Boise's Fitness Equipment Outfitter

How to Use A Rowing Machine

Once relegated to the back of the gym, the rowing machine is experiencing a surge in popularity—so much so that there are now entire boutique studios devoted to it and its awesome total-body benefits. But the machine can be intimidating at first. Do I lead with legs or arms? Should my shoulders feel sore? And why do my feet keep slipping out of the straps? You’re not alone.

The most important thing to remember is: “It’s about power, not speed,” says Melody Davi, rowing instructor at City Row in New York City. If you walk out of a rowing class with a sore back, you’re doing it wrong, Davi says. Instead focus on using your lower-body powerhouse muscles—glutes, hamstrings, quads—to push yourself out and then gently glide back in.

Before we dive into more technique, here are two terms that will help guide your workout:

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