Learn To Row Essential Drills

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January 2, 2021
recovery of the rowing stroke
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recovery of the rowing stroke

There are a dizzying array of online videos aiming to provide learn to row instruction. Where to start? And what order should you progress?

This is part one of a several posts that I am developing to provide rowing instruction to those starting on their rowing journey.

I have put together links to my top learn to row YouTube videos. These videos demonstrate various drills to help you improve your rowing on the Concept2 or other rowing machines. I am going to release these posts as a series. For each post, I will provide some notes on the parts of the drill that I have found it helpful to emphasize.

I will start with a couple of some basic drills. (This post, part one!) In part two, I will then progress to the recovery of the rowing cycle. The next posts will be videos and drills related to the drive portion of the stroke. I will finish with some other drills that I think are important. When this series is complete, you will have a full set of drills. You will feel more confident about using your indoor rower and how it should feel when you are rowing correctly.

Get Started With Some Learn To Row Drills

1. Sitting On The Seat Correctly

Before you get going, making sure you are sitting on the seat correctly is very important. The secret is to imagine that you are wearing a pair of jeans. (I know you would usually not row in jeans, but this mental concept works!). The important part to sitting on the seat is to sit so that your rear pockets on your imaginary jeans are facing directly behind you. This will enable to to pivot at the hip correctly so that you can prepare your upper body as you move forward for the next drive. For more information, just watch my video!

2. The Pick Drill

The pick drill is an excellent learn to row warm up drill which steadily adds in more movement as the drill progresses. Highly recommended for the start of a training session. The pick drill is a classic learn to row drill, both on the water athletes as well as indoor rowers use it universally. It’s an excellent way to learn the general sequence of movement as well as gradually get your body warmed up for harder effort.

In the next post (part two), I am going to provide a whole set of videos that will help you with the recovery portion of the rowing strokes.

As a precursor to that post, I provide my body positions in the rowing stroke poster, feel free to print off and use as reference as you progress with your rowing.

This poster shows the correct sequence of body positions that you should move through in preparation to performing the drive phase of the stroke.

A well executed recovery provides the set up you need to perform an efficient power phase when you are working hard on the drive. Note that position three is the most important position to establish early in the drive phase. To read my article on the recovery of the stroke follow this link.

Learn to row body positions

I always love hearing from folks who watch my videos and how they are helping them with their rowing journey. So feel free to drop me a line. Let me know how you are getting along from time to time. Consider joining the mailing list. I can update you with the next post in my learn to row series is published.

Until next time!

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