How to Row Properly in 5 Easy Steps

Error: Excessive layback at the end of the stroke is inefficient. Lean back only to about the 11-o’clock position on a clock.[/caption] Saw today’s article in the Winnipeg Free Press? Those were our athletes featured in the picture! Rowing is indeed making a comeback, and we’ve been teaching people how to pull properly since 2009. We can help you learn to row with great form so you can maximize your time, whether your goal is to burn calories, lose weight, tone muscles or improve cardiorespiratory endurance. To get you started, here are a few quick tips  that will set you up for success on the machine. 1. Your spine should not move when you row. Engage all your core muscles–all the muscles in your torso–and hold your spine rigid. Your back should be neither rounded nor hyperextended. Try to brace your spine in a natural “neutral” position. You will not be able to hold your spine exactly neutral, and some slight rounding in the upper back is acceptable. That said, the spine should not move at all during the pull. The movement is only at the knees, hips and arms. [caption id="attachment_3761" align="alignright" width="275"]Over-reaching puts you in a poor position to pull. A longer stroke is not always the most efficient stroke. Error: Over-reaching can put excessive stress on the spine.[/caption] 2. Hold the handle with arms extended and drive your feet into the foot pads, extending the knees. Remember: the spine should not move. 3. As your knees reach full extension, begin to lean back from the hips. Lean back only to about “11 o’clock” on a clock face–no further. 4. The arms finish the stroke and bring the handle to the torso–but it’s the legs that provide most of the power. Emphasizing the arm pull is inefficient and ignores the most powerful muscles in the body. 5. Return in reverse: At the end of the stroke, the hands extend first, then lean forward to about “1 o’clock” on a clock face, then bend the knees and slide forward until the shins are perpendicular to the floor. That’s where the next stroke starts. [caption id="attachment_2966" align="alignright" width="275"]Error: Opening the hips too soon. Think about straightening your legs before you open your hips in the rowing stroke. Error: Opening the hips too soon. Think about straightening your legs before you open your hips in the rowing stroke.[/caption] This is just a brief intro, but it’s enough to get you started. Additional things to consider are stroke rate, damper setting, monitor usage and specific rowing workouts designed to help you meet your fitness goals. To book a free No-Sweat intro session in which our experts can tell you how we can help you accomplish those goals, call Crystal at 204-880-1001. To view our personal-training services, click here.


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