foot pedals and then secure the straps properly into places. Make sure they are not too loose and not too tight either. You feet should be able to move around comfortably without any uneasiness and the straps are just right and not moving out.


Next is the step to understand the proper body mechanics of using a rowing machine so that you know how to properly use a rowing machine. Understand that using a rowing machine involves more body mechanics than with almost any other piece of exercise equipments, and generally there are only three main phases of rowing that you are going to have to know, and these phases are: the catch phase, the power stroke phase, and the recovery phase.


If you happen to learn or use a lot about rowing machines, you should be familiar with these phases, but if you are not, then you need to learn them. First, the catch phase position. The catch phase position simply means, you go forward to the rower and your knees are bent and directly against your chest. Secondly, the power stroke phase. The power stroke phase takes place when you push yourself against the foot pedals and extend your legs straight and at the same time pulling the handle with your hands and move towards your abdominal area. And finally, the recovery phase. It takes place when you straighten your arms and bend your knees until they reach against your chest once again. These phases should be repeated over and over again for about 10 – 30 minutes.


Using a rowing machine will quickly becomes easier as you begin to get used to it, take your time, some people would take days to get used to using a rowing machine. So do not become frustrated while you try to get the hang of it at first, just try to use it calmly as you will get used to it eventually.