When I first started training at CPM, I despised rowing. It didn’t make sense to me and I was (maybe still am) horribly inefficient at it. Plus I couldn’t wrap my mind around how a rower was chosen over the run-on-the-mill cardio machines. I mean walk into any global gym and you will see about everything except a rower.
It only took about a year or I should say my first sleigh the rower challenge to purchase one for home.😁 I would be lying if I told you I love to row. There are still many things I need to improve on but I am working on our relationship one day at a time.
Here are my top 10 commandments that have helped us through our journey:
- Don’t over grip or squeeze handle: Keep enough grip to not lose the handle, but also not so much that you tear up your hands.
- Drive with your legs: Your legs are far stronger than your arms and should be doing the vast majority of the work. Your quads and booty should be toasted after a hard rowing workout and we all know how I feel about the 🍑.
- Legs-Hips-Arms-Arms-Hips-Legs: This is the sequence of rowing. If you rearrange this list, it does not work.
- Sit up tall: Just like a deadlift, hinge at the hips and keep good posture. Lift up your chest and don’t let your lower back or shoulders collapse.
- Don’t pull early with your arms: Keep your elbows straight as you drive your legs.
- Avoid those chicken wing arms: Don’t lift up your elbows at your sides and don’t tuck them in, either. Keep them relaxed at a natural angle and draw them past the body.
- Keep shoulders relaxed: Don’t pull your shoulders UP into your ears as you drive back. Instead, think of squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Pull the handle to the bottom of your ribs: For us ladies, pull the handle to the bottom of your sports bra. For the men, imagine you’re wearing a sports bra.😜
- Imagine upper body is a needle ticking back and forth between 11:00 and 1:00: At the “catch” or beginning of the stroke, right before you drive back, you should be leaned forward at the 1:00 position. At the “finish” or far end of the stroke, when your legs are fully extended, you should lean back to the 11:00 position.
- Focus on steady consistent movement: You are the master of the numbers on the screen, not the victim of them.
We (the rower and I) have made lots of gains over the past 3.5 years and I can finally say I am loving it more than detesting our time together. I hope these tips can help you better your love-hate 💔relationship as well!
A: EMOTM 12
Odd: 5 Behind the Neck Strict Press
Even: 100m Farmer Carry
B: AMRAP 15
30 KB Swings
15 KB Russian Twists (each side)