When Canada’s best rowers and scullers can’t train on water, a rowing machine helps them maintain fitness and refine technique. Here are three national team tips you can take to the gym when using a rowing machine to maximize the impact of your workout.
1. Set the machine up for you
Adjust the shoe plate height so your knees are at chest level in the forward position (catch position). If you want a strength effect, have the load bar at around 5-8 on its scale and if you want an endurance effect, set the load bar at around 2-4.
2. Ease into training
It is better to take a gradual approach to let your body adapt to the rowing motion, so, go easy for the first few weeks.
3. Pay attention to form
Good rowing is all about correct sequencing of body parts. On the power phase, as you pull on the handle, push with the legs first, then use the back and finally bend the arms and use the shoulder girdle. The head should be level throughout the whole stroke cycle.
Al Morrow – National rowing team coach in London, Ont.