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Rowing Intro

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

from Ben O’Grady at WODTalk  , a couple of tips in time for today’s WOD!

The Concept2 rowing machine, or “erg” as it is commonly called in rowing circles, is a nearly ubiquitous piece of equipment in CrossFit gyms. Since we’ve all used it at some point in a WOD, I’d like to introduce basic rowing technique and offer a few keys for getting efficient with rowing.


The Basics

There are four basic components of the rowing stroke: Catch, drive, finish, and recovery.


The catch is the point where the body is compressed, shins are roughly perpendicular to the ground, and the arms are extended towards the flywheel. You want to have good posture with your back, with a somewhat relaxed upper body. Try to capture the load in your lats and shoulders to reduce strain on the lower back.


The drive is when you’re pulling, and during the drive you want to leverage your legs and hips as much as possible. Nearly 70% of your power should come from the lower body. A common mistake CrossFitters make is to use the arms and back too much and discount their legs on the drive. Suspend on the handle while driving the legs and you’ll see better scores.
The finish is the point where your shoulders have swung behind your hips and the handle is brushed against your body. I recommend bringing the handle slightly up towards the chest and grazing your shirt and not slamming it into body. The hands should grip the handle on the outer edges with an overhand grip, never mixed or underhand. There’s no need to “hook grip” the handle like we do with a barbell.
The recovery is the moment when you’re sliding back towards the flywheel, compressing the legs, and extending the arms into the catch. This is the rest time on the rowing stroke and you want to relax and breathe. Avoid rushing up the slide in order to keep strain off your hamstrings. Think about sliding smoothly into the catch position.



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