Become a Rower Rockstar

April 18, 2016

Hey Gang!

Casey here, and we’re gonna run through some baseline knowledge for using the rower.  Then, we’ll examine some common pitfalls as well as the major key points for tightening up your rowing technique.  IMG_2003

1.) Loosen your foot straps all the way by pushing the buckle toward the outside of the rower.
2.) Adjust the foot bed. The raised portion at the front of the foot bed should rest under the ball of the foot (as shown at the top-left).  I wear a 9.5 men’s shoe and I set my foot bed at 2.
3.) Setting resistance.  Our rowers have a fan inside them, and you can increase or decrease the resistance of the rower by adjusting the damper on the right side of the rower.  Set the pointer to 6 or 7 for a standard resistance, and feel free to jump it up to 10 if you’re form is solid and you’re feeling saucy!

1.) Rowing with a rounded back.  Proper rowing should be executed with a nice straight back throughout the duration of the movements.  Here’s an example of what we would like to avoid.

2.) The early pull.  This means initiating the arm pull before your legs and hips have reached extension.  In other words, we want our arms to remain straight until the last little pull of the entire movement.  This is what an early pull looks like.

3.) The Late Hold.  This is a common pitfall that we see during the recoil after the pulling motion is complete.  The late hold is when we keep our arms flexed while we begin our travel back to the beginning of our row.  Here’s an example!

1.) Beginning position.  Knees bent, back straight, arms straight, shoulders back and down.
2.) The drive sequence.  While maintaining packed shoulders and straight arms and back.
– Straighten your legs first.
– Then extend your hips by driving your torso back.
– Then pull with your arms until the rower handle meets the base or middle of your sternum.
3.) The recoil.  The recoil is the exact opposite sequence of the drive.
– First, straighten your arms.
– Then, flex at the hips to bring your torso forward.
– And lastly, bend your knees to bring you back to the trough of the movement.
4.) Rowing Pace.  Rowing with a high stroke rate doesn’t necessarily equate to a faster row.  In other words, slowwwwww dowwwwwn ;-).  We want to focus on a good strong drive at a stroke rate between 19-24 strokes/min.  Chances are you’ll be able to maintain the same pace (meters/min), while you save some energy by riding just a little bit of the coast at the end of each pull.

Here’s an example of proper rowing technique!
(Disclosure:  I could probably do a little better about getting my legs to full extension before extending my torso back during my drive.)

Have fun.  Train safe.  Get fit.