Why Is Rowing Such a  Good Exercise?

Rowing is such a good exercise that works many muscles in the body, but it’s not always practical to do it on the water.

Indoor rowing is therefore a fantastic way to make use of the benefits of rowing without being outside, and if you have a powerful machine like the Concept2 rower, then you’ll reap its benefits.

What are the health benefits of rowing with Concept2? Since it’s focused on increasing resistance the harder you pull, rowing on the Concept2 helps you to improve your heart health, strength, and endurance.

To become better at rowing, you need to use your rowing machine correctly. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you improve.

Have A Relaxed Grip

Holding Rower Handle

If you’re rowing faster, such as if you’re doing HIIT rowing, it’s tempting to hold the handle really hard.

But this will tire out your hands and forearms, so the important thing is to get into the habit of keeping a relaxed grip that doesn’t get in the way of your workout by bringing you pain or discomfort.

Breathe Correctly

As you probably know, breathing correctly during any kind of workout is essential to having enough energy.

During rowing, you should exhale when you drive back and then inhale as you move forward. This creates a smooth rhythm. If you find yourself out of breath, it’s a sign that you’re not breathing correctly.

Position Your Body Properly

If you use your rowing machine properly by correctly completing strokes, you can target 85 percent of your body’s muscles, as Women’s Health reports.

To achieve this, you need to follow important technique tips, such as using your legs to propel yourself forward and then bringing your glutes and back at the end of the drive for that extra burst of energy.

Make Sure Your Heels Are Down

Holding Heels On Rower

When rowing, it’s important to evenly distribute your weight through your foot, with some weight on the ball of the foot and heel.

This drives your energy through your leg and maintains your balance. Most of the energy you create to row originates in your legs, and lifting your heels prevents that energy from being used so you want to avoid that.

Be Smart About Your Stroke

A stroke is when you slide up and down the monorail. It’s easy to think that the more strokes you make in a minute, the more exercise you’re getting, but this isn’t necessarily true.

You should aim for between 22 and 28 strokes per minute. It’s much better for you to have a controlled stroke that works all your muscles instead of doing faster strokes with poor form.

Make Your Catches Faster

The “catch” is the first part of your stroke and it’s when you need to build energy so that you can unleash it later.

It should be quick and explosive so that you prevent lagging, which slows down the flywheel and makes you use too much energy than you need to.

Basically, the catch ensures that the flywheel has good speed, as that is what will make your stroke so much more powerful. Focus on pushing through with your legs and bracing your core.

Push Instead Of Pull

Man Exercising On Concept 2

When you row faster, you need to push the energy through your legs instead of pulling harder with your arms.

Again, this tip is about maximizing your legs instead of your arms, which aren’t really that responsible for giving you the energy you need to row successfully.

They only count for about 10 percent of your force, while your legs count for 60 percent and your core counts for 30 percent.

Bring The Handle To Your Ribs

One of the mistakes some people make when indoor rowing is to pull the handle to their shoulders or stomach. This should be corrected by pulling it to the sternum or bottom rib instead.

The reason for this is because it makes the stroke much smoother while keeping the Concept2 flywheel moving at a steady pace.

Start With The Right Damper Setting

A higher damper setting lets more air into the flywheel, which means that it takes more work to spin it. A lower setting lets less air into the flywheel, so it’s easier to spin.

You should start out with a damper setting of between three and five. Once you become better at rowing, you might find that you want to decrease your damper setting.

It’s a misconception to think that you should set your damper on a very high setting to make your workout harder. It’s not about resistance!

Make Your Core Stronger

Rowing Technique

It’s not just what you do on the rowing machine that matters but what you do when you’re not in it.

Staying fit and healthy is important so that you can improve your indoor rowing technique, and one of the most important parts of your body to work out is your core.

If you have a strong core, you’ll ensure that your posture is better when you row, which improves your technique, and you’ll have greater endurance for sitting for longer.

To strengthen your core, try to do core workouts such as planks and sit-ups on a regular basis.

Related Questions

What Are The Different Concept 2 Rowing Models?

There’s the Model D, the bestselling rower in the world; the Model E, which has the same features as Model D but more height; and the Dynamic, which feels the most similar to rowing on water.

Can You Row Every Day?

While you’re eager to improve your indoor rowing, make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s always a good idea to stick to the general rule of rowing three times a week, especially if you’re a beginner.

Having a rest day between workouts is important to let your muscles recover.


How to get better at rowing is largely about focusing on using the proper technique.

In this article, we’ve featured some important tips and tricks so you can take your indoor rowing on a Concept2 rower to a higher level.

You’re armed with the best rowing machine in the world, so make sure you use it to its greatest potential!