What seems to be a simple form of cardio is just not so. Rowing gives you a total body workout that burns your lungs, works your legs and sculpts your core. 9 major muscle groups. It is also amazing because it is low impact; helps people of all shapes and levels.
When you get strapped in and are ready to drive yourself back, push forcefully through your feet, extending your legs and sliding the seat backward along the track. The majority of the work is done during this moment.
When you've come to almost full extension in the legs you would then engage your core and begin pulling with the arms. Sit upright as you pull the handle toward your upper abs.
Reversing the order to get back to the start. Arms ALWAYS go first, then the core, and THEN the legs.
Keep your elbows in by your side during all phases of the stroke. Don't let them flare out because this shifts the work from your back muscles to the arms and shoulders….you'll get tired real quick.
If you feel a "pulling" in your back, you're using too much arm and upper body and not enough legs.
Take an overhand light grip on the handle with your wrists straight. Arms are also straight and fully extended and about parallel to the floor. Hands never go above chest level.
Exhale during the drive and inhale during the recovery.
Moral of the Story: TOTAL BODY KILLER! You can burn more calories on a rower than other cardio machines AND get stronger all over, row after row.