Easy Ways to Check Your Indoor Rowing Technique

As we get into the heart of indoor rowing season, I wanted to highlight three easy ways to check your own technique on the C2.

1.  Pump up the volume!  You can’t groove in good technique by doing 500m or 1000m as part of your warmup routine.  You need to commit to a couple of days in which your goal is to row 10-15K at a decent pressure that makes you breathe as hard as you would in a long chipper like Murph or the Tough Mudder.  You have to get tired enough to learn to relax, and you have to row for long enough for your body to find a natural “groove” and work out some of the inefficiencies in your stroke.  I guarantee that if you do this a couple of times, it will benefit your sprint performance significantly through technical improvements alone.

2.  Row feet out!  Undo the straps, put your feet on top of them, and spend some time rowing that way at about half pressure.  If you lose your musculoskeletal connection during the stroke, your feet will pop up.  This is the #1 way to work out the major faults in your technique.  Feedback is immediate, and you might even end up on the ground!  You can do feet-out as a drill during your warmup to check yourself before getting into the meat of the WOD.

3.  Buy a cheap full-length mirror!  You know – the $5 “expendable” kind that you can stick to your kids’ closet door.  Lean it against a wall slightly off center in front of the C2 so you can see your entire stroke.  I know CrossFit boxes are anti-mirror, but this is not for posing and flexing – it lets you self-coach your technique as if you had a live video feed, and it is the single best coaching tool there is for indoor rowing.  Watch the online videos of the world’s best, then watch yourself in the mirror and make corrections.

Good luck to all CrossFitters, indoor rowers, and on-water rowers who are competing in indoor races this month!

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<< Feet Out! >>

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