The Concept 2 rowing ergometer is an incredibly versatile training tool that, when proper form is applied, uses 86% of the muscles in the body. Interested in trying one out in a fitness class? Check out our schedule here to find a class that works for you. Rowing is a movement that can be greatly improved with proper attention to form. Here are 5 ways to improve your rowing form, to help develop a better rowing stroke.
Drive with Your Legs
Rowing should feel almost like doing a deadlift. Make sure you press with your feet, driving your heels down as you pull the chain. Driving with your legs will help take the load off your back, allowing the biggest muscles in your legs to do most of the heavy lifting instead.
Rounding your back and collapsing your posture while rowing will only slow you down. While it might be extra tiring to have tall posture while you’re rowing, you’re in a much stronger position when you remain upright. Try thinking about spreading your hips and ribs apart, and pivoting from your hips. Practicing good posture in all aspects of your life is important, and will help make it easier to apply this form to your rowing stroke.
Relax Your Shoulders
With proper rowing form, there should be no tension in your shoulders. Instead of pulling with your arms, try to keep them locked straight, and take the weight of the stroke by engaging your legs and lats to improve your form. Take a moment every few strokes to reset, and let your shoulders drop any tension.
Slow Your Recovery
The part of the rowing stroke where you’re sliding the seat back up to the front is called the “recovery.” This time should feel light and easy; try to treat this time as a quick rest between strokes. The drive should be twice as fast as your recovery. Make sure you take your time coming back up before you take the next stroke, to ensure your muscles and form are well-prepared and reset, ready to row again.
Engage Your Core
Keeping a strong core will help improve your rowing form in many aspects. A tight core will not only help you sit up nice and tall, but it also helps keep power all the way through to the end of the rowing stroke. An engaged core is key to keeping connection with the handle of the rower, making sure you get as much power as possible out of every stroke.
The Bottom Line
Rowing is an exercise with many moving parts. By following these 5 tips, you’re certain to get more power out of every stroke. While exercising on a Concept 2 rower, take the time to check in with yourself and ensure you’re following these cues: Drive with your legs, sit up straight, relax your shoulders, slow your recovery, and engage your core.