CrossFit, often called the “sports of fitness,” has risen in popularity over the last decade. The reason why it gained so much popularity is due to its versatility in its effectiveness like strength, endurance, and explosiveness improvement. This is somewhat a half-hour workout program where you would have to do a high-intensity exercise.
The CrossFit training is composed of an endless variety of workouts like running, rowing, swimming, biking and many more. For regular CrossFit training, you can use the track for running, rowing machine/shell, bikes, ergometers, parallel bars, horizontal bar, plyometrics boxes, medicine balls, skipping, rings, free exercise mat, and Olympic weight sets.
On the other side, you can also include exercises like the snatch, clean and jerk, deadlift, squat, bench-press, power-clean and push-press, medicine ball throw/catch, jumping, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, pull-ups, presses to handstand, handstands, kips, cartwheels, pirouettes, sit-ups, scales, and muscle-ups.
Today I will be discussing how CrossFit training can be done without a rowing shell i.e. the rowing techniques that can be achieved through a rowing machine, which is CrossFit alternative to rowing shell.
Why Rowing Techniques for CrossFit?
Among the best types of fitness machines, rowing machines have gained a massive response for full body workouts. These are one of those unique pieces of exercise equipment that have an impact on almost every part of your body. The best part is this is considered as the best alternative to the rowing shell for crossfit training according to many. Rowing techniques are important for enhancing your stamina, controlling your weight, burning extra fats and overall body muscle regulation. If you are in a gym where you will have to choose indoor rowing vs running, undoubtedly you should go for rowing.
If you are having your exercise on a rowing machine or ergometer, you have gained two things. Firstly, you are having a great cardiovascular exercise and secondly, you are getting all your muscles working. Researches show that when you exercise, your legs take around 70% of the impact and rest is distributed throughout your body. The machine not only gives you a full body workout instead it also gives your body an intense workout as you get faster with your rowing movements. Many athletes believe a Crossfit training using a rowing machine is the best effective solution.
Proper Rowing Techniques and Training
Training on rowing machine delivers you aerobic movements along with strength buildup which makes rowing a very effective workout. Surprisingly, there is no fixed level for beginners or anyone. You gradually have all the experience you gain while rowing. Now this includes around a kilocalorie burn within an hour session, to begin with. Doesn’t matter if you are looking for muscle development or to burn your fat, you will get both of them as your stamina level will go up.
One of the basic rowing techniques that you may initially find it hard to follow is adjusting your feet. You want the straps to be just over the midline of your shoelace as you tighten. Moreover, you need to make sure the straps are tight as you go back. When you come back, you’re pushing with your heels. At every point, you should make sure that the straps aren’t coming loose.
Legs Arms -Arms legs
What you want to do is grab the rowing machine handle and make sure that it’s set up at the proper resistance. A lot of people make a common mistake by having a rounded back like a cat. Also, make sure your chest is up, lower back is squeezed and core is tight. Keep your arms straight until you reach the end point.
So what does it mean by the “legs arms-arms legs”? It means you start with your legs by pushing your whole body backward. When the handle passes your knees, that is when your arms start to play their role. You will have to pull the handle with your arms to your body’s midsection. This is the proper exercise technique for a rowing machine. Often people make a common mistake by pulling the handle with arm first and using the knee later. Doing this, you’re having your knees to go through too much stress eventually making the entire workout less effective.
The Pulley positioning
Keep your chest upright and the back in perfect straight position. You’re going to work first with your legs than your arms. Once your legs are straight, the force should be where your knees and arms explode back. When your arms come back you want to make sure you’re keeping your elbows in such that the handlebar comes about midsection. You don’t want the handle to appear by our face or down to your belly button. Keep the pulley near midsection, tightly pressed elbows into your body and not flailing out. Squeezing your shoulder blades together at the back. This is the perfect position for the pulley.
When you come forward, you’re going to reverse the pulley to the start point. The first motion starts with legs and then with arms. On your way back, you need to reverse your arms then legs. When you come forward, you need to do this following the line that’s already been created for you. Straighten your arms making sure not to round your back and keeping your chest up while coming to the middle.
Immediately after the bar passes your knees is when your legs play the role of “legs arms- arms legs”. You need to have a smooth movement to hit the targeted muscle groups. When you would start off it might be a lot like driving a stick shift for the first time. Doing something that’s multi-movement sometimes takes some thought and makes you hesitate to do your workout. So, do not be afraid to go nice and slow.
Keep in mind to stay at a position between 70-90 degrees while coming back. You should not be going way back. You don’t want to come way too forward to the handle. Stay straight and don’t have to reach the end of the machine when you come forward. Come back and make sure you stay in between those degrees. When you come forward, try to keep your body nice and tight, keeping it upright.
A couple of things you must keep in mind. The biggest part of this workout comes by rowing it backward and exploding by pulling the handle towards yourself. Coming forward is your resting position. You shouldn’t rush through the exercise. You should focus on staying in control while coming back and when you return. You need to find the fluid momentum. Always start slow and do a nice warm-up by exploding back. Once you are on the flow, you will feel the force in the muscles of your thighs. When you come back you will feel it in the glutes and in the core section while coming forward.
Now running, especially on a treadmill will burn a few more calories than a rowing machine as far as calorie burn is concerned. But for overall whole body workout, nothing is more suitable than a rowing machine as it has an impact on larger muscles of your body. Moreover, rowing technique crossfit on a rowing machine, save your time then using a rowing shell. If you do rowing exercise regularly, you will not only develop your overall body structure but you will also be able to maintain your cardiovascular. Now you can become a professional rower by applying these rowing techniques with a top-quality rowing machine!