More ROW Technique = Less Effort

Christina Flashback

Rowing Technique


Rowing… who needs technique? Just pull the damn thing right? wrong! Efficiency is key in rowing, especially in longer rows and in metcons. In being efficient, you can preserve more energy for whatever is paired in the WOD. There are a few common mistakes we see on the rower and typically they start with the setup or catch. Rowing is a pull exercise, not a push. Therefore we should be loading our hamstrings and posterior chain, similar to a deadlift. As you can see in the first picture, Chuck has a good amount of space in-between his butt and his feet, he is leaning and reaching in but still maintaining his hollow position so he can effectively transfer power from his legs to his upper body and ultimately to the Erg chain. Often times, we will see athletes with their butts to close to their feet, simulating squatting on the rower. In doing so, we are unable to involve our powerful hip extensors and often end up with a weak pull around the knees.


The next step is a powerful extension of the hips and push with the legs. The legs produce the force in the row.


After the legs and before the arms, we lean to put the middle of our body into the pull.


The last part of our pull is with our arms. It is very important not to pull the arms to early. When the arms bend, the power ends.


In the finish, legs and hips are extended completely and there is a slight lean backward. The chain is pulled to the bottom of the rib cage, no higher, to complete the finish.

Repeat in Reverse Order to achieve the same powerful starting (“Catch”) position. Arms away, lean forward, then bend at the knees only once the handle is past the knees. Remember this is your chance to recover. It should take 1 second for the pull and 2 seconds to recover. Think big powerful pulls, and slow recovery.

2 Rounds
Run 800m
15 Burpee Box Jumps
Rest 1 minute
Row 1000m
15 Burpee Pull-ups
Rest 1 minute

Level 1 400m Run/500m row