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Rowing Tips

By Jake | In Rowing | on June 15, 2013


Happy Birthday Kevin! Always smiling and having a good time. Enjoy your day!!!

Happy Birthday Kevin! Always smiling and having a good time. Enjoy your day!!!

Last week Alia and I hosted 3 different rowing workshops. We had a decent turn out on both days. The folks that attend were able to improve their technique and really felt the difference on how they rowed before, during, and after the workshop. For those that missed out, I would like to share some tips with you so that we all can get the benefit of a proper rowing technique. Below you will find the 4 phases of a proper row. They are called the bottom/catch, drive, finish, and recovery.

Let’s start from the bottom up. When placing our feet on the footrests we need to adjust the stretchers. Our big toe should rest comfortably on the toe piece. If your toe hangs over the piece or under the piece you can expect to have less power on your drive out of the bottom of the row. Imagine doing a dead lift or clean without having your toes in contact with the floor. It would be very difficult to generate the necessary power and momentum to get the bar off the ground. Needless to say, you need to have a sturdy base when beginning the pull. Our shoulders are down and back, the lats are constantly engaged and the arms are locked out. The shins are as vertical, or as vertical as the ankles will allow. The head is neutral and never is tossed back.

Out of the bottom position we begin the drive phase which leads into the finish. We can compare the drive to the first and second pulls of a clean. During the first pull we want the arms straight (arms bend the power ends). As the knees extend and the handle of the row nears the middle of the quads or hips then comes the second pull where the arms can now bend to finish the drive. At this point the body angle is about 90 degrees and just about over the hips. As the drive phase continues into the finish the body will be changed to just above 90 degrees since we now have a slight lean back. Meanwhile, the handle of the row has reached its end point by briefly stopping at the top of the abdominals. The glutes should be activated or squeezed in the finish position. Same concept when finishing a dead lift with activated glutes so the hips can fully be open.

The recovery phase is the return to the bottom/catch position. The arms must be locked out first, the body will begin its lean towards 90 and 45 degrees, and finally the legs will bend at the knees. This will create a smooth transition back to the bottom.

If anyone has additional questions don’t be afraid to ask me or Coach Alia.

WOD 06.15.2013
In Teams of 3
2 Rounds:
100m Tire Flips
30 Medball Slam & Pass
60 Team Box Jumps
Row 1500 m

Bonus Round:
Crossfit Limbo

3 Comments to "Rowing Tips"

  • Tom D. says:

    June 16, 2013 at 8:11 AM -

    Happy Birthday Kevin, enjoy your day!

  • Tina says:

    June 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM -


  • Holley says:

    June 17, 2013 at 5:31 PM -

    Happy belated Birthday Kevin!!! Hope it was a good one!

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