Getting started in rowing is a great way to have fun and get fit at the same time. Rowing is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world. It is also one of the most physically demanding and fun activities. It is great for those who want to compete or for those just looking to get some exercise and have a good time.
Almost any "learn to row" program will start out of the water. By starting on a rowing machine, you can learn the basic techniques before moving on to more challenging practice in the water. Rowing machines are popular pieces of general fitness equipment so they are not they expensive or difficult to find. Look for one at your local gym or purchase on at a fitness store. As you first begin the focus should be on rhythm and form rather than on speed or distance. Each movements should move smoothly into the next, you should not feel as if jerking against the machine but rather pushing back with your legs and then coming forward allowing the chain to reset and then pushing back again without ever coming to a halt.
As you get the hang of the form it is time to begin training your endurance. When rowing out of the water, especially if you desire to compete, you need to be able to row at top form for an extended period of time. The first most obvious part of building up endurance is simply rowing for extended periods of time. Start off rowing for fifteen minutes at a time and add a few minutes the next week or as fifteen minutes becomes too easy. The other way to build up stamina is to do short burst intervals. To do these row as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then rest for 90. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times for a workout that will leave you drained. As your body gets more used to extreme bursts, it will find rowing for long periods of time at a lighter pace less extreme.
Depending on how much time you can dedicate to rowing, it may take as long as month or as short as a week to get down form and condition to a point where you are ready to go out on the water. If you can join a school team or local community this is the best option, you will get regular instruction from dedicated coaches and you often only need to pay a small fee. If this isn’t an option for you, you should look into a rowing school or camp, or an instructor for your first few times out. When you are just starting out it can be difficult to control the boat. Even though you should take all precautions such as informing people where you will be and wearing a life jacket at all times, you should not go out onto the water without first experiencing it with a trained instructor. The instructor will help you out and let you know when you are able to go out with other rowers without the need for a guide.