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Concept 2 Rowing Machine

The concept 2 rowing machine is without doubt one of the best pieces of gym or home equipment you can buy or use. There are many different rowing machines you can try, but the concept 2 is the machine that the serious rower will train on.

Rowing is excellent for all-round fitness, working all the major muscles groups, resulting in great calorie expenditure and muscle toning.

For most people, machines such as the Concept 2 indoor rower provide a good simulation of the real thing, without getting your feet wet.

If you are rowing on the river or lake, make sure you get advice from a club for safety reasons as well as good technique.

Perfect technique on an indoor rower requires a five phase approach, along with a few simple pointers.

In simple terms remember legs / arms / arms / legs.

Push the legs, pull the arms, relax the arms then relax the legs.

These simple techniques can be used for most makes of indoor rowers, however its always worth reading or watching any video techniques that are available with different machines.

If your looking at doing a hard rowing session, its wise to spend a few minutes simply rowing at a steady pace to warm up your muscles, followed by suitable stretching.

As with most exercise, if you perform wrongly, you can run the risk of injury - focus on keeping the action smooth and under control.

The Catch
At the start of the stroke, your arms should be straight and relaxed, your legs bent, with your shins vertical and your body tilted forwards slightly. Your back should be firm. 

The Drive part one 
Without bending your arms, push your legs down to drive you back along the machine. Keep your back firm with your body tilted forward. 
The Drive part two
Continue to push with your legs and bring your body more vertical. Allow your arms to bend when they pass over your knees. 
The Finish
Bring the handle into your abdomen as your elbows move past your body. Your legs should be right back, however keep the knees soft, and tilt your body back slightly. 

The Recovery 
Let your arms stretch forward and straighten, then bend from your hips, sliding forward again to the catch position. 


Repeat all again from the start. You will know if you have poor technique, as you will hear the chain banging against the machine.

Aim to keep a smooth motion throughout, with a stroke rate (how many times you go back and forth) at around 26 / 33 strokes per minute. Too many people simple row way to fast, this means that you have no recovery phase, and after a short while your be gasping for air.

Use the foot straps to keep your feet firmly in the machine, and keep your bottom firmly on the seat.

The lever on the side of the rowing machine, has settings from 1 - 10. This in simple terms is the amount of resistance you have, there is no reason for you to use a 10, unless your performing specific strength / driving training, aim for the setting to be at a level that enables you to pull the rower handle without excessive strain, this would ideally be around 3 - 6.

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