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Rowing Machine Workout for Beginners

concept2 workoutAccording to most fitness gurus, rowing machines are one of the most underrated, albeit efficient, pieces of equipment that you can find at the gym. Best of all, it is readily available on the market which means that you’ll easily be able to purchase one for domestic use. In fact, purchasing a rower will even help you avoid gym fees and rough weather conditions. These pieces of fitness equipment can also aid athletes in maintaining their stamina during colder weathers when outdoor rowing isn’t possible.

Unlike other exercise machines, rowers can easily be used by beginners as well. Comfort is nearly always guaranteed since most products come with amenities like padded seats, textured handles and the likes. However, if you’ve never used this product before, it’s not a bad idea to adopt a specialized workout for beginners to allow your body enough time to adapt to the different motions while building up stamina. As with most fitness equipment, it’s extremely important not to go overboard at first: no matter how tempting it is for you to enthusiastically row for as long as your body can hold, it will only result in premature exhaustion and act as a major demotivating factor. Indeed, realistically speaking, not many athletes will actually have the motivation to get back on the rower if their bodies are sore and aching. Therefore, remember to keep it slow at the beginning and gradually work up to a more intense workout.

How to Start

A recommended workout for beginners is to start with around 10 minutes per day for one week if you usually lead a sedentary lifestyle or 30 minutes per day for people who have a slightly more active lifestyle. On the second week, don’t hesitate to take it up a notch by going for 40 to 45 minutes, depending on how many minutes you feel comfortable with. The most important thing to remember at this stage is that you still shouldn’t overdo it: if your body tells you enough after 30 minutes, it’s recommended to just stop.

However, you can gradually start pushing yourself as from the third week. Most rowing machines come with varying degrees of intensity and resistance which you can adjust accordingly. Of course if your machine is a WaterRower, such as the Club and the Oxbridge, this will be a little more complicated as you will have to adjust the water level. However with all the other models it won’t be much harder than the click of a button.

By intensifying your workouts, you will also allow your body to adjust to the new movements. By the end of the fourth week, athletes should be able to comfortably manage an hour on the rower. Following that, you can start adjusting the intensity until you find the tension level that takes your heart rate up. Remember, the goal is not only to get your heart rate going, but also to improve your recovery time. Therefore, after one to two months of continuous use, you should be able to lower your heart rate in just a few minutes before bringing it up again.

As far as the number of workout days goes, doctors normally recommend 30 minutes sessions, 5 days a week but fitness experts usually recommend 3 to 5 one hour sessions per week to keep your metabolic rate and stamina going.