Fitness / Strength Training

How to Set Up a Rowing Machine

The basics of positioning yourself on the machine, choosing your resistance, and prepping for a killer workout

If you’re new to rowing, getting on the machine can seem as daunting as the impending workout. You need to adjust your body and foot positions, as well as your resistance and the digital screen settings before starting. Once you master the setup, you’re primed to row on any rowing machine in less than a minute.

Keep reading for a full guide on how to set up a rowing machine. Not all rowing machines are created equal, but they’re all pretty similar. We focused on the Concept2 Indoor Rower—the perennial favorite of gyms and competitive athletes—and the WaterRower, a newer erg platform that uses water, rather than air, to generate resistance.

Keep this page saved to reference every time you head for the rower and check out other Aaptiv cardio classes that will have you sweating and burning calories in no time.

Body Position

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Foot Position

Once you’ve set your body position, turn your attention to the foot straps and foot stretchers (the adjustable pad into which you place your feet).

Setting Your Resistance

Understanding the Display

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Fitness Strength Training


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