Top Tips for Improving Your Rowing Machine Technique

Top Tips for Improving Your Rowing Machine Technique
2 min read

When it comes to indoor rowing, it is important that you are using the correct form to prevent injury and get the most out of your rowing workout. From improving your posture to elongating every stroke, this guide will give you the top tips to improve your rowing machine technique.

The Rowing Machine Stroke

Before we discuss the tips for improving your rowing machine technique, it is important that you understand the basics first. If you are new to indoor rowing, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to help you get started.

The rowing movement, known as a stroke, consists of two key phases; the drive (when you are pushing away from the rower) and the recovery (when you move back towards the rower and return to the starting position).

Tips For Improving Your Rowing Techniques

Power with Your Legs!

Whilst many people think that indoor rowing is mainly an upper-body exercise, the main drive should be powered by your legs rather than your upper body.

If you are pulling, or yanking, the rowing machine handle instead of using your legs and core to power yourself backwards first and following with the pulling movement, then you are putting yourself at risk of injury and are wasting energy. For rowing stroke, the thought sequence should be on your legs, then your body positioning and finally your arms.

Sit Up Straight

It is important that you have good posture when you are rowing. Rather than slouching and hunching over during the recovery movement, you should have a straight back. When you get on the rower, be sure to take a moment to make sure your positioning is correct and that you are sitting up right. Poor posture during your stroke can result in a back injury as you are in a compromised position and cause strain. 

Make Each Stroke Longer

Be sure that you are really elongating each of your strokes by pushing as far back as you can. Using short and quick strokes will cause you to burn out quickly and it is not sustainable. Instead, take your time with each stroke and make sure your drive is a controlled and smooth motion. A longer stroke will help you preserve energy and get the most out of your rowing workout. 


Rowing is an intense workout and it can leave you out of breath, especially if you are a

beginner. However, if you are struggling to catch your breath, then you need to make sure that you are breathing properly during each stroke. We recommend inhaling as you drive and exhaling during the recovery movement. There is no rush when you are rowing. If you are struggling to breathe, simply slow down and focus on extending the movements.


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