The mistake: Your hands bump your knees, which throws off your cadence.
The fix: Take a tip from rowing crews to create a fluid motion: Think of the stroke as a dance, counting 1-2-3 and 3-2-1. On 1, push with your legs; on 2, “swing up” your body by leaning back; on 3, draw your arms to the bottom of your rib cage, spinning the flywheel. Then reverse it: 3, extend your arms; 2, swing your body forward from the hips; 1, bring your legs up after the handle passes your knees.
The mistake: A long, steady slog, which leads to inefficient exercise. You’re spending too much time rowing at a moderate intensity.
The fix: With medium resistance, do four to six 10-minute sets of high-intensity rowing with 2 to 3 minutes of rest in between. This will allow your heart rate to come down a bit so you can regroup with intense effort. Result: You’ll expend more calories and get out of the gym quicker.
The mistake: Holding yourself up with your arms. A lot of people put their hands on the railing and lock their elbows with arms straight down. That’s like using crutches.
The fix: Rest your hands lightly on the bars only for balance. Keep your body upright, with just a slight lean forward.
The mistake: Too little resistance. The fix: Go slower, with challenging resistance. You’ll give yourself a tougher workout, increase your heart rate and maintain your time in the training zone longer. Result: You’ll burn more fat.
The mistake: Too little resistance. Many people allow momentum to do the work for them instead of propelling the step with their leg muscles.
The fix: Set the resistance correctly to be able to feel that you are pushing the ramp down when you make a revolution rather than flipping around freely.
The mistake: Getting bored.
The fix: Do intervals. It will force you to reach a higher intensity of training for a sustained period of time. Try 90-second blasts every few minutes, with recoveries twice as long. Reduce recovery time as your fitness level increases.
Think you’re doing the best cardio workout? Take a look at these fixes, you may be surprised
Cardio machines help you work very hard in a very short period of time, making a morning or lunchtime workout an exercise in efficiency. But most people don’t use the machines correctly. Fix your mistakes and you’ll get more calorie burn for the effort.