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How to Maintain a Rowing Machine

Maintenance Before and After Each Workout

    Look over the machine to make certain all parts, including chains, wires, screws, handles and seats, are in working order and attached properly before your workout. Parts that are worn down will need to be replaced.

    Test the machine by doing a few slow reps before you begin your actual workout to ensure the machine is running smoothly and cleanly.

    Row as recommended by the instructions for your particular rowing machine. Using the rowing machine in the incorrect way can wear down parts of the rowing machine faster and even damage the machine.

    Press any buttons on the machine gently as these are often one of the first parts to wear away or break.

    Clean the machine with a cloth or towel after your workout to remove any sweat and oils that can build up. Clean the seat track to ensure a smooth row the next time you exercise.

Monthly/Yearly Maintenance

    Tighten all bolts and screws, which can become loose during exercise vibration and normal use.

    Dust and clean the machine thoroughly, using mild household cleaners and a rag. Clean in every nook and cranny as well as under every part.

    Oil any parts of your machine that may need to be regularly lubricated with a common household lubricant to cut down on friction and experience a smoother workout.

    Replace parts that see a lot of wear and tear once a year, particularly weak parts such as the rowing string or wire, if applicable. It can be dangerous to use weak parts, which may break at any time.

    Move the machine carefully and ask another person to help, if necessary. Dropping the machine or roughly handling it can result in damage.

    Store the rowing machine in a dry area to prevent rusting and lying flat on the ground or folded up in the position recommended by the manufacturer.


  • Only use parts approved for use on your particular make and model. Using other parts can result in injury or damage to the machine.

Things Needed

  • Replacement parts if necessary
  • Cloth or towel
  • Household cleaner
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Household lubricant

About the Author

A graduate student in Boston, MA, Michael Kay has been a professional writer for over five years. After working in political communications, he began working as a copywriter for a national advertising agency based in Chicago. His work can be found in college textbooks, corporate marketing materials and across the Web. He has a Bachelor of Arts in magazine feature writing from Ball State University.

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