Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"New to You" Cross Training Challenge: Rowing

I signed up for (Just) Trying is for Little Girls' "New to You" Cross Training Challenge a few weeks ago and I just now decided that I should check January off. There's nothing like leaving it to the last minute!

I had wanted my first new cross training activity to be a little bit more exciting, but because of time constraints I had to go with something available to me at the gym. Since I have used almost every machine there, I went with one that I have probably only used for 5 minutes in my life: the rowing machine.


Similar to my experience, just without guinea pigs

Mike had plans to go bowling with his uncle, so I hit the gym by myself and decided that I wanted to do a half an hour on the machine.

Overall it wasn't bad, I just noticed that my back hurt toward the end and that there were times when I felt like my rhythm was off. I also have no idea if I could have changed the resistance or if that would have even helped.

I ended up doing 5,000 meters in a half an hour, again I have no idea if this is good or not!

I would do the rowing machine again, but maybe for less than a half an hour at a time. I also would want to do an interval workout or some other form of a workout in order to help pass the time.

I'm hoping that my February cross training activity is going to be a little bit more exciting, stay tuned!

Have you ever used the rowing machine? Any tips for me?

18 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of the rowing machine just because I always feel so awkward on it. I never know if I'm doing it quite right. Good job trying something new!

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    1. I had the awkward feeling too and I really do think I could have changed the resistance or something because I could not get faster than 2:35 minutes per 500 meters! I'm not sure if I was doing something wrong or if I am just weak!

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  2. I'm impressed you lasted for 30 minutes! I'll occasionally do 10 minutes of rowing at the end of a workout, and I do think it's a good arm/core workout, but I agree, it can be awkward and I don't have the best form either. Way to get your new cross training in for January! I bet the remaining 11 will be more exciting.... I get bored rowing, too. :)

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    1. Thanks Laura! I had thought of stopping at 20 minutes, but then I said to myself that I had already gone 20 so what's 10 more minutes?

      I want to try a new exercise class or workout video in February!

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  3. The rowing machines is meant to be a hardcore leg workout, not all upper body! Make sure you are really using your legs to drive the entire motion. The push down with your leg is actually called the "drive" in real rowing. :) Also, if your back hurts, you're likely not optimizing the intentional muscle group that the erg (ergometer) targets. Poor rowing form can lead to back injuries. Check out some sites like this: http://www.concept2.com/us/training/muscles_used.asp and learn more about the catch, drive, finish and recovery. Or I can come with you sometime and teach you everything you need to know! :) Yay cross-training!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! You would definitely know how to do it :)

      If you ever want to come with me, you can!

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  4. I must say I have never used rowing machine. Don't really know if I need any more leg workouts!- sounds like Sarah knows her stuff with these machines! Oh... and I love the rowing guinea pigs- haha!!!

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    1. Sarah was on the crew team, so she definitely knows her stuff!

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  5. Ugh. I so dislike the rowing machine. I despite coaches trying to teach me the proper form, I always felt awkward and couldn't get into a rhythm that felt "right".

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    1. Yea it does feel awkward, but hopefully with some help I can get a better form and rhythm!

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  6. i've never used the rowing machine - good for you trying something new! I want to find something fun for February too!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I agree, February needs to be fun!

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  7. Nice job! I was on the crew team in college but haven't hopped on a rowing machine in ages. My advice would be to ensure that your back and shoulders are straight and you aren't hunched over. Also, like someone else said, you power with your legs. We were always taught not to pull at the same time you push off with your legs - pull a split second earlier so that your arms are gliding you through the movement and your legs follow. Never pull up, either. Make sure the "oar" is level with your belly button.

    Hope this helps! - Kristin

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    1. Thanks Kristin! Glad that I have two former crew friends!

      I think with some more practice, and watching some of the videos Sarah suggested above, I will get better! I don't think I was hunched over I just noticed that my back hurt a little bit, but hopefully if I do it more with my legs then it will be better next time.

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  8. I feel awkward on the rower too! Good job trying something new though!

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    1. Thanks Mandy! It was different, but with some work I think I could grow to like it!

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  9. Oh my goodness, 30 minutes on your first rowing machine workout? Very impressive. I think I'm tough doing 10 minutes, haha.

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    1. I think it's because I am stubborn and I didn't want to stop before half an hour!

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