Everyone who goes to the gym knows how the treadmills and bikes work. For this reason, you normally have to wait to be able to get time on those pieces of equipment.

If you have been going to the gym for a while you are probably bored with your routine. Walking on a treadmill or riding a bike only works a few of your muscles and can be very monotonous.

So it is only natural that you are branching out to learn about a new piece of equipment. The rowing machine may look intimidating but after finishing this article you will have the knowledge to use it effectively.

The Rowing Machine provides a full-body workout. This is why in the past few years it is again growing in popularity. 

The rowing machine is designed to simulate the actions of rowing an actual boat through the water. To use the rowing machine properly it is important that you know how to do a proper rowing stroke. There are four steps to a proper rowing machine form.

The Catch
The first step of a proper rowing stroke is called the catch. When you start make sure your back is straight and you are sitting tall with the correct posture. Then make sure your arms are straight.

Place your legs so that your shin bones are vertical to the floor. Next, use your back muscles to pull down your shoulders and also make sure to tighten your ab muscles. You should lean forward remembering to keep your back straight.

The Drive
The second step in the rowing stroke is called the drive. As you start this move continue to keep your ab muscles tightened and push your legs out till they are straight. Then lean your body back at a 45-degree angle. To complete this part pull the handle towards your body. Pull it into your abdomen to right above your navel.

The Finish
The third step to a proper row is the finish. You can think of this step as the opposite of the catch. You should feel like your whole body is long and extended, keeping your abs tight. Your elbows should be tucked. This step will feel like a momentary rest.

The Recovery
The final step to complete a proper row is the recovery. You will push the handles away from your body and return to the position you started the row in. Make sure to sit up tall and that your shins are vertical to the ground again. 

These four steps together complete one proper row on the rowing machine. You want to make sure to keep your abdomen tight throughout the whole process.

There are several common mistakes people make when first using the rowing machine. You will want to make sure to keep your resistance set low while you are perfecting your technique. If you are using bad technique with a higher resistance you could hurt yourself.

Make sure to not pull the handle too fast. Allow your feet to help by extending them fully and leaning back. You should not try to do all the work with your upper body; you can injure your back by doing this.

Be cautious of how fast you move from the finish to the recovery when rowing. You need to take your time to get the full benefit of the row. If you rush this part you can ruin the whole rhythm of your row. 

The number one mistake people make is not keeping their abs tight and back straight. If you do not maintain this tension and proper posture you could injure yourself.

The rowing machine provides a full-body workout. You can use it for your cardio to help burn fat. You will also be toning and building muscle at the same time.

Also since the resistance is able to be adjusted for each user anyone no matter their personal level of fitness can get a good workout.

In closing, Make sure to follow the four steps to a proper row every time you get on your rowing machine. Practice until you have mastered them and then increase your resistance. Remember to not make any of the common mistakes. With this knowledge and your rowing machine, you will be on the way to achieving all your fitness goals in no time.