There is the assumption sometimes that a workout on a rowing machine can be a little bit boring. All you do is work at the same rhythm and the same motion on a machine that doesn’t do very much at all. There is also the concern that this basic motion won’t do all that much for your workout plan. This can be true for some people but it all depends on the machine and how you attack the workout.
You might find that it is best to look for a new machine that offers more features and options that will expand your horizons. You could find something new in software or a more intense system that has a knock-on effect on your gains. Alternatively, if you like the machine you have, or are short on disposable income, you could look at new ways to get the best out of your current set-up. This could mean trying new techniques or competing with other users. The following tips are designed to help you spark new life in your rowing machine regime.
How can you get the most out of your rowing machine?
Let’s start with the way that you use the machine. At its best, a rower should be able to produce a great workout on your arms, abs, legs and more. You push off from the footplate and work the leg muscles as you pull the cord and handlebars. The resistance in the cord works the upper body and the movement and posture help with the core. But, this only happens with the right amount of resistance and the right motion. Play around with the resistance settings. There should be some sort of dial that lets you increase and decrease as you need too. This might be electronic or manual. Look at the programing on the machine to see if there is any way to play with interval training or other modes.
How do you use the cord to make the most of its resistance and reach?
You could also try a different approach with the resistance cord. Instead of pulling it to your chest, try extending your reach and taking it up to your neck – or even right over your head. To do this, you need a machine that offers enough settings for the resistance and scope to increase the intensity. You also need a machine that has enough range of motion for your body length. Too many consumers end up with machines that are too short because they opted for a compact model. You need room to get that full extension on the arms and legs to power out on each stroke.
Would you be better off with a new, smarter machine with more options?
Improved programming doesn’t just mean more resistance levels and an automatic process. Smart rowers may also offer consoles that are app-controlled or that have clever fitness programs pre-installed. Some may allow you to create distances and routes that replicate rowing races. This is great for those with more of a competitive streak. Push yourself to row a specific distance. Where possible, convert that distance into a journey on a map. How far would you have traveled along a local river or piece of coastline? Can you reach a specific port? Could you even cross bays or seas?
Are you making the most of any data tracking software?
If this is all too much for your machine to handle, you can still make the most of any software and data tracking. Keep a log of your times, distances and calories burned. It may not always feel as though you are making progress, but the data may show otherwise. In order to do this effectively, you need a machine that is proven to be reliable when it comes to data collections. Some cheap rowers are a little inconsistent when it comes to the calories and precise miles/kilometers traveled. Look for one with a good memory that will store a data log for you of your progress over the months.
Perhaps you could even look for one with enough memory for more than one user profile. This then opens up the chance to get competitive with other people in your household. Set targets together to see who gets to the designated distance the fastest, or who burns the most calories in the month. This could be enough to inspire you both with your regime when you really don’t feel like working out. Before long, your weekly competitions will add up to long sagas with clear results. Be competitive but also supportive along the way.
Make the most of any media features like tablet shelves and iPod docks.
If this all sounds a little too intense and you just need a little encouragement to stay on target during your session, how about taking advantage of media features. Many products these days will have a media shelf at eye level somewhere near the console. Here you can set up your tablet and watch an episode of a box set as you workout. The time will fly more easily this way. Then there are those that have music systems or ports for Mp3 players. Here you can set up a playlist of motivational workout songs or a relevant podcast to push you over the line.
Try out different ideas until you get the spark back in your workout schedule.
It is unlikely that you are going to find the perfect answer on the first attempt if you have completely hit a wall with your training and motivation. Give a few of these tips a try to see whether they are of use. You might find that one trick is just what you needed to restart your regime and finally get the most out of the session. It could be as simple as a new technique, new program or that competitive approach. Alternatively, you might benefit from using more than one. Keep these ideas in mind, even if you get over that hump for now. You never know when they might be of use in the future.