Start Thinking About "How" You Row

This article is about how to maximise efficiency and minimise injury risk on the rowing ergo.

Rowing, like running, is something people dive into head first.

Unfortunately, it's cardio so most people don't take the time to think about technique. They just yank on the handles and read the numbers.

Well, if you've experienced back pain, or just can't seem to improve your rowing splits, we might have found the reason.

I'm by no means a rowing expert. But here's a few simple things you can do to clean up that technique.

1- Drive with the legs.

I once heard a rowing coach say rowing is 60% legs, 30% midline (body), 10% arms. Most people are probably 40-40 midline-arms, and 20% legs.

2- Sit up tall and lean back.

Most people row hunched over with a forward lean. If you follow any of our work, you'll know this is a compromised breathing position. Open up and lean back.

3- Breathe IN on the recovery phase. Breathe OUT on the drive phase.

The drive phase is when you are pulling on the handles and pushing away from the screen. You can get into a pretty good rhythm if you take the time to focus on your breath during rowing (and any ergo for that matter).

4- Think "legs, body, arms... arms, body, legs"

You should be constantly thinking about this pattern - especially as a beginner. The drive phase = legs first, then body, then arms. When you're recovering on the way back in, you do the opposite = arms first, then body, then legs.

The main aim of this post is to bring some awareness to your technique. If you normally jump in and go hell for leather, you'll be leaking energy and loading structures, like the low back, to the extent they shouldn't be (leading to niggles and potential injuries).

Obviously, I'm no expert. But there is plenty of expert tutorials on YouTube. Have a geez at those for more direction.



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