ROWING MACHINE TRAINING – WITH A TRAINING PLAN

First of all, kudos from me for choosing to start rowing. So that you can now stay on the ball and achieve your goal, I will give you a few tips in this text for starting training with the rowing machine.

WHAT DO I GET FROM ROWING TRAINING?

 

Most people think of rowing as an arm-heavy sport, but 60% of the strength comes from the legs, 30% from the upper body and only 10  % from the arms .

When exercising on the rowing machine, more than 85% of all muscles in the body are used . This results in a very high energy consumption during rowing training, because every single muscle needs energy to perform the rowing movement. You burn around 400 Kcal in an hour with light training and up to 800 Kcal with vigorous training, which corresponds to a whole meal.

Rowing machine training – benefits
  • high energy consumption (fat burning)
  • over 85% of all muscles are trained
  • Building muscles and strength
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Strengthening the cardiovascular system
  • Improvement of endurance and stamina
  • low risk of injury / easy on the joints
  • Solution to back pain

 

 

WHICH MUSCLES ARE TRAINED WHEN ROWING?

 

 

 

 

Muscles / muscle groupsWhen is it claimed?
Lower body: 
Calf (twin calf muscle)Print
Front of thighs (quadriceps)Bending the leg
Back of thighs (hamstrings)Bending the leg
Gluteus muscles (gluteus maximus)Keep tension
Anterior tibial musclePull up or roll back
Upper body: 
bicepsArm pull  & power transmission when pushing off
Large back muscle ( latissimus)Maintain tension and pull your arm
Trapezius (back)Maintain tension and pull your arm
shouldertension
posterior shoulder (posterior deltoid)Arm pull
Torso (abdomen & lower back)Tension & flexion of the upper body

The rowing machine training is not only suitable for cardio training (or endurance training), but also for building muscle . You burn a lot of calories and strengthen all of your muscles.

In addition, unlike running or jogging, your joints are not exposed to bumps or changes of direction. The workout on the rowing machine is easy on the joints and the risk of getting hurt, is very low.

 

 

LEARN THE CORRECT ROWING TECHNIQUE

 

Just like you have to learn the rules in board games or other sports, you have to learn the technique first in rowing.

But don’t worry, the technology isn’t as complicated as the football rules. So easy to understand for each of us and no problem with a little practice!

Since the easiest way to learn rowing technique is when you see it, we shot a video for you. I filmed myself doing rowing training. At first I will explain the basics of the rowing movement to you and then I will show you the rowing technique on my training video.

In this video you will learn the right rowing technique in three minutes !

 

I recommend that you watch these videos on the side during your next rowing training and try to implement the technique and apply the tips. On this unit, row at a low speed so that you can only concentrate on your technique at the beginning.

As soon as you realize that you have mastered the rowing technique, you can increase the intensity.

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN ROWING TRAINING?

 

Even if one has already mastered the rowing technique, mistakes tend to creep into the movement. 

5 mistakes in rowing
 

 x  bend your knees first, then your arms

 x Bend your wrists

 x Pull your elbows far past your body

 x  first push your bottom back, then your upper body

 x  pull the handle into your stomach

 

In this two minute video, I’ll show you the most common rowing mistakes and how to avoid them.

HOW OFTEN AND FOR HOW LONG SHOULD I ROW?

 

For beginners , I recommend  rowing 2 to 3 times a week . The rowing machine training should n’t last much longer than 40 minutes at the beginning . Then begin to increase, preferably the intensity of the rowing exercise. You can find the exact information in our rowing machine training plan.

However, I would like to give you one more tip on the way:

CHOOSE A TRAINING FREQUENCY THAT YOU CAN HOLD OUT FOR A LONG TIME.

 Answer the questions:
  •  How many times a week would you like to row?

 

 

  • Once? Twice? 3 times? or even four times?

 

Of course, you can change the training frequency later, but it is important that you choose a training frequency that suits you!

It makes little sense to suddenly increase from one to five units. Because it is important that you stick with it for a long time and not stick to your plan for just 3 weeks.

A good example of how you shouldn’t be doing it is at the gyms in January. You can hardly find a parking space because everyone rushes into the gym with their New Year’s resolutions and ideally wants to train 5 times a week. This lasts for most of the 2 weeks and then stops again. And in February it is no problem to find a parking space because most of them have given up.

It’s just because these people picked a frequency of exercise that they just couldn’t keep up with for long.

Therefore, think carefully about which training frequency you choose, because it is not important whether you train 2 or 3 times a week, but that you follow your plan!

 

DON’T CHOOSE THE RESISTANCE TOO HIGH

 

The right rowing technique always comes first! This is also quite logical, as you minimize the risk of injury. We want to do something good for our body and not destroy it .

 

Air resistance

So, especially as a beginner, choose a resistance with the rowing machine training that is not too difficult for you. As soon as you master the rowing technique, you start to improve. (According to the principle that I will explain to you in a moment.)

 

TRY TO IMPROVE CONTINUOUSLY

 

That you improve is extremely important. Usually you train below your level. This is because you are not trying to improve continuously. Believe me, you can usually do more than you think!

Rowing beginners in particular make great progress quickly when the intensity is steadily increased. But even as an advanced rider, you should make your rowing machine training more and more strenuous so that the training effect is maintained.

“If we’re honest, the most fun is when you notice how you get better.”

It is very important to pay attention to a clean rowing technique and only increase the intensity as long as the technique remains clean . If this is not the case, injuries are often the result.

To make the whole thing easier for you, I recommend that you write down your training successes on your mobile phone or on a plan.

datepowerdifficulty
Monday30 min (level 4)Light
Wednesday20 min (level 5)Heavy
Friday20 min (level 5)medium 


In one column you write your performance, in the other, whether it was difficult, medium or easy for you. If the rowing training was medium or easy for you  (and the rowing technique is clean), you can improve yourself in the next rowing training .

I use this technique myself to see my training progress and get the best out of me. If you always note your performance right away, you will know exactly where you stand and whether you want to improve your next rowing machine training.

And you notice how you improve, which gives you a huge boost in motivation.

 

 

MEASURE YOUR PULSE DURING ROWING TRAINING

 

Most rowing machines or rowing machines have the option of attaching a chest strap or a clip to measure your heart rate. After you have connected the clip or chest strap, your pulse will be displayed on the rowing machine. This allows you to keep an eye on your pulse during rowing machine training.

Your resting heart rate

The resting heart rate of an adult, healthy person is between 50 and 100 beats per minute . In athletes, the heart rate can drop to 30 bpm. But if you have a resting heart rate above 100 beats per minute, you should speak to your doctor.

To find out your resting heart rate, measurement by hand is suitable . You place three fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) on your neck, count the strokes for 15 seconds and multiply that by four. You have already determined your resting heart rate.

It is important that you measure your resting heart rate after you wake up and before you get up (i.e. when you are still in bed).

YOUR MAXIMUM HEART RATE

To roughly calculate your maximum heart rate, you can use this formula from Sally Edwards . It is more precise than the well-known formula (HRmax. = 220 – age).

Men: Maximum heart rate = 214 – 0.5 × age – 0.11 × body weight in kg
Women: Maximum heart rate = 210 – 0.5 × age – 0.11 × body weight in kg

So a 50-year-old man weighing 80 kg has an average maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute.

 

THE OPTIMAL TRAINING PULSE

 

The “Karvonen Formula” is used to calculate the optimal training heart rate. The characteristic of this formula is the heart rate reserve, i.e. the difference between maximum heart rate and resting heart rate.

Training heart rate = (HRmax – resting pulse) × factor + resting pulse

Since there are different types of endurance training, factors are brought into play. These factors are as follows:

  • For intensive endurance training: 0.8
  • For easy endurance training: 0.6
  • For untrained people: 0.5

Let’s come back to our 50 year old husband. He has a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute and a maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute. He is also just starting to do rowing and is therefore one of the untrained. He should train according to the Karvonen formula with a pulse of 125 beats per minute.

There are so-called training areas in training science. They range from regeneration or recovery to competition-specific endurance. I have listed the areas of interest to you here:

 Load zoneTraining goal
70% – 80%Aerobic zone
  • Improve breathing
  • Improvement of the cardiovascular system
  • Increase in endurance
60% – 70%active lipid metabolism
  • max.burning of calories from fat
  • Strengthening the cardiovascular system
  • Improve fitness
50% – 60%Health zone
  • Strengthening the cardiovascular system
  • Ideal for beginners
  • for advanced users: warm up

If you want to find out more about the optimal pulse, I recommend this page. She helped me a lot. More about the subject of the pulse

 

ROWING MACHINE TRAINING AS STRENGTH TRAINING?

 

As you have already learned, over 85% of all muscles are used during rowing training, which is why you can also use the rowing machine training as strength training. However, it is important that the intensity (resistance) of your training is high .

In this 2-minute video , I explain exactly how strength training on the rowing machine works .

 

 
 

 

WARM UP & COOL DOWN 

For rowing machine training, it is completely sufficient if you row yourself in and out for 5 minutes. You don’t have to stretch yourself beforehand. After training, however, stretching can make sense, especially if you are shortened anyway.

 

ROWING MACHINE TRAINING PLAN AND ROWING WORKOUTS

 

 
 

 

I have designed two rowing machine training plans for you. The first is for complete beginners and the second is for advanced riders who have mastered the rowing technique.

It is important that you keep an eye on your pulse while training, especially if you have high blood pressure, for example. I explain above how you determine your training plus. To the pulse

I also use an intensity scale from 1 to 10 in the training plans.

10 = sprint (as fast as possible)

5 = relaxed pace

1 = almost not strenuous

You can regulate the intensity via the resistance or your pace.

ROWING MACHINE TRAINING PLAN FOR BEGINNERS

This rowing machine training plan is intended for beginners. The first week is about getting a feel for rowing and learning the rowing technique.

Then we slowly increase and from the second week on we start to vary the intensity in 10 minute blocks. This makes the rowing training more varied and maintains motivation.

When you have completed the 4 weeks of this training plan, you can begin with the advanced plan.

 

Important: Remember to row yourself warmly for 5 minutes.

Week 1:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 20 min 18-24 S / M 5 – 6
 Unit 2 25 min 18-24 S / M 5 – 6
 Unit 3 30 min 18-24 S / M 5 – 6

 

Week 2:

 time Beats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 30 min 20 – 24 S / M 5 – 6/6 – 7/5 – 6

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 2 30 min 20 – 24 S / M 5 – 6
 Unit 3 30 min 20 – 24 S / M 5 – 6/6 – 7/5 – 6

 each block 10 minutes

 

Week 3:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 30 min 20 – 24 S / M 5/6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 2 40 min 20 – 24 S / M 5 – 6/7 / 5- 6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 3 30 min 20-23 S / M 7/6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 

Week 4:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 40 min 20-23 S / M 6/7/6/7 

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 2 30 min 20-23 S / M 7 – 8/6/8

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 3 40 min 20-23 S / M 5/6/7/7 – 8

 each block 10 minutes

 

ROWING MACHINE TRAINING PLAN FOR ADVANCED USERS

 

This plan is aimed at the already advanced rowers who have mastered the rowing technique. We vary the intensity in blocks in order to make the rowing training varied and effective.

We also do interval training on the rowing machine. The advantage of interval training is that we burn a lot of energy in a short time and set a different training stimulus, which brings our endurance and fitness to a new level.

In interval training, you row a short time at very high intensity and then take a break in which you row loosely. As a result, the heart rate rises sharply for a short time and we burn many calories in a short time.

 

Important: Remember to row yourself warmly for 5 minutes.

Week 1:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 30 min 20-23 S / M 7/6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 2 20 min  8 – 9 (30 sec.) / 5 (1 min) x 13
 Unit 3 30 min 20-23 S / M 7/6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 

Week 2:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 20 min  8 – 9 (30 sec.) / 5 (1 min) x 13
 Unit 2 40 min 20-23 S / M 6/7/6/7

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 3 20 min  8 – 9 (45 s) / 5 (1.5 min) x 9

 

Week 3:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 30 min 20-23 S / M 5 – 6/6 – 7/7

 each block 10 minutes

 Unit 2 24 min  8 – 9 (1 min) / 5 (2 min) x 8
 Unit 3 24 min  8 – 9 (1 min) / 5 (2 min) x 8

 

Week 4:

 timeBeats / minuteintensity
 unit 1 30 min 20-23 S / M 5 – 6/6/6 – 7/7/7 – 8/6
 each block 5 minutes
 Unit 2 25 min  8 – 9 (1 min) / 5 (1.5 min) x 10
 Unit 3 40 min 20-23 S / M 5 – 6/6 -7 / 7/7 – 8

 each block 10 minutes

 

 

MORE ROWING WORKOUTS

If you are looking for new ideas for your rowing machine training, I will introduce you to a few other rowing workouts.

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