New and using my legs

Post Reply
Cahuswife
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: June 23rd, 2022, 6:10 pm

New and using my legs

Post by Cahuswife » June 23rd, 2022, 6:30 pm

I’m 61 and not very fit. The rower seems great as low impact and an all-body workout. However in my first few workouts, I don’t feel anything with my legs. I’m pushing off and letting my legs get straight before I lean back and pull with my arms, but my legs are almost fully extended before I feel any resistance. I’m 5’4”. Since I’m starting fitness, I check how I feel later. My abs and arms are a bit sore the next day but for my legs-nothing. I’m pushing off as aggressively as I can manage. My shins are vertical at the catch. Is it my height? Is rowing a lot easier on the legs?

Dangerscouse
Marathon Poster
Posts: 7424
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: New and using my legs

Post by Dangerscouse » June 24th, 2022, 4:00 am

Cahuswife wrote:
June 23rd, 2022, 6:30 pm
I’m 61 and not very fit. The rower seems great as low impact and an all-body workout. However in my first few workouts, I don’t feel anything with my legs. I’m pushing off and letting my legs get straight before I lean back and pull with my arms, but my legs are almost fully extended before I feel any resistance. I’m 5’4”. Since I’m starting fitness, I check how I feel later. My abs and arms are a bit sore the next day but for my legs-nothing. I’m pushing off as aggressively as I can manage. My shins are vertical at the catch. Is it my height? Is rowing a lot easier on the legs?
Welcome to the forum. What drag factor are you using? What you might be doing, despite pushing as hard as you can, is shooting the slide: basically thinking that you should be doing nothing with the upper body, and pushing only. Have a look for a video, as this is a common mistake.

The initial phase is predominantly lower body, but you also need to 'take the strain' with your upper body ie tense the core, engage your shoulders / back and biceps, without over-using them.

Unless you've got already got strong legs I'd expect you to know that they've been worked, but don't think that it will feel like you've done loads of squats
48 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

gvcormac
1k Poster
Posts: 141
Joined: April 20th, 2022, 10:27 am

Re: New and using my legs

Post by gvcormac » June 24th, 2022, 11:05 am

I'm not sure I've ever felt anything in my legs. They are so much stronger than your arms and back that, although they do the majority of the work, they are not overstressed.

Generally speaking, for any row over a few minutes in length, your heart/lung capacity will be the limiting factor.

Joebasscat
500m Poster
Posts: 97
Joined: February 14th, 2020, 10:05 pm

Re: New and using my legs

Post by Joebasscat » June 24th, 2022, 4:37 pm

Cahuswife wrote:
June 23rd, 2022, 6:30 pm
I’m 61 and not very fit. The rower seems great as low impact and an all-body workout. However in my first few workouts, I don’t feel anything with my legs. I’m pushing off and letting my legs get straight before I lean back and pull with my arms, but my legs are almost fully extended before I feel any resistance. I’m 5’4”. Since I’m starting fitness, I check how I feel later. My abs and arms are a bit sore the next day but for my legs-nothing. I’m pushing off as aggressively as I can manage. My shins are vertical at the catch. Is it my height? Is rowing a lot easier on the legs?
Stroke rate? If you have room to reduce your SPM accompanied by a goal to maintain your current pace, chances are good your legs will join the party. :wink:
63 5’-11” 74kg

jamesg
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3473
Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: New and using my legs

Post by jamesg » June 24th, 2022, 5:05 pm

However in my first few workouts, I don’t feel anything with my legs.
That is one advantage of rowing. We stay seated so don't need to lift our own weight. However a certain specific rowing technique can let us use horizontally something like the vertical forces needed to lift our weight up stairs. Which you could try, if only to see what you're in for. Three flights will do.
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

Popcorn
Paddler
Posts: 24
Joined: March 27th, 2020, 7:49 pm

Re: New and using my legs

Post by Popcorn » July 5th, 2022, 2:07 pm

Just keep working on your form. Practice with some of the videos. Do lots of drills, pick drills, pause drills, etc. Usually I do pause drills stopping at body over in almost every warmup. But once in a while, try pausing at the other points. Or do reverse pick drill where instead of starting with arms only, you just do the catch and push part. I would only do that for a short time though...it tires me out.
Try some of the routines where you start at a certain rate, say 24, and then decrease stroke rate to 22 for one minute but keep the same pace. That means you have to push harder but come up the slide slower. Then drop to 20 and see if you can keep the same pace or close to it. Then 18. Focus on "legs first" and also "hanging off the the handle" ie not pulling with you arms but really feeling the tension as you firm up your core and arms while you push your legs.
As you get more used to rowing, I think you will feel it in your legs. If your legs are strong, then you won't feel it as overwhelming your legs...you are more likely to get tired just from the being out of breath in a hard workout, but you will still feel it.

The rowing motion is a little hard to get the hang of at first. It is very common for people starting out to say they don't feel it in their legs. It's OK. Just keep focusing on form.

Post Reply