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. https://ucanrow2.com #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

 

Finish, please!

Today’s post comes courtesy of Certified Rowing Instructor Leeny Hoffman.  You can find her at CrossFit St. Louis, teaching rowing class M, W, F at 8:30 a.m., and blogging regularly about nutrition and rowing on the CrossFit St. Louis blog.  For more technique tips be sure to follow the UCanRow2 video channel and our Trainer Tips page. 

 

 

I was checking out different Crossfit blogs the other day and came across this picture of a rower (not from our gym) getting after it.  I have no doubt that this chick was giving it her all and I’m sure she was killing this row.  But her finish was killing me so I thought I would address it here.  One of my goals as a rowing instructor is to teach proper technique so people are safe and efficient on the erg.  Unfortunately, no one told this gal that she didn’t need to pull the covers up so high.  Her excessive layback at the finish did not increase her stroke power and only added extra, unnecessary movement.  And we all know that rowing is tiring enough without adding more work that doesn’t pay off in meters.

At the finish of the stroke, position your back angle at about 20 degrees, or in the 11:00 position on a clock.  Handle comes to your sternum in a straight line from where it came out of the flywheel.  For you ladies, that is about the bottom of your sports bra.  Guys, we’re talking just at or below your pecs.  Arms are comfortably down at your sides and slightly out, but not chicken winged.  Toes should be pressed firmly into the footplate at the finish, not straining against the footstraps.

To fix excessive layback at the finish, practice rowing unstrapped.  Check out this article from
ergrowing.com:   http://www.ergrowing.com/strapless-erging-will-fix-excessive-layback/.

Below are some proper finish positions from people in the CrossFit St. Louis rowing class.

 

 

"rowing technique"

Jim finishes strong

 

"good rowing technique" "good rowing finish" "Leeny Hoffman"

Leeny Hoffman showing how it's done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your biggest technique pet peeve?  Post it to the comments!

Introducing Personalized Indoor Rowing Technique Reviews

UCanRow2/Concept2 master instructor Terry Smythe gives personal rowing technique reviewDo you have a Concept2 indoor rower at home, or use one at your gym?  Are you a competitive indoor rower who’s interested in improving your performance on the machine?  Maybe you’ve been rowing for a while and would like to brush up on your indoor rowing technique or get new rowing workout ideas.

A new offering from UCanRow2 may be just the ticket: Personalized rowing technique reviews from anywhere in the world with a UCanRow2/Concept2 master instructor via Skype, video or in person.

“Often just a few simple tweaks to a person’s rowing machine technique can make a major difference in the results they get – whether their goals are weight loss, fitness or a personal best in a 2k race,” said UCanRow2’s Terry Smythe, a UCanRow2/Concept2 master instructor.  “Not everyone is able to attend one of our full-day Concept2 Indoor Rowing Basic Course trainings,” she added, “and not everyone wants to learn to teach indoor rowing.  We’re excited to be able to offer this affordable, convenient alternative to people who want to row better and are not looking to teach classes.”

Technique reviews will be led by a UCanRow2/Concept2 master instructor.  In addition to teaching the Indoor Rowing Basic Course trainings, the master instructors all have years of experience teaching people at all skill levels to row on the water and on the rowing machine.  Reviews can be done either via live video (Skype, OoVoo, etc.), by submitting a video clip of your rowing technique or at an in-person session where the master instructors are located (Currently Washington, D.C. area, Chicago, Seattle, Oakland, CA, and Houghton, MI, and coming soon to several other major US cities).

One-hour technique reviews are available for $65 and can be arranged by emailing info@ucanrow2.com.