Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Rowing is a Fantastic Aerobic Activity

Rowing is considered to be one of the optimum aerobic exercises. Rowing boats with a rowing crew is a very competitive sport, in which the rowers are expected to perform at their absolute best for a prolonged period of time. Rowing crews are generally quite lean, as the caloric output their sport requires, often greatly exceeds their daily intake. Because of this, rowing crews must make every bite count with vitamin and mineral rich foods. Rowing boats with a rowing crew also increases your body's production of endorphins, gets oxygen to the muscles more efficiently, and greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The rowing machine at the gym is a great way to keep up on your aerobic activity and stay in shape during the off season. In addition to regular aerobic workouts, some muscle groups must be trained to be in top shape. The back, shoulders, and triceps are extremely significant in rowing boats. These are the muscles are fighting against the resistance of the water, and each rowing crew member needs to train out of the water to be on their game in the water.

Strengthening and Protecting Your Shoulders During Rowing

Rowing boats puts the most stress on the rower's shoulders and therefore heightens the risk of shoulder injury. The rotator cuff is especially susceptible to injury, as it is comprised of many muscles and tendons which stabilize the rest of the shoulder, and is where the arm connects to the body. This makes stretching and strengthening all the more important for a rowing crew member. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and breathe deeply. Lat pulldowns are ideal for strengthening the shoulders for rowing. The movements used in rowing are the movements used in a lat pulldown. Good posture while using the machine and keeping your bottom on the bench and your feet flat on the floor are a must. Take your time with each pull to get the most out of this exercise. Your gym should have the lat pulldown machine, and your trainer can tell you the weight most appropriate for you. This will provide fantastic results and the tops of your shoulders will bulk up.

Preparing Your Back for Rowing

The back is worked constantly while rowing boats, so you should start out slowly to properly adjust. Again, stretching is very important. To stretch your low and upper back (lumbar), lay flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your bent legs toward your body, while simultaneously stretching your head toward your legs. If moving your head is too difficult, just do your legs. Lock your hands around your knees and bend them toward you. You should feel a pull in your low back, and possibly your glutes. To stretch your upper back, chest, and underarms, lock your hands behind you and lift them until you feel a good pull. To get a better stretch, lay on the floor or a mat and cross one leg over your body. The higher your thigh is on your body, the stronger the stretch. Your back will move to the side but your shoulders must stay on the ground.

Don't forget about the legs; they're a strong force in rowing boats on a rowing crew. Using the rowing machine will help strengthen your legs, but there are other exercises just as valid as the rowing machine and change up your routine at the same time. Squats on either a squat machine, with a barbell, or with dumbbells will improve your quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip flexors. The hamstrings and quadriceps are what put the real power in your row and they need special attention to improve your rowing. To strengthen the front of your legs and your ankles (sections which are often overlooked), balance on one foot while keeping the other leg straight and lifting it behind you. Lean your body over your toes and extend the opposite arm (if you're up for a challenge). Bend your knee, lowering your body, and lift it back up all with the strength of one leg. Do about 15 bends and switch to the other leg.