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Understanding Rowing for Fitness

Apr 4, 2010

Whether you do it out on a lake or in the comfort of a gym, rowing can actually be a great way to improve your fitness. Like the bench press, rowing is an exercise that works almost all of your major muscle groups and helps strengthen your core as well. If you've ever met someone who rows regularly, you've likely noticed that he has large forearms, strong shoulders and a chiseled back. These are just some of the features that you can enjoy if you use rowing regularly as part of your exercise routine. If you would like to do this, there are a few things that you should understand about rowing and the positive effects that it can have on your body.

How to Row for Fitness

Before you begin rowing, you should work with a trainer or someone equipped with knowledge about it to make sure that you're doing it properly. Rowing involves moving your arms, legs and torso systematically in order to row properly. Without the proper timing, you will likely find rowing to be difficult and you may even hurt yourself by putting too much stress on particular body parts. Rowing requires you to be seated with your legs out in front of you for leverage and your arms holding either oars or a piece of equipment that simulates oars. You then pull back in order to simulate a rowing motion, pressing your legs forward and arching your back as you work your shoulders. From there, you let momentum bring your arms back forward as you bend your legs and get ready for the next repetition.

How Rowing Helps

Because rowing involves the use of so many muscles, you can use it to tone and strengthen all of them. Your shoulders will likely bear the brunt of the pain during rowing and, as a result, likely become the strongest if you use rowing for fitness. However, the muscles in your arms, specifically your forearms, will also become toned by rowing. You can increase the range of motion in your shoulders, hips and back by rowing. And, last but certainly not least, rowing can be used as an aerobic activity. So by going through the rowing motions, you can increase your heart rate, burn calories and over time lose weight. As you can see, there are many benefits that your body will enjoy if you decide to take up rowing for fitness.

Getting Started

If you are using rowing for fitness, you're likely going to do so at the gym. Before you get started, make sure you understand exactly how the rowing machine works in order to prevent injury and maximize your workout. You should also realize that rowing is a rather strenuous exercise, so don't use it everyday and always give your body the time it needs to rest. But when used alongside other forms of cardio, rowing can be a great way to work on your fitness and improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles in your body.

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