If you’ve recently signed up for a gym, it’s likely that you’ve been trying to find the best machine for your workout. While the treadmill is cool and easy to use, you might have to wait before one of them is free. Treadmills are, after all, hugely popular in fitness centers! So, maybe you decided to do a few rounds on the rowing machine. Why not? The rowing machine is not half as popular as the treadmill, and when it’s in use, people tend to spend no more than a few minutes on it, meaning you can find one free relatively easily. The problem is that just because they’re easily available doesn’t mean that they are easy to use!

Rowing is a great workout

The common beginners’ mistakes

A rowing injury is, unfortunately, a common occurrence for beginners. Ultimately, rowing should be a low-impact, full-body exercise, but you’re at risk of hurting yourself if you don’t use it properly. Rowing with your arms only instead of using your legs – up to 70% of the power you generate in rowing comes from your legs – can cause sore elbows and shoulders. Rounding your back will lead to back pain and might force you to step out of most of your daily activities from sitting at a desk to walking down the streets until you’ve recovered.

When the pain doesn’t go away

If the pain doesn’t disappear within a day, you may want to consult a specialist to receive medical help. A continuous pain isn’t a normal consequence of using the rowing machine. Consequently, you will need a manual examination or maybe even a scan to identify the cause of your problems. Most commonly, beginners strain a back muscle on the rowing machine, but obviously things could be worse or different.  The bottom line is that if things don’t get better within 24 hours, you might require medical treatment or physical therapy.

Do you have to stop exercising?

Most people think that an injury means that you can’t work out. In fact, it’s the contrary. After the necessary recovery period, you need to address the weaknesses in your body to avoid future injuries. An injury on the rowing machine means that you didn’t use your legs to generate the power. Consequently, you need to train your legs.. If you’re wondering whether to use a recumbent or an upright bike, this first reported review gives you valuable insights. Ultimately a recumbent bike will be more comfortable for your back and reduce the risk of putting unnecessary pressure through your sitting position.

Cycling can help you to row better

Should you go back to rowing?

If you’re worried about rowing, or if you can’t find anybody to teach you how to use the machine, you can find alternative workout programs that target the same areas than the rowing machine. Using a dumbbell or a kettlebell, you can work your arms while strengthening your hips and back for instance. You can find that activities such as kickboxing can help you to train your entire body while putting the emphasis on your legs, like you would if you were rowing.

The bottom line is that rowing injuries are common among beginners. They are most often benign, but you might want medical guidance to recover rapidly and address your weak spots.