Rowing… It’s a love hate relationship for many. Becoming a better rower, techniquewise, can help performance in your workouts AND help the “feel” of the movement.
This video is a part of our movement tip series. These videos will help you continue to work on form and technique so that you’re getting the most out of the movements. We discuss all these tips in class, but sometimes focusing on one exercise at a time can help us fine tune even more.
Rowing has what I like to call 2 phases: the drive (or pull) and the recovery (the catch). It is important to think about these 2 phases to get the most out of your rowing… AKA make your rowing more efficient so you aren’t thinking, “why the heck is this so hard and I’m not getting anywhere?!”
Rowing should definitely get that heart rate up in a workout, but you shouldn’t be spinning your wheels so to speak. You know…that feeling where you are supposed to row 20 calories but suddenly feel exhausted and are only on calorie number 7!
Here are my tips for a more efficient row:
- Keep those pedal straps nice and tight across your feet.
- Use an overhand, relaxed grip on the handle.
- Use your legs to begin the drive. The seat and handlebar should move together in this part of the movement. (Legs begin the movement and arms finish the pull.)
- Don’t straighten your legs out too soon. The movement should be fluid.
- No chicken wing rows! Keep those elbows in close to the body and squeeze those shoulder blades with each pull.
- Finish each pull all the way to your sternum. Torso can be leaning back slightly (30 degrees).
- Inhale and control your breathing during the recovery phase (the return to “the catch” or starting position).
- Beginners should have the damper at 3-5 to learn technique. Once technique is down, you will find the best damper setting for you. I recommend rowing between a 7-8. Try and avoid a 10!
- Rowing should be a continuous movement with a slight pause between the 2 phases. Your seat should never start moving forward until you have completed a full pull.
- Think explosive!!! Push those legs against the foot pads as hard as you can with each row. You should hear that fly wheel get louder and louder with each pull.
See video above to watch these tips in action!
Need additional help on other movements?? View other videos in our movement series and/or ask a coach in your next class. We are here to help!