Crush the Gym With A Rowing Workout Warm Up


Let’s talk workout prep! What’s your typical workout warm up like?


If you’re like most people, left to your own devices you’ll spend less than 5 minutes doing something where you’re randomly moving. You’re like to be paying more attention to the TV, a magazine, or your friend on the machine next to you than you are actually preparing for your workout.


We get it, we’ve all done it. Especially when we’re in a hurry or coming into the workout feeling frazzled and still “buzzing” from the rest of our day.


Here’s our CALL to you: Don’t waste the WORKOUT warm up!


A few minutes of chatter or TV is totally fine and a welcome respite. But after that, you need to get serious about ramping it up.


It’s super important, both physically and mentally.


The warmup is your chance to:


  • prepare your heart, muscles, and joints for the harder effort of the workout ahead


  • refresh your muscle memory and drill into your rowing technique so you can get the most out of your workout and prevent injury (if you’re doing a rowing workout that day


  • shake off the rest of the day and transition mentally into your workout


Your workout time is self-care, friend! Give yourself the gift of giving it your full attention.


Don’t just think you can spend 2 or 3 minutes and call it good, either.


The older we get the more workout warm up we need.  But no matter how old we are, we still need to dedicate at least 5-10 minutes to getting our engine going.


A quick way to tell if you’ve warmed up properly: You’ve broken a sweat by the end of it and you’re breathing a little harder, but you’re not completely out of breath.


Even if your main workout doesn’t involve rowing, the erg and its total-body, non-impact exercise is a fantastic place to prepare for any other kind of effort.


PS: They also make fabulous beginner rowing workouts. Pick one you like, do a round, and check in with how you’re feeling. Then do a second or even a third time through if you’re feeling up for it!


Try This: Workout Warm Up on the Rowing Machine


Here are three warmups we love. They’ll get you ready for your workout, and you’ll have fun doing them, too!


Whichever workout you pick, do a few minutes of easy rowing first. If rowing at full slide (coming all the way to the catch position) doesn’t feel good at the very beginning, this is your chance to warm up into it. Start out rowing at half- or three-quarters slide first!


Want some technique refreshers and drills to work on while you warm up? Our YouTube channel and our RowReady training program are chock-full of drills and other helpful rowing hints.

On to the workouts!

From our RowReady workout program

4 minutes at a stroke rate of 22 strokes per minute

3 minutes at 24 spm

2 minutes at 26 spm

1 minute at 28 spm


From our upcoming book 101 Best Rowing Workouts

For each round, row 10 strokes at the prescribed stroke rate, then 20 strokes at whatever rate feels comfortable for a warmup. On the early rounds, that rate may actually be higher than what you’re doing on the 10 “on” strokes.


Round 1: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 2: 10 strokes at 20 spm

Round 3: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 4: 10 strokes at 22 spm

Round 5: 10 strokes at 24 spm


An on-water rowing classic

Total time: 15 mins (approx.)

1 stroke hard, one easy

2 strokes hard, two easy

And so on up to 10 strokes hard, 10 easy


No prescribed stroke rates here, just do what feels like a good effort on the hard strokes and catch your breath on the easy strokes.


BONUS: Row Along With This Workout Warm up

Do the all-important pick drill plus a stroke rate pyramid with Master Instructor (and Olympian) Heather Alschuler! Ready to row in under 10 minutes!



Try these warmups and let us know in the comments which one was your favorite!


Want to add on a full-on workout after the warmup?

These should do the trick:


UCanRow2 Basic Workouts

Meter Monster & Flywheel Frenzy training programs

Monster Meter endurance rowing workouts






3 Reasons to Consider a Rest Day

Updated June 19, 2019


If all you ever do is go go go, you're missing out on the physical and emotional benefits of a break. Try a rest day or three and watch your performance improve. #rowingtraining #restday #crosstraining #indoorrowing


When was the last time you took a rest day or an even longer break from your workouts or your regular routine in another way?  Like the kind where you literally DO NOTHING, and you planned it that way.


If your answer is “Uhhh, I don’t remember my last rest day,” or “training breaks are for wusses,” this is your invitation to rethink that.


I can get pretty competitive about pretty much everything, but I recently called for a timeout and did some on-water rows purely for fun. Our summers are so short in the Upper Peninsula, I just wanted to slow down for a minute and enjoy it.


If you could be inside my head you would know that that’s an enormous change.  Normally I’m all about having some sort of a workout to do, or at least a bunch of drills, whether I’m training for a race or not.


But by slowing down and NOT having a goal in mind beyond getting some fresh air and enjoying being on the water, I had an amazing, mood-boosting time and got to take in the scenery, including watching an eagle float overhead and seaplanes take off.


Point being: You miss a whole lot of life if the way you’re living is all grind, all the time.


Life’s too short for that, friends.


If you need more reasons to look at taking the pedal off the gas and give yourself a rest day – or two or six – here are three:


1. As we say about training, “You progress in the rest.” The workout is the stimulus for change, but the recovery IS the change. That’s when the muscles are resting and growing after being stressed.


Something to keep in mind: The general rule is you need at least 48 hours to recover from a workout, with full recovery not seen until 72 to 96 hours later.  The older we get, the longer the recovery time, by the way.


2. Rest helps you keep your mental edge: A little time off from the gym will do wonders for your performance when you do get back to it. By the way, “a little time off” doesn’t have to mean a rest day or two a week.  If your mental or physical performance is really suffering, maybe you need to take a break of a week or more.


Unless you’re training for something right now (and even if you are) we promise the world won’t come to an end if your weight or erg session becomes a day at the pool, an easy breezy walk or bike ride, or an afternoon in a comfy chair with a good book.


You’d have to do nothing for two weeks or more before you’d really feel the effects of any deconditioning. So kick back and relax, the world’s not coming to an end.


3. Rest prevents injury: By resting you prevent overuse, and that in turn prevents injury.  Want to lose ground? Tear a rotator cuff or pop your Achilles. Then you’ll REALLY be resting.


We worship “the hustle” in the United States, often to our detriment.  If all you’re doing is going, going, going, whether in your workouts, your work, or some other aspect of your life, you will eventually break down. Bet money on it.


How to make the most of your rest day or days


3 good reasons why taking some time off from working out might be just what you need. #training #overtraining 1. SLEEP IN – Nothing helps you restore your hard-worked muscles like some good shut-eye.

2. BUMP UP THE PROTEIN – It’ll help you rebuild that muscle you damaged in your workout.

3. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE – We need hydration ALL the time, not just when we’re working out or being active.  Don’t worry about some scientific calculation of how much to drink. If you’re peeing clear, you’re good.


So consider this your hall pass to go find a hammock or a cozy couch and a big old glass of lemonade.  We’ll see you there!


Questions? Thoughts? Hit us up in the comments, we’ll get back to you asap … probably from the couch.


Want more ideas like this? Subscribe to our newsletter, we send out fresh workouts, technique tips and thoughts to row by every week!

Rowing Workouts for the Dog Days Challenge

Dog Days of Summer 2015 rowing challenge

The Concept2 Dog Days of Summer Challenge has begun!  This one starts out easily, with a goal of only 10,000 meters total skied or rowed in the whole week.  Easy peasy compared to the 40,000-meter target you have to hit in the last week of the month.  As with all of Concept2’s online challenges, it’s a good idea to have a strategy for how you’re going to approach the month.

Intrepid rowers/skiers and long-distance/rowing endurance fans may like to hit the goal all at once.  And really, why not try a marathon or half-marathon during the month if you’ve got a good base?  This is also a challenge that lets you count your on-water or on-snow meters, so if that’s an option for you definitely take advantage … and send us pics!

But if you’re a rowing instructor with classes to teach or you like more variety in your SkiErg and indoor rowing workouts, try splitting up the distance over several workouts.  Here are a couple of sample workouts we’ve done at the UCanRow2 Bodyshop during the first week of the challenge.  Obviously you can increase the distances or add more workouts to meet the goals of subsequent weeks.

Let us know what you do, and we’ll share more of ours, too!


Workout #1

Row, SkiErg or mix 3 rounds of 1112 meters (use the undefined rest feature on the monitor)

In between do:

15, 12, 10 reps of:

Dumbbell rows
KB cleans
Mountain climbers


Workout #2

Row/Ski/Mix 4 rounds of 834 meters (with undefined rest)

In between choose 3-4 of the following exercises, and perform them in descending reps:

12, 10, 8, 6 reps of:

Push press
Tire flips/wallballs
TRX sweeps
200m run

What’s your challenge strategy or fave workout? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to share it with the world!

Upcoming Indoor Rowing Certification

Looking for our latest indoor rowing certification class rundown?  GO HERE

UCanRow2 certifies indoor rowing instructors across the US and Canada


Get your sweat on and get certified!  Give us a day at our indoor rowing certification and we’ll give you all the fundamentals of teaching indoor rowing on the Concept2 rowing machine.  Certified indoor rowing instructors are more credible and are in high demand.  Why?  Because they have what it takes to help their students get their best results.


As one of our recent rowing training attendees puts it, “Certifications aren’t just for knowledge, they’re for networking, brainstorming and experience sharing in our overwhelming world of fitness.  We don’t have time to work out and experiment on our own to learn the best about new workouts.  So why not rely on our peer professionals?”


Here’s the list of upcoming indoor rowing certification trainings.  Don’t see the location you want?  Let us know in the comments or by email to  We’re always up for adding more dates and locations.  There’s a lot of bad rowing to be fixed out there!


Need more information on indoor rowing certification? Visit our Instructors page and our FAQ.







Row Like an Olympian: Favorite Rowing Workouts From a London Medalist

Indoor rowing is hotter than ever! Awesome, but where do you begin if you’re just getting started with the sport?  And what about if you’re ready to ramp it up? We asked Natalie Dell O’Brien for her thoughts.  She ought to know, she was in the first boat ever to medal for the US in the women’s quad sculls event, at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Check out her story, and some suggested rowing workouts: 


Headshot of Natalie Dell O'Brien, bronze medalist in rowing at the 2012 London Olympic Games In high school, I was athletic but uncoordinated. Aggressive and powerful but clumsy by nature, I could run the basketball court all day but missed the majority of the shots I took. During soccer, the more nimble girls could easily place the ball in the top corner of the goal while I jumped out of the way as it came whizzing by.


I started running and hitting the weight room. A strange combination, but they were simple tasks and I excelled.  Repetition and power were my strong suit. As I shipped off to college, I sought out a sport that combined the repetition of running with the power of the weight room. When I tried out for the rowing team my freshman year, it was love at first sight. Eight years later, I made the Olympic rowing team and won a bronze medal with my three boat mates.


No matter how much experience I gained in the sport, it was never easy – which is what makes rowing such an incredible, character-building exercise. There’s always a different technique to learn or a new twist on a workout to try.


Whether you’ve been on the rowing machine for years or are giving it a shot for the first time, don’t be afraid to try something new. Here are a few rowing workout plans to get you started but before attempting, make sure you check with an instructor (preferably a certified instructor) on the correct rowing technique. This is a must!


1)    2×20 “steady state” at 20-22 strokes per minute, 5 minutes rest:  While training with the national team, most of our time was spent building our base fitness. This involved a lot of long, steady workouts on the rowing machine. These types of workouts, while not “all out,” strengthen your core muscles and increase your fitness. Stay at a low stroke rate and focus on your technique and breathing. How hard should you go? Easy enough that you can talk to your workout buddy if you need to, but hard enough that you’re breathing heavy in between your words. If you’re not ready for a full 40-minute workout on the rower, no problem. Just work your way up by starting with 2×10 minutes or 2×15 minutes.


2)    1 minute on, 1 minute off x 15, at 26 strokes per minute: After warming up for 10-15 minutes, start off by doing the first 2 or 3 minutes at a 24, working up to a 26 by the fourth minute. The minute “on” should be at 80% of your maximum effort (so, make sure you’re not going 100% max effort). The purpose of this workout is to get comfortable with going harder without losing your technique. Feeling ready for a bigger challenge? Add on a second set of 15 minutes, after taking 5 minutes rest after the first set.


3)    4×1,500 meters, starting at a 24 and increasing 2 strokes per minute every 500 meters, 5 minutes rest: You’ve had a few steady state workouts under your belt, now you’re ready to bump that heart rate up! This one will do the trick. After a 10-15 minute warm-up, set the monitor for 1,500 meters and start out at 24 strokes per minute. When you cross the 1,000-meter mark, ease your stroke rating up to 26 strokes per minute. And as you come into the last 500 meters, give it another bump to 28. The key? Pacing and technique. As your stroke rating comes up – along with your heart rate – stay focused on maintaining your technique. Don’t forget to record your time so that you can monitor your progress next time!



Remember, always keep an eye on your technique as you introduce harder and harder workouts. Challenge yourself to focus on what your body does, even as your heart rate climbs higher through the workout.  Ready to row? Grab a friend and head down to the studio, boathouse or gym!


Natalie Dell O’Brien is a former national team member and competed on the 2010, 2011 and 2012 USA Rowing Teams. She and her teammates won a bronze medal in the women’s quad sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Happily retired from elite athletics, Natalie now lives in San Francisco with her husband Conor and is a public speaker and social marketing strategist in the tech industry in Silicon Valley. You can follower her on Twitter at NatalieDellOB.


Try these, and then let us know your favorites.  Got a favorite workout you’d like to share?  Post it in the comments!  Want more rowing workouts?  We’ve got those too!  And don’t miss Natalie’s Ted Talk about the value of losing.  Great stuff! 


Meters and More Rowing Workout

Fall Team Challenge 2013
The Concept2 Fall Team Challenge has begun!  From now until Oct. 15th, join or create a team and row as many meters as you can.

We have lots of meter munching SkiErg and rowing workouts and will be posting more, but here’s one we did to kick it off.  Lots of meters, plus variety, and a GREAT sweat.

Warm up well, then do the following:

10 minute row or ski
1-5 dumbbell snatch pyramid
10 pushups

8 minute row or ski
50 sit-ups
15 air squats

6 minute row or ski
Run 450 meters
15 frog jumps
10 push ups

4 minute row or ski
10 KB swings
10 KB high pulls
10 KB cleans

2 minute row or ski SPRINT


Be sure to record your meters in your online logbook, and if you need a team to row with we want YOU on Team UCanRow2!

Try this and tell us how it went in the comments – total time for the workout and your total meters, average splits if you care to share.  Got a favorite erg workout?  We want that too!

5 Keys to Nailing the Half-Marathon Row

Updated June 20, 2019

Is a half-marathon row on your agenda? Try these tips to help you survive and thrive. We include a half-marathon strategy as well. #halfmarathon #halfmarathonrow #ucanrow2



So you want to do a half-marathon row on the rowing machine… “They’ve done it at The CrossFit Games,” you say to yourself.  Or maybe Concept2’s Global Marathon Challenge or the Solstice rows have hit your radar screen.


It’s definitely a doable goal, but you’ll need to train for it and have a strategy in place for when the big day comes.  You’re looking at spending a couple of hours on the rowing machine (or SkiErg or BikeErg) so preparation is key.


If you’ve never done one before, the aim is plain and simple: Your goal is to finish. Period. If it helps you to have a race plan (see #4 below), then go for it, but the idea on the first time out is simply to get a baseline for how long it takes you to do this distance and how you feel throughout.


The Concept2 Rankings for your age group can give you a sense for what your time might be but if it’s your first half it’s a personal best no matter what, so don’t worry about breaking world records right now.


[Tweet “Doing your first half marathon on the @concept2? Your goal is to finish, first and foremost. Here’s a race plan:” #rowing #skierg #concept2]




additional tips to help you make the most of the half-marathon row:

1. Work Up to It – In a perfect world you would work up over weeks or months to those long rows (You wouldn’t jump out and run 13.1 miles with no training, would you?).   Rowed or run, 21,097 meters is a long way and it’s nothing to mess around with.  Build up to the half-marathon row distance, and don’t try it until you can row at least 10k comfortably at a challenging pace.


2. Be Merciless About Your Technique – Bad rowing technique is never good but done poorly, a row of this distance could have serious repercussions.  Not to mention affecting your final time.  Review our video on the basics of the rowing stroke,  watch an expert row, and heed the mantra Legs, Body, Arms; Arms, Body, Legs.


3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – In more than an hour of rowing you will almost certainly need water, and maybe even some food.  Do it, as early and often as needed!  It’s also perfectly fine to put the handle down and even get off the machine and stretch if you need to.  You will have at least a minute before the monitor goes off.


4. Pace Yourself – Don’t Fly and Die – Resist the temptation to go out hard and fast and use up all your energy at the beginning of the piece.  A row of this distance will take you more than an hour, it’s critical to take that into consideration when you put together your race plan (See #5).


5. Have a Plan, Stick to the Plan – On-water rowers always have a plan for how they’re going to row the race.  The same is true for indoor rowing, be it a 500-meter row, a 2k, or a half-marathon.  If you can, test your approach in advance of the real race.  What works for one rower doesn’t always work for another.


here’s a half-marathon row race strategy:

Divide the row into five segments, four of about 5k each and a final sprint to the finish.  Plan to row almost the whole distance at 24-26 strokes per minute.  Use power-10 or -20 strokes every 1k or so to beat boredom and help you stay on pace.


First 5k: Warm into the row and find a challenging pace that you can also sustain.  Use this time to settle into the row and decide what you think you can do for splits today (Then see if you can surprise yourself!).
Middle 10k: Keep chipping away at the distance, aiming to drop 5 seconds off your split.
Fourth 5k: Try to drop another few seconds off your split if you can, and decide your goal split for the final sprint.
Last 500-1000 meters: HAMMER DOWN!  Here’s where you let it loose and empty the tank.  The finish line is in sight, give it all you’ve got!


When you’re done be sure to paddle down, drink water, and let your heart rate return to normal, then get off the machine, drink water, and do some good stretching.  Lastly, drink water and record your time in your Concept2 logbook.  It will rank your time automatically and give you a link to a printable certificate of completion and souvenir goodies available from the C2 online store.


Not bad for a couple of hours of work!


5 tips to help you nail your next half-marathon row #halfmarathon #indoorrowing #rowingmachine #ucanrow2 #rowing #endurance Need more workouts to build your cardio base?






Questions? Ask them in the comments below.  Half-marathon veterans, share your race strategies. We’d love to know what’s working for you!


For further reading

Tricks to Dominate Endurance Rowing Workouts


Monster Meter Workouts

Rowing Technique: Dial in Your Damper Setting

Updated July 22, 2018





How many times have you walked over to the rowing machine at the gym and found the damper set at 10, or put it there yourself?  If rowing seems like a whole lot of pain and very little gain, that may just be why.


Experienced rowers, and certified indoor rowing instructors know that setting the damper at 10 is the way to create a rowing workout that’s a slog, and one that most likely will be the absolute opposite of fun or energizing.


Who needs that, especially when it’s not the least bit necessary??


Take a walk around the rows of ergs at the C.R.A.S.H-B rowing championships and you’ll find many machines set much lower, anywhere between 2 and 5.  You see, generating power on the rowing machine is all about connecting the parts of the stroke.  It’s NOT about creating more resistance just because you can.


Damper setting video

UCanRow2 Master Instructor Cassi Niemann explains it beautifully in this video:






when a high damper setting makes sense

There are a couple of exceptions to the low-damper rule:


1) Larger or heavier athletes (weight-loss clients or muscle-bound rowers with big thighs, for example) may need a higher damper setting in order to feel some resistance from the machine.  This is because at a lower setting their own bodyweight does most of the work so they don’t have to put in any extra effort to move the flywheel.  In these cases, a higher setting that adds more load can be the ticket to a great sweat.


2) To teach power application: Rowing at a higher damper setting – for short periods and ONLY at a low stroke rating (below 20 strokes per minute) – is also a useful way to teach any rower to develop power through correct engagement and to help them dial in their rowing technique.


When you row at a high damper setting, you’re essentially picking up a dead flywheel every stroke.  Doing this without risking injury requires you to have impeccable technique: You need to make sure that you’re using your legs and not your back to initiate the drive.


Want a rowing workout that will help you play with damper setting and connect these dots?  Try this:

Chad Row

Warm up then do 2-3 rounds of the following:

Damper   Time     SPM
10             6 mins     18
8.5            5 mins     20
7                4 mins     22
5                3 mins     24
3               2 mins     26
1                1 min       28

3-minute paddle rest between rounds.  Remember to focus intently on your technique and posture – let the drive come from your legs and core engagement.

For more reading: Concept2 damper setting page
Find a certified indoor rowing instructor
Get certified to teach indoor rowing

What questions do you have about damper setting?  Post them to the comments and we’ll answer!

Beat Boredom With a Playground Rowing Warm Up

Warm up your workout with hopscotch and skipping

Does the sound of yet another 3k rowing warm up make you want to stick needles in your eyes?  Or has your usual warmup turned into a chatfest because your students are getting a little too comfortable with the steady-state routine?

Boredom is the enemy of progress, even in the warmup.  Mix it up! Try getting outside and back on the “playground” for your next rowing workout warm up.

Off-erg warmups in general are a super smart – and super fun – way to get your athletes prepped and sweaty for a good SkiErg or rowing workout.  A fast-paced round of moves like jumping jacks, skipping and hopscotch will get your students’ blood pumping and warm up the key muscles used in rowing.  These moves also offer some important work on balance, agility and coordination, which are critical as we age.   practice.  That one is especially important if you’re doing senior fitness, but really everyone can use it.



Try a Playground Warmup

Option 1:

We are fortunate at the UCanRow2 Bodyshop to have a 450-meter loop around our gym.  To do this warmup, walk or jog the first loop.  On the second time around break it up about every 25 meters with moves including air squats, jumping jacks, backwards walking or running, lunges or hopscotch.

If you want to ramp it up, use dumbbells and do a lap with farmer’s carries, waiter walks, etc.  It helps that the Bodyshop loop ends with a deceptively challenging hill, but even on a flat track you could make this a great warmup.

Option 2:

First do a few minutes of jogging or walking to get loose. Then set up a 25-30-yard course.  Do the following moves, in order:

2 lengths heel-to-toe steps (rolling up on the toes, practicing balance)
2 lengths high knees touching opposite elbow to knee
2 lengths side shuffle, tagging the ground at the end of each length
2 lengths karaoke, touching the ground at the end of each length
4 lengths run backwards, sprint forwards
2 lengths frog jumps

On with the workout!

What’s your favorite warmup, playground or otherwise? Tell us in the comments and we’ll share!


Your Rowing Technique Mantra: Legs, Body, Arms – Arms, Body, Legs

Are you ready to improve your rowing technique? Use this six-word mantra and start rowing like a boss. #rowing #rowingtechnique #indoorrowing #rowingmachine #concept2 #rowinghumor #row
























Updated Aug. 13, 2018


The rowing machine is finally getting its due.  Hallelujah! Where once it was the Rodney Dangerfield of the fitness world, sitting sad and lonely in a corner of the gym, the machine that on-water rowers have used for decades has become the IT home and gym fitness machine.


Today, with the arrival of indoor rowing in studios, gyms, CrossFit boxes and homes around the world, people are starting to pay a whole lot more attention to this wonder of a total-body fitness machine.  That growth is a great thing, but it also means that there’s a lot of bad rowing technique out there.


At UCanRow2 we’re on a mission to stop bad rowing, in part by helping to demistify it.  Yes, you can absolutely become a complete rowing nerd and analyze every little bit of your stroke.  Rowers and coaches alike at facilities like the Craftsbury Outdoor Center love to do that. Indeed, it’s a great part of the sport: the relentless pursuit of the perfect stroke.


how to simplify the rowing stroke


Too often, people make indoor rowing sound much harder than it has to be, both in terms of the effort required to get good results and the technique needed to get there.  Sure, there are plenty of finer points to rowing technique that can make it challenging.  Golf is the same way.  But both are fun, even if you don’t have everything mastered.



Yes, you can use the erg as your personal torture device (ask anyone who’s ever rowed 2000 meters for time) but the rowing machine is good for so much more than that.  Whether you want to row hard or just take it easy, the rowing machine is there for you.  It will meet you where you are, and then take you as far as you want to go.


Your 6-word rowing technique mantra: Legs-Body-Arms, Arms-Body-Legs


The basic rowing motion is pretty simple, especially when you learn it from someone who’s been trained to teach it to you.


Our Certified Indoor Rowing Instructors preach a mantra of “legs, body, arms – arms, body, legs” as a quick way to remember the flow of the rowing stroke and which body parts move when.


More specifically, from the catch you drive back with the legs, then begin to swing your back towards the rear of the machine, until your torso is roughly at an 11:00 position on a clock.  Then and only then (once you feel resistance on the chain) do you start to pull back with the arms.


On the recovery, you first release your arms out, then swing forward to 1:00 with your back, and begin to move your legs, only after the handle is past your knees.  We call that “boxing out,” or creating a frame for your knees to pop up into.


the relentless pursuit of perfect rowing technique


Nail your indoor rowing technique with this 6-word mantra. We give you a rowing machine video to walk you through it as well. #rowingtechnique #rowingmachine #indoorrowing #ucanrow2

You may be concerned that your rowing technique isn’t “perfect.”  Congratulations, you’re a rower!  The pursuit of the perfect rowing stroke is as elusive and constant as that of the perfect golf swing.


Remember how we said that you will hear rowers all the way from novices up to Olympians discussing the stroke’s finer points and what they’re working on? That’s your cue to stop worrying about having perfect technique. Work on one technique element at a time and have oodles and oodles of patience.


INSTRUCTORS: The same applies to your indoor rowing students.  Give them just one technique thing to work on at a time. Otherwise you risk overwhelming them, and then they won’t come back. First and foremost, rowing class has to be FUN.



Most of us grew up walking, running and biking but NOT rowing.  So it makes all the sense in the world that getting the technique down would take practice.  No worries! We’re working on ours right along with you.


For a visual breakdown of the stroke and the technique mantra, watch UCanRow2 Master Instructor Cassie Niemann, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel:



Legs, body, arms — arms, body, legs.  Stick with that and you will be well on your way to erging like the pros — and having the physique to prove it.


NEED A rowing workout Plan?

It’s one thing to sit down on the machine and start pulling on the handle.  It’s another to have a plan that’s been put together by the experts. The Meter Monster and Flywheel Frenzy workout programs are designed to help you stay consistent with your workouts and give you a plan to follow, whether you row solo at home or the gym, or you teach rowing class.


Got questions about your rowing technique? We have a bunch of training tips you can check out, or post your question below and we’ll get a master instructor to answer it.  Want to find a certified rowing instructor in your area, check our list.  Want to become one yourself? Hop on over to our instructors page and find out how.


further reading AND VIEWING on rowing technique:


Rowing Technique: Perfecting the Stroke

Trainer Tips

VIDEO: Row Along With This Indoor Rowing Warmup

VIDEO: Indoor Rowing Basics