How to use a rowing machine step by step

If you have bought a rowing machine or have decided on CrossFit, you probably want to know how it is used.

The rowing machine technique is pretty simple. However, beginners often make several common mistakes.

By reading this article, you will know the correct technique for the rowing machine and how to avoid possible mistakes when using it.

What is a rowing machine?

The rowing machine is a sports exercise machine that mimics rowing in the water.

It is a machine that can be used both for cardiovascular exercise and to achieve muscular hypertrophy of the back.

Unlike other aerobic exercises, the rowing machine works the upper body, in particular, to increase the width of the back. With the correct technique, you can also perform the abdominal area.

In addition, when rowing, it is possible to develop the muscles of the arms and eliminate body fat simultaneously.

How to use a rowing machine? – Correct technique step by step

The mechanics of the rowing machine movement are simple. The technique can be divided into six steps. Here’s how to use a rowing machine step by step:

  1. Starting position

The starting position of the rowing machine is similar to that of the barbell squat. With the feet on the supports, the legs should be straight, the back straight but slightly tilted back from the hips, the arms straight, and the hands at the level of the lower ribs.

  1. Paso 2

When using the rowing machine, the second step is with your legs and back still straight, lean slightly forward. As if you slide from the hips. Your hands should be in front of your knees.

  1. Paso 3

With your legs fully bent, approach the machine, your back still straight, and your arms still forward. Now the strongest is coming.

  1. Paso 4Paso 5

The knees should be at a 30-degree angle when the seat is halfway. The arms and back are still straight; now, with the force of the shoulder blades, you must pull the grip back.

  1. Final position

In the final step, your legs should be fully extended and with your back still straight, bring your hands to your chest. The elbows should be kept to the side of the body, and the abdomen should be firm and tight.

How to use a rowing machine and remember all this?

The essential thing in the technique is that you keep your back straight and avoid swaying your body to the sides. In summary, the phases of the movement are:

  1. Grip stretched arms and bent legs
  2. Push the legs are tested, and the arms relax
  3. Tension Arm and back muscles pull back

How much rest should I take when using the rowing machine?

For every 15 minutes of exercise, you should rest for at least 30-60 seconds. While resting, emphasize catching your breath.

Alternating with squats without additional weight, push-ups, or static abdominal exercises is an excellent strategy to increase the result in advanced athletes.

It is essential to mention that people suffering from chronic back and neck disorders are not recommended to use the rowing machine. Coronary events are at risk if the pulsations are carried to the extreme.

If you do not know how the rowing machine technique is, you can help yourself with the supervision of a coach or sports medicine professional. Otherwise, neck or back pain may appear.

How to buy a rowing machine? – types

Modern rowing machines are classified into three types:

  • with hydraulic resistance
  • magnetic
  • aquatic

A classic hydraulic resistance rowing machine is around $ 100-150. Other more sophisticated ones can exceed 300 USD, while the magnetic ones reach 900 USD.

The advantage of hydraulic resistance rowing machines is that they are more compact. Therefore, the most suitable is if you will buy a home rowing machine.

Magnetic rowing machines are best suited for gyms due to their high durability. Those of the aquatic type are reserved for rowing professionals to simulate the technique and evaluate the performance.

What is the rowing machine for?

The rowing machine can be considered one of the best equipment for working the back muscles.

An analog of this exercise with weights is the horizontal barbell row. Through this movement, you can achieve a solid and chunky back.

For these reasons, professional rowing athletes have broad backs and muscular arms.

Regularly training on the rowing machine with the correct technique will undoubtedly develop the upper body muscles.

The rowing machine is for people who want to reduce their body fat percentage and achieve a muscular, masculine posture.


The rowing machine is sports equipment that mimics rowing in the water. It can be used as a cardio alternative.

Using the rowing machine regularly is an effective method for correcting posture and developing both the back muscles and working the arms.

How to use a rowing machine? The technique can be divided into six steps; the key is not to bend your back excessively and pull back at the end of the movement.

Executing this exercise with the correct technique and respecting each of the stages of the movement is the key to avoiding sports injuries.

When using a rowing machine in cardio mode, it is recommended to rest every 15 minutes.


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