Rowing machines are very popular due to the complex cardiovascular workout that they provide. This is the reason why almost all gyms have this fitness equipment in them. But to get the ideal cardio workout with the rowing machine, you must make sure that you use it correctly. Otherwise, you expose yourself to serious injuries. In the following lines, we will show you which are the health risks associated with using the rowing machine, and what you can do to prevent these health risks.
Rowing machine injuries
Most rowing machine injuries are associated with the improper use of this fitness equipment. Also, they can be the result of not preparing sufficiently before using the machine. A lot of rowing machine injuries are sprained or pulled muscles, most often in the lower back or in the arms. This happens because a lot of people use their arms to carry the brunt of the load when exercising with the rowing machine, which is a result of incorrect form. The proper way to do it is to use your legs, and particularly your thigh muscles for carrying the majority of the force of rowing. When it comes to lower back injuries, they are common because a lot of people curve their back too far forward or too far back when using the rowing machine.
Warm up to minimize rowing machine risks
As with most types of exercises, you must warm-up before starting the workout routine. Make sure that you do at least 5 minutes of stretching and warm-up exercises before you start using the rowing machine. Otherwise, you risk straining cold, stiff muscles. This might make you unable to workout for days, or even weeks. Make sure that you warm up both the upper and lower muscles of your body, and your core as well.
How to position your wrists and arms
Some of the most common and painful injuries associated with using the rowing machine are injuries to the wrist, including carpal tunnel injuries. They are often the result of twisting your wrists into uncomfortable positions while you use the rowing machine. To protect your wrists throughout the workout, keep them palms down and straight throughout each stroke. Also, you must resist the impulse to bend your arms at the wrists.
Maintain a proper posture to avoid injury
To make sure that you avoid injuries to your back, you must keep your spine straight throughout the workout session with the rowing machine. It’s not forbidden to lean back slightly during some phases of your stroke, but make sure that the bending is minimal and that the spine doesn’t curve or arch. Also, carry your weight on your glutes, not on your lower back. Don’t curve your back and hunch forward to grab the handlebar either. Rather than curving forward, straighten your arms to a full extension. This way you prevent middle and upper back injuries.