Diabetes awareness week falls in June each year. In honour of 5 time Olympic gold medalist, and inspirational diabetic, Sir Steve Redgrave, this month we are offering tips to help you perfect your stroke on the ergometer (or rowing machine) at your local Magna Vitae gym.
- Keep your back straight whilst you row. Try isolating your torso and practice rowing with only your torso, keeping your arms and legs extended.
- Don’t pull too hard or increase the resistance too much before you are confident that you have the right technique.
- Make sure you keep a firm grip of the handle. Your thumbs should be underneath the handle and your fingers wrapped around so your 2nd knuckles face forward. Your wrist should be flat.
- Ask a friend, gym buddy or Lifestyle Consultant to watch you row and compare your posture to correct body positions. It is often easier for someone else to tell you whether you look right than to try to judge based on feeling right.
- Intervals are a great way to stay focused and challenge yourself if you find your mind wandering or need a shorter or more intensive workout.
- Only lean back as far as 90° to keep your back in a strong position. You can practice this by rowing without strapping your feet in, making sure you keep contact with the foot rest at all times.
- Make sure you finish each step of the row, in the right order. Your legs should be doing most of the work, followed by your torso, then your arms. Again, leaving your feet un-strapped can help you to identify if everything is working correctly, as you will lose contact with the footholds if something is in the wrong order.
- Try to make the handle move at the same speed as your seat. If you end up leaving it behind, or it gets ahead of you slow yourself.
- Pay attention to the timing of your strokes, using a 1:2 count ratio. This will use most energy when you need to, when your legs are working, but allow a controlled finish and recovery.
- The handle should end up about a fist’s width above your belly button, near your sternum at the end of the stroke, with your elbows fairly close to your sides.
Don’t forget to pick up your June Challenge leaflet at reception and use these top tips to help you complete the challenge: to row the length of Lake Windermere.