Check Rowing Machine Damper Setting
Most new users who end up on a rowing machine in most gyms tend to sit on it and start rowing. The truth is, most times, if the previous machine user was a heavy user who set the damper setting to a heavy user scale. When the lever is set very high, using the rowing machine will be the equivalent of moving an extremely heavy rowboat which will end up exhausting your muscles, even injuring them as soon as you start rowing.
If you are a newbie starting out on a rowing machine, it’s best if you treat the machine like a bike by setting the damper settings to a lower state to ensure that you grow your strength consistently rather than starting at too difficult a setting and risking injury.
Only using arms
A rowing machine is designed to give you a full body workout, and not only an upper body workout like most new users believe. Most new users end up putting too much pressure on their upper bodies, making it difficult for them to get the proper benefits of their workout.
Ideally, you should use your legs, arms and pelvis equally while using a rowing machine. By focusing about 60 percent of your strength to pushing your legs and balancing the remaining 40 percent between your pelvis and arms pulling, you will achieve a full body workout while using a rowing machine, even as a new user.
Jerking upper body
This is a very common mistake most newbies make if the rowing machine is not set properly or if they are not seated in a solid position. To catch up with the machine, one is forced to jerk the upper body which can lead to muscle strains and injuries.
Ideally, you should be in a position to stop rowing at any given moment. Always maintain a strong body position to limit the number of times you have to jerk your upper body and chest to catch up with the machine.