Hire or buy a rowing machine and you should start to feel the benefits in just a few weeks. Rowing isn’t always that easy for beginners though; just getting the technique right can cause a few problems, so here are our tips to get you started.

1. Get comfortable

Make sure you feel comfortable in the sitting position before you start to row. Sit with your feet in the rests and grab the handle. Aim to keep your back straight as you pull through the stroke.

2. Avoid gripping too tightly

Grip the handle too tightly and it could lead to chaffing of the skin, blisters or other skin blemishes. Try a relaxed grip; enough to hold onto the bars without them slipping out of your fingers, but not so tight as to cause aches or pains.

3. Push with your legs

People sometimes forget to drive with their legs when they are rowing, thus letting their arms take the brunt of the effort. This might help tone the arms, but it will make rowing seem like very hard work! Use your legs as well as your arms to give your body an all-over workout.

4. Work on the technique

Aim for a good rhythm with each stroke. Keep your elbows relaxed and push straight back, not up. If your bottom lifts off the seat and you can’t feel anything happening to your stomach, then the chances are that you haven’t got the technique right.   

5. Build up gradually

Don’t kill yourself trying to row obscene distances first time out. We're assuming you’re not Steve Redgrave and haven’t used this type of equipment before, so we recommend taking it easy until you used to the machine. Set a realistic target and gradually build up the distance. If you're patient, you will reap the rewards!  

Now you know what to do, have a look at the rowing machines we have for sale or rental (click on the picture below).