6 Strength workouts you can do using a rower when not doing yoga

Rowing Machines have become one of the most known equipment in today’s world which offer you a lot of benefits and advantages.

But there are some not so common moves which you could perform with the help of your rowing machine and still get the desired result. You don’t need to row for these work outs but you can still utilize your rowing machine, sounds incredible right?

Here are a few work outs which you can perform with the help of your row machine without actually rowing on it:

Planks

Keep the seat near the machine end and lie on your stomach parallel to the machine rail. Keep your palms on the floor and at shoulders-width distance. Put your toes on the seat and assume the plank position. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
rowing-plank

 

Toe Drop

Move your machine seat to one corner so that it doesn’t interfere with your work out. Now, get two 1-3 pound dumbbells and hold them close to your chest. Place your right toe on the rail facing towards the machine and bend your knee such that it follows the sight of your toe.

Now bend forward your body from waist up towards the direction of your toe. Once you have assumed this position, move your left toe to the left side of the rail and then without changing your position, take your left toe above the rail and touch the right side of the rail. Do 8-10 reps of this and then switch the legs and repeat this for the other leg too.

Biceps pull

Make yourself comfortable on the seat of the machine and strap in your feet. Now push your seat backward and extend your arms forward. Grab the ends of the bar in an underhand grip and pull it towards your chest.

Make sure that your shoulders are away from your ears and then lean back from waist up in a 45 degree angle. Now, do one rep by bending your elbows and bringing the bar towards your shoulder, this will ensure that your biceps are kept occupied. Keep the bar near your shoulder for a few second and then release it back to its original position.

bicep-rowing

Cleaved Squats

Keep the rower seat near the rail end side. Now grab a 1 – 3 pound dumbbells in both the hands and hold them at your sides with the palms facing each other. Stand with your back to the seat, your toes facing in the direction of the machine’s back and on the right side of the rail.

Keep your hips straight while facing forward and then place your right toe on the seat behind you with heel up. Your right knees should be behind your right toes and slowly lower your body till your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position then use your left heels to push up and go back to the original standing position. This would constitute as one rep. Do 10 more of these and then switch the sides.

Plank Knee Push

Place the seat to the front of the machine and keep your upper body faced towards the rail end. Place your palms on the ground near the rail end and keep your hands at a shoulder-width apart.

Now place your toes on the seat and place your body in a straight line parallel to the machine rail. Make sure that you keep your shoulders away from the ears and then slide the seat forward with the help of your legs. Ensure that your knees come near your chest in each forward seat movement. Hold this position for a few seconds and then release.

plank-knee-push-rowing-machine

Sitting Diagonal Twists

Sit on the seat and strap your feet in. Grab the middle of the bars with an underhand and keep your right hand on your right hip. Now, lean back by 45 degrees and stretch out your left arms.

Now turn your left palm towards your body on the left side while trying to elbow the space behind you. The moment bar reaches your left side, turn your body left and hold this position. Then release and turn back towards the machine and release your hold on the bar too. Complete 10 reps of this and then switch sides.

5 Yoga Tips I give to people with a heavy body

yoga-teacher

Would you prefer a yoga class where your teacher weighs about 150-200 pounds? I am guessing not. While yoga isn’t just for the sleek and flexible people it’s exactly the thing people expect when they first walk into a studio.

Forget what most companies tell you and what people think of you, yoga is for everyone but in case you still have your doubts here are some tips to help you ease into your classes.

Get the right guru

How far you go, the effort you put in and how motivated you remain lies in the hands of your teacher and thus one of the first and foremost things you ought to do is find the best teacher around.

If possible get a trial class arranged for a day or two. In the end if you’re not coming out feeling fresh and energized and with a renewed sense of optimism it’s all a huge waste.

Slow and steady is the way to go

Whether it’s yoga or the high pumping gym workout hurrying it up simply won’t cut it. There are fast pace moves in yoga too such as the vinyasa style but none of it can improve flexibility and strength like the slow methods. Further it also improves nervous system and excretes fattening chemicals often released by stress.

Go slow for the first couple of weeks and if possible look for classes that offer special training for people with heavy bodies.

Use your bodyweight wisely

As compared to a thin person, a person with a bigger body has to put in a lot more effort for the same pose. For example, during a headstand your neck, shoulders etc. have to undergo a lot more pressure.

Use this to your advantage but make sure you take it easy as it can also lead to serious injuries. Get the help needed and know your limitations.

Find the right props

No two bodies are ever the same and each body reacts differently to a pose so in case you’re having trouble with a pose do not shy away from using a couple of props. The most useful prop of all is the yoga mat which simply put is a must.

Apart from that blocks are other useful props. Be creative, pretty much everything and anything around you is prop as long as you use it under your trainer’s supervision. Learn more about props in the video below.

 

Always have a goal

Physical aspects aside, yoga is also equally about the mind. While it’s quite demanding in itself each pose and asana provides you with an opportunity to understand and also accept yourself better. You gain more control over your thoughts and emotions.

Let go of all the negativity around, stop fighting your body, make peace and with constant practice you’ll see a huge change both physically and also mentally.

Ready to quit on yoga? Here’s what you should know

yoga

While I agree yoga isn’t everybody’s cup of tea I have seen people give up on it way too early. When you begin it’s going to be tough and worse it’s going to be boring but that’s only until you find the right class and teacher and once that happens trust me you’ll be hooked. So if you’re confident and determined to incorporate yoga permanently into your life here’s what you should know about it.

It comes down to the teacher

While I always wanted yoga to be an integral part of my life but it actually only became after a year and 5 different classes later. Yes finding the right class and trainer is of topmost priority. It can make or break your training.

Every studio and teacher has their own style. Some do it while playing hip-hop music while some prefer it slow. Try 2-4 different styles before you finally make a choice.

It’s not always about sweating

When you think about exercise it usually comes down to how much you sweat isn’t it? While Vinyasa yoga is perfect for that the other slower forms are also equally effective. A good yoga routine is about maintaining a balance between different intensities.

Always begin with the slow stretches before taking it up a notch. This helps the body adjust to the high intensity better thus lowering injury risk and providing an efficient workout.

It isn’t just for women

A common misconception I have witnessed among most men especially the younger generation is that they believe yoga is meant only for women. Believe it or not yoga too requires tons of strength and grit for each of the stretches and poses. So irrespective of what your fitness goals are note that yoga is for everyone.

Adrian Hummell has been doing yoga for the past three years and now teaches Bikram yoga, a particularly strenuous form of the practice. Illustrates YOGA-MEN (category l), by Eric Niiler, special to The Washington Post. Moved Tuesday, October 22, 2013. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marvin Joseph.)

Eating meat isn’t wrong

Is it intimidating that you’re one the very few meat eaters at your studio or that you occasionally consume alcohol? Well guess what, as a yogi you’re not restricted for either. To benefit from yoga you need not turn your lifestyle upside down.

There are tons of yoga teachers that love to grab a glass of wine with some meat on a Friday night. Yoga is all about having fun and doing what suits you best.

Do it for yourself

In the end whether your plan is to hit the gym or a yoga studio your workout is only going to be effective if you do it for yourself. It’s not about impressing your peers or your teacher. Forget the comparisons. It always comes down to only you.

Listen to your body and avoid any move your body seems to reject. Have fun, keep smiling and in time you’ll feel more balanced not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.

 

Here’s what else you should know

5 Ways to not just practice but live the Yoga lifestyle

yoga-class

Remember the good old days when you’d jump right out of the bed and head to your yoga classes with bright smile? Is it still the same after 5-6 months? Or has your routine turned materialistic?

Yes there are materialistic gains to yoga but it’s more about developing oneself mentally, physically and spiritually. So if your routine has turned into a rut here’s few changes you need in order to turn your practice into a lifestyle.

Get your thinking right

Well if your love for yoga is based on the number of mats you own, or the expensive yoga pants you got you’ve got the idea of yoga wrong.

The yoga business is on the rise due to which there seems to a divide in class amongst various yogis from different backgrounds but remember yoga isn’t just for the rich. It’s for those that are truly dedicated and want to connect with themselves on a physical and mental level.

Stop thinking of ahimsa as veganism

If you’ve been told that ahimsa means you need to switch to veganism the first and foremost thing you actually need to do is get away. While it may sound a valid reason it’s too complicated and broad a topic to bring it down to just food.

There’s plenty of violence around both physical, verbal etc. and as a yogi your focus should be on spreading the positivity and maintaining peace.

Stop being a critique

Have you been pose shaming your fellow yogis? Well let’s get one thing straight, this practice is downright unacceptable. Yes social media is an obvious cause but what’s saddening to see is that yoga trainers across the world have chosen to turn a blind eye towards it.

Each body varies in flexibility, shape etc. and thus the asana also tends to differ. Poking fun other is lame and thus not in the true spirit of yoga and as such should be avoided.

Read more:

Treat both yourself and others right

While it’s right to be concerned about your needs, health etc. neglecting the need of others is simply not the yoga way. Yes yoga requires you to give plenty of time and energy in improving yourself my advice would be to not let it reach a delusional stage.

Service done to oneself is a good but service done to others is great. This is an important aspect of yoga and should never be forgotten.

Stop ignoring the spiritual aspect

Yes yoga does have a spiritual aspect and ignoring it only takes you away from the deeper meaning of it but when I say spiritual aspect I am not referring to any religion.

This isn’t about any religion or simply staying fit, it’s much deeper and a way of life. Keep an open mind and you’ll experience personal growth and physical development like never before.

5 Silly excuses people give for avoiding Yoga

yoga

It’s understandable to have doubts and questions related to yoga when you’re just beginning. I had them too. I doubted myself too but only after I hit the mat did I find out the truth. Not only did I become more confident with the poses but also with other situations of life. Yes that’s what regular practice does to you. It removes the insecurities and free up the mind. Below are 5 silly excuses I often here to avoid yoga that you need to overcome.

My body isn’t too flexible

This is the first and foremost excuse me and many others tend to make. You see videos, images etc. of people in weird looking poses and think to yourself, well that’s never happening without realizing that with regular practice and training nothing is impossible.

Initially I struggled to even touch my toes, embarrassing right? All you really need is a strong will and patience to succeed. Your body will adapt and thus become more flexible with time.

I’m always busy

Well that’s an outright joke. Trust me no one’s always busy not even the president and more the hectic your schedule the more useful you’ll find yoga. It acts as a physical and mental charger. Make yoga a priority even if it requires time out your social media gossips or TV.

This will in turn motivate you to put in the extra effort and time needed to grow and develop. You’ll focus and sleep better and thus kick start your morning refreshed and happy.

I have health issues

Believe it or not health issues are the main reason yoga exists and whether it’s your back or ankles or your knee or even something as dangerous as cancer, yoga often is the answer. Though I would recommend you consult your doctor about it.

Once you get the go ahead from your physician find out yoga classes either online or through local magazines that best suit your health conditions and budget.

It’s a religion

Well firstly note that yoga has nothing to do with any religion and nor will it change your opinions or beliefs. It’s about self-assessment through breathing and meditation. Irrespective of your nationality, religion etc. you can practice yoga.

Yes it’s often seen as a spiritual practice but in case you’re having trouble resonating with things get in touch with your guru or if needed switch to a new person. Your relationship with your guru is important to a good yoga routine.

I’m not the Yogi types

This by far is one of the craziest reasons I have come across in recent times. What exactly does a yogi look like? Yoga is practised across the world and thus there’s no specific type or look. Irrespective of your body shape, colour, height or look you can practice yoga.

Excuses are aplenty. If you’re serious about your health and fitness and want to make a change it’s time to get up and get moving.