The 7 Common Mistake of Using A Rowing Machine

For gym lovers like me, the rowing machine has become the in-thing. For anyone intending to practice rowing at some point in their life, either as a hobby, sport or trade. This machine is the perfect fit for you. A rowing machine does not only stimulate our muscles for overall physical fitness, it also trains us for rowing. However, it cannot be denied that some people still do not understand how to use the machine. Here, we are introducing you that people make the 7 common mistake of using a rowing machine.

The 7 Common Mistake of Using A Rowing Machine which has to avoid in the next workout[su_divider top=”no” style=”dotted” margin=”10″] [/su_divider]

Forgetting to check the damper setting

This is a common mistake that many novice users do normally. Forgetting to adjust the damper setting accordingly may make the machine either feel like a very heavy or like a very light rowing boat.

This will, in turn, prevent you from optimizing your cardio workout, as your muscles may be exhausted too soon or too late as opposed to the recommended duration.

As a general rule, many users do mistake when they start somewhere between a 3 and a 5 and then set your sights higher as you go.

Rowing with only your arms

This is yet a common mistake made when using the rowing machine. Unknown to many, applying undue pressure on the upper part of your body may lead to serious injuries.

It may also cause a disproportionate shape of the body as the upper part will be more built than the lower part.

A point of advice is to apply 60% of the power from the efforts of the legs, 20% from bracing the core and 20% from pulling your arms.

The 7 Common Mistake of Using A Rowing Machine

Mixing up the order of operation

Due to over – excitement using the rowing machine, some people may be tempted to fire the arms and the legs simultaneously.

We don’t recommend you to do this normally because it causes unnecessary strain on the upper part of the body. Instead, the basic three-step process to the rowing stroke should be followed.

These steps start with pushing with your legs followed by pivoting backward at the hips such that the shoulders pass the pelvis and lastly pulling your arms into your chest.

Hunching your back during the stroke

This mistake is made when you sit down at a rower rounding your back. As it were, you can only reap maximum benefits from a rowing machine by sitting tall with a stacked posture.

While in this position, you should focus on engaging your core and relaxing your shoulders. The shoulders should appear pulled back and down, and the spine should always be in neutral.

Banging your butt into your heels

It is amazing how some people just can not avoid jerky, forward and uncontrollable body movements when using a rowing machine.

You will occasionally see these people slamming into the front of the rower. This is a detrimental training pattern and if you find yourself in it, you should try and regain control as soon as possible.

Always pay attention to the counting of your strokes so that they are regular.

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Shooting your back out

As a result of pushing too fast with your legs, you may find yourself shooting your back out and having to jerk your upper body back.

This is often due to the fact that the rear shoots out ahead of the rest of the body, resulting in the upper body having to awkwardly catch up.

To avoid this, always ensure your abs are turned on so as to keep the hands connected to the feet.

Ignoring the rest of the gym

The rowing machine is indeed fun to train with and as such, people often forget to supplement the rowing sessions with other strength workouts.

It should never be forgotten that even as we invest a great deal of our time in the gym using this machine, we may enhance the performance of certain areas of the body at the expense of other areas. If you have a long thick hair then you must have to tie your hair up or you can use a flat iron to manage your hair before using the rowing machine.

Other forms of strength training are therefore encouraged to ensure the whole body is well taken care of.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)[su_divider top=”no” style=”dotted” margin=”10″] [/su_divider]

Question: Can anyone tell me how tall this is when it will pack for storage? I am curious if it will slide under my sofa

Answer: 3′ x 4′ and approximately 8″ tall.

Question: I am 6’2″ tall. Can I extend my legs all the way?

Answer: Yes. I am the same height.


As is evident, most of the tricks used on other forms of strength training apply to the rowing machine as well.

You are therefore encouraged not to be carried away by the fascination of this machine such that you would forget the purpose for which you chose it as your preferred strength training equipment.

The only sure way to avoid these mistake is to keep your eyes on the prize as soon as you step onto the machine.

About Freddie Clemmer

Freddie Clemmer is a fitness enthusiast and is a personal trainer, life coach, blogger, and triathlete living in Santa Barbara, California. He is an expert on different types of fitness machine and exercise methods. In his free time, he loves to travel. His mission is to share all the fitness methods and tips through blogging. His vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.

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