Concept 2 Rowing Machine Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Conditioning
  • Machine
  • Compound
  • Pull (Bilateral)
  • Beginner
  • Abs, Adductors, Biceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lats, Lower Back, Quads, Shoulders
Upper Back Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Concept 2 Rowing Machine Overview

The rowing machine exercise is a variation of the row and an exercise used to target the muscles of the upper back.

The rowing motion will indirectly work the muscles of the legs, core, shoulders, and rest of the back.

The rowing machine is primarily used as a form of cardio/conditioning. However, it can also be used as a finisher exercise during your pull or back workouts.

Concept 2 Rowing Machine Instructions

  1. Assume a seated position with your feet strapped into the footplates.
  2. Take a pronated (double overhand) grip on the bar and sit up upright with the legs and arms extended.
  3. Initiate the movement by flexing at the knees and hips while keeping the arms straight.
  4. Push your feet into the platform to straighten your legs, lean back slightly, and then proceed to row the handle towards your chest as you exhale to complete the movement.
  5. Return to the starting position by lengthening the arms and flexing at the knees and hips.
  6. Repeat for the desired time, duration, or distance.

Concept 2 Rowing Machine Tips

  1. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the handle into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.
  2. Most of the power should be generated through your lower body, don’t needlessly tire yourself out by only using the arms. Don’t let your hips shoot back and have to rely upon your lower back, utilize your core to keep yourself upright.
  3. Remember, you should extend the legs first before making your pull.
  4. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  5. Don’t try to crush the handle, only hold on tight enough so it doesn’t slip out of your hands. This will help to prevent you from overusing the forearms.
  6. Leaning back slightly after you’ve extended the legs to extend the hips will help. Think: “Legs, hips, arms” to drive the pull and then “Arms, legs, hips” to get back to your starting position.
  7. Think about pulling the handle to the bottom of your ribcage.
  8. Avoid sticking your elbows out to the sides (aka chicken wing phenomenon) when you pull.
  9. Wait until your arms have fully extended before you rebend the knees. Bend the knees too soon will cause contact with the handle.
  10. Don’t allow the seat to hit you in the heels, you’ve gone too far.
  11. Keep breathing - exhale on the pull and inhale on the recovery.