April 11 2017

Welcome To Technique Tuesday At Emerald City CrossFit


The dreaded cardio machine for all our winter months. We spend a lot of time on it but do we really understand how to Row?

 courtesy of inletrowing.com

courtesy of inletrowing.com

We are going to go over the positions for proper rowing technique. I often think of it a lot like cycling a power clean. Long arms, braced cylinder(core), and active legs. We are going to go over the 4 positions of the row in this article.

The 4 positions for rowing are: the drive, the finish. the recover and the catch.

These positions as shown in the image above don't involve a whole lot of flexion or extension through the spine. There will be some rounding in the upper back but the whole spine itself does not need to round when rowing. Now lets move to the positions.

The Drive

This part of the row is when you are moving away from the flywheel by driving your feet into the footcasters. Your arms should be tight through the forearms but not yet pulling. This is the part that accelerates the flywheel.

 courtesy of infovisual.info

courtesy of infovisual.info

The Finish

This is where your arms should start bending and you should be pulling the handle into the bottom of the sternum or xiphoid process with the forearms close to the sides and the hands at the end of the handles to allow for the torso to have space to hit the handle gently. Don't bruise yourself.

The Recovery

This is where we catch our breath and return to the flywheel to "catch" it. This is not a race unless you are doing a sprint this should be time to breath and recover the legs for you next monstrous pull in the drive and finish.

The Catch

This is the probably the most ruined part of the row especially as we get tired. We start to round through our whole back and let the seat touch our heels. This should never happen remember active legs and only the upper back should round. We are going to do a lot of pulls on rowers and you wouldn't pull a deadlift with a rounded back and you are "under" load as you pull the chain so don't do it on the rower either! 

So my biggest pieces of advice for rowing are sit up tall! Legs drive then pull the arms. In the recovery try to recover and let the arms go back before the legs move. Stay tight! Hope this helps see you for some rowing soon!