Closeup image of simulator at gymThere are some things in the world that make life just a little easier: frozen coffee drinks when it’s 100 degrees (plus) outside, touch screens, and an exercise machine that allows you to have a full body workout in one shot (and burn off those calories from those frozen coffee drinks from earlier in the week!) Here’s your go-to full body workout of the week—the rowing machine. So, let’s get to it!

Why the Rowing Machine Rocks!

If you haven’t ever tried the rowing machine at your gym, you’ve seen it. Otherwise known as an indoor rower, the rowing machine (when done the right way) rocks your body from head to toe. Simulating a rowing motion, this exercise works out multiple muscle groups: back, shoulders, chest, legs, biceps and your core.  Did you ever used to idolize the toned body of the members of a crew team back in high school? Consider yourself lucky then—the rowing machine will get you there. The rowing machine will also allow you to lose weight (up to 11 calories a minute) and improve your strength and endurance.

How to Row Indoors (While Maximizing Your Workout)

The rowing machine is the perfect low resistance, high intensity workout to add to your exercise mix. Your goal? To perform 10-20 “heave ho!” strokes correctly. As you backstroke, don’t make the mistake that many exercisers do which is pulling the handle only halfway from its starting position to your chest. While backstroking, you want to go back enough so that your knees are completely straight (no longer bent). Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together while keeping your back straight, and bring the handle to your chest. If you’re brand new to this full body exercise, start with 10-20 strokes, and work your way up. Just remember, the pain is worth the gain—an hour of the rowing machine can allow you to burn 800 calories!

Do This, Not ThatBeautiful woman working out on simulator

Many people make one classic mistake when starting out on the rower: they exert all of their energy by pulling from the strength of their upper body. This can result in serious injury. Instead, use about 20 percent of your strength from your lower body by using your legs to push yourself backwards—then give the rest of the job to your biceps, chest, back and core to pull, “heave ho!” and as a result, feel stronger than ever!