Things To Consider Before Buying A Rowing Machine

Things To Consider Before Buying A Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are a very effective home cardio machine that burn a large amount of calories, strengthen your core and provide you with a full body workout.

However, when buying rowing machines, many people fail to look at the reasons why a rowing machine may not be the best piece of home cardio equipment for them. In this article I help you fully explore this area before parting with your cash and discuss three things you need to be bear in mind before buying a rowing machine.

1) Risk Of Lower Back Injury

One of the biggest risks when exercising with a rowing machine is injuring your lower back. The reason for this is that many people row with poor technique and as a result they place unnecessary pressure on their lower back and spine. The good news is that by learning the correct technique, you can slash your risk of lower back injury and even strengthen your lower back as you row.

If you’ve never used a rowing machine before, make sure you pay extra attention to your lower back the first few times you use one. In particular, make sure you look out for these common beginner mistakes in your own rowing technique:

Rounded Lower Back: Many beginners round their lower back as they row. However, doing this can loosen your lower back and make injury much more likely. Therefore, make sure your lower back is straight but not overarched as you row,

Over Leaning: Another mistake many beginners make is that they lean too far forward at the start of the rowing motion and lean too far back at the end. Doing this can overstretch your back and cause injury. To avoid over leaning, make sure you pull with your upper body and not your lower back. Also, focus on not leaning and keeping your back straight at the beginning and the end of the rowing motion.

Jerky Movements: One final mistake a lot of beginners make when using a rowing machine is jerky movements. Instead of pulling the cable towards them in one smooth, controlled rowing motion, they pull it too fast and jerk their lower back which very often results in a lower back injury. To avoid jerky movements, make sure you row very slowly the first few times you use the rowing machine and focus on pulling the cable towards you as you stretch out your legs in one smooth, controlled motion.

2) Risk Of Locking Your Knees

As well as injuring their lower back, many people injure their knees when they row by locking them out fully at the end of the rowing motion. The good news is that correcting this is very easy and you simply make sure you don’t fully lock your knees at any time during the motion.

If you’ve never rowed before or you have and you find that you are locking your knees, slow down your rowing speed and practice ending the rowing motion before your knees lock. Learning or correcting this habit will take a bit of time but once you’ve mastered it, you won’t even have to think about it anymore and you’ll end the rowing motion naturally before your knees lock.

3) Difficult Technique To Master

One final problem many people have with rowing machines is that they find the overall technique difficult to master. Unlike an exercise bike, a treadmill or a stepper (which are all very natural motions) and the elliptical machine (which has a very simple motion), rowing machines are quite complex and require you to co-ordinate your upper and lower body in one smooth, flowing motion.

The good news is that there are plenty of resources online to help you perfect your rowing machine technique. If you’ve never rowed before, this video gives you an excellent demonstration of how to use a rowing machine properly. Alternatively, if you need to someone to guide you through the process, head down to your local gym for a one off session and ask one of the trainers to show you how to use the rowing machine properly.


If you’re an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, then many of points covered in this article won’t be an issue for you as you’ll have mastered the proper rowing machine form.

However, if you’re relatively new to exercise or have never used a rowing machine before, make sure you pay extra attention to the tips covered in this article when you buy a rowing machine, as the risk of injury is much higher than with other types of cardio machine. Mastering the proper form and technique will take time but this extra time is a worthwhile and necessary investment for preventing lower back and knee injuries.

Best Rowing Machine For Home Gym Exercise

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