Tips for Rowers

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A successful indoor rowing class, personal training session, workout or WOD depends on having the right equipment in the right condition.  That combined with the right technique and the right attitude (Hint: Smile!).

Check here often for tips from our UCanRow2/Concept 2 master instructors that will help you give and get your best workout on the rowing machine, SkiErg or BikeErg.

Rowing Technique Tips For Individual Rowers/Skiers

To ease up on a tight grip on the erg handle think, “Fingers loose, play the piano.” – Master Instructor Heather Alschuler

If you have rowers who drop their hands as they come into the catch, have them pull the handle straight back to the finish and place a piece of colored tape on the chain guard to mark the correct chain height. alternatively, put a water bottle at the latch in between the foot flexors. If the rower knocks over the bottle, the chain is too low.

Check your damper setting when you get on the rowing machine and make sure it’s where you want it. The recommended range for the damper is 1 to 5 on the rowing machine.

If the monitor on your rowing machine or SkiErg is turning off quickly the batteries may be running low. Check them by going from the main menu into More Options > Utilities > Battery.

If the monitor goes off before you can record your meters you can always check them under More Options > Memory.

Want to brush up on your indoor rowing technique? Bookmark and watch the Concept2 indoor rowing technique video. And don’t forget the How to Row feature on the monitor, which can be found from the main menu under Information.

Rowing workouts: Next workout try rowing low to isolate your legs and work the lower body. Row to your meter target at a stroke rate between 18 and 22 strokes per minute. Concentrate on keeping a consistent split, exploding off the legs on the drive, a slow-as-molasses recovery that keeps your stroke rate down, and a fluid motion with your hands and arms throughout, beginning to move slowly up the slide as your hands approach your knees on the recovery. If you’re doing it right you’ll be sweating even though it’s slow. As they say in on-water rowing, “If you can’t row well low, you can’t row well high!”

Use the target game on the monitor to help develop your stroke consistency. From the main menu go to Games and select Target Training. How many times in a row can you hit the target?

If you’re thinking about training for a competitive sprint like a 2,000 meter indoor rowing competition, be sure that you can first comfortably row at least 10,000 meters so you’re prepared for the effort you’ll put into the 2k rowing training.

Indoor rowing and skiing tax your posterior muscle groups most (shoulders, lats). Remember to balance that work with push-ups (modified as-needed to meet your fitness level) and stretching of the back, chest and shoulders.

If you’re new to the erg, your first week of rowing should be rows of 15-30 minutes focusing on perfecting your stroke. Once you’re confident you have the technique down then you can start to play with applying pressure to your workouts.

Technique Tips For Skiers

If you’re just getting started on the SkiErg set your damper at 0 and aim to do no more than 5 minutes at first, at a stroke rate somewhere in the upper 30s to low 40s, and build up from there as your fitness improves.