Whether its for competitive or fitness reasons or both, indoor rowing serves a complete form of exercise including a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning making it a great training program for people of all ages.
However, with rowing machines, you need to be careful about overdoing it as it tends to feel easier on your muscles than it actually is. For the sake of your health, designing yourself a proper rowing workout is essential to gain the maximum benefit from your workout regime.
This article aims to provide you with some of the basic tips and techniques to help you design an efficient and safe rowing workout.
First of all consult with your doctor before beginning. This is important as you need to be aware of any respiratory or heart conditions that could potentially injure you. Before you start, make sure you have an idea about the correct rowing posture.
Today, almost all indoor rowing machines are equipped with resistance and time level settings. However, in the initial stages you do not have to be concerned about the time factor. Start rowing at a comfortable speed at the least resistance covering a short distance (probably about a couple of hundred meters). While doing so, make sure you avoid jerks.
The important thing to consider during the initial stages is to take note of the strokes per minute and to get a rough idea about the average time it takes to cover the set distance.
Once you feel you have achieved a continuous average SPM (Strokes per minute), try increasing the distance by 50 meter intervals. Consider increasing the resistance level by one level after every 5th distance increment.
If you happen to notice a drop in the SPM, try decreasing the distance though maintaining the resistance. Follow this routine until you feel you can row 1000 meters at a continuous SPM at mid-range resistance.
Once you reach the 10000 metre benchmark, its now time to work on the resistance levels. The goal is to raise the resistance levels along with maintaining a constant SPM. Once you feel capable of rowing at the maximum resistance, increase your distance in 250 metre increments.
Your final goal should be to raise to raise your SPM, where a fast rower should exceed 35 SPM over the course of time.