The rower is an excellent tool that improves cardiovascular and muscular strength. It targets several major muscle groups in both the upper and lower body. Rowing is low impact making it a safe choice for all fitness levels.
Grab the handle keeping your arms straight and your back flat. This start position is similar to the bottom position of a deadlift.
Begin by extending your legs and pushing your feet into the platform. Your torso angle should remain the same during this phase.
Once your legs are extended lean back slightly and pull the handle towards your sternum. Avoid pulling early with your arms. We want to maximize our leg drive before we finish our pull.
Reverse the motion by extending your arms – allowing the handle to move towards the machine. Hinge forward slightly avoiding any rounding in your low back. Finish the recovery by bending your legs and returning to the start position.
As we settle into our routine at the gym progression takes place. We go from learning a body weight squat to goblet squatting a heavy kettlebell within a few short weeks.
Over time our brain creates new neurological pathways and our muscles adjust to new stressors. We are able to handle heavier weights more consistently and don’t feel as sore after workouts. We feel stronger and more comfortable with movement patterns and exercises.
It’s important to keep a long term mind set as we progress. It can be tempting to jump to advanced exercises or throw too much weight on the bar. Proper progression takes time. We need to build a solid foundation before adding intensity and load. Rushing your progress can lead to injury and poor technique.
Give your body time to adjust. Its learning and adapting to many new things. Practicing patience now will lead to more sustained and consistent progress in the future.
Split squats improve single leg strength, stability and coordination. Its important to train single leg patterns because many of our daily activities are performed on one leg – walking, running, etc.
Begin in a staggered stance – one foot in front, one foot back. Brace your core and slowly lower yourself straight down, dropping your back knee to the ground. Once your knee is within a few inches of the ground reverse the motion and return the the start position.
Avoid letting your front knee cave in. Maintain a stable foot, keeping your knee in line with your toes. Dropping straight down will also prevent your front knee from traveling too far forward over your toes.
Your back knee should be slightly behind your hip as you perform each rep. Keep an appropriate distance between your feet throughout.