With the open over, we now go back to the basics.  This knowledge bomb we ear going to focus on rowing.  Rowing is one of our most fundamental movements and used multiple times a week, either during the warm-up, WOD, or cool down.  When done correctly you can shave off valuable seconds from your workout time.  

As a coach, this is the movement I see done incorrectly the most, not because of improper technique but because when athletes get on the rower they become very lazy and forget that rigidity is key in CrossFit.  In this article I will cover main points of rowing and hope they are followed in the future.  

First tip, is foot placement, or to be more exact, where to place the strap across your foot. The strap should be placed across the ball of your foot, if you have trouble figuring out where that is at you can place the strap near your toes where your shoelaces end. 

Second tip and the most frustrating thing to see as a coach is when people immediately set the damper setting to the wrong number (10).  The dial on the right of the fan is called the damper, the damper allows airflow into the flywheel and adjusts your resistance.  The hardest concept for CrossFitters to understand is just because it’s the most challenging DOES NOT make it correct.  Each Concept 2 rower comes with a setting that I am sure has never been used which is the drag factor.  The drag factor is something that is extremely beneficial.  The more drag you create in rowing the worse off you are in efficiency.  All that needs to be done is you select the drag factor under the “more options” tab row for 10-15 seconds and view your drag.  Any more than 130 on the display means you are ruining your own workout by losing efficiency.  You should then lower the damper until you fall into the 100-120 drag range.  This is the most efficient pace to row at, being that it allows you to cover a lot of distance as well as maintain a steady pace.  

Third tip is focusing on what your body should be doing when you pull.  Your back should remain straight in an upright position when grabbing the handle.  In a bent knee position, you want to focus on keeping the shoulders slightly in front of the hips with a tight core and back.  As legs extend you maintain this position until you have fully extended your legs, from here you will focus on a slight lean back about 5-10 degrees.  Leaning back any further, again, will greatly affect your efficiency.  Always remember that rowing should be done in a straight line, this means does not drop your hands at any given time.  The chain should always be in a straight line going in and out of the erg.  

Fourth tip is remembering to relax your grip, keeping a death grip on the rower will again slow down your overall movement, and also burn out your grip for the longer workouts.  The fatigue isn’t worth it, keep a loose grip and allow the movement to be fluid.

Keep these four simple tips in mind when you get on the rower and I promise you will find the efficiency needed to become a better CrossFitter.  If you have any questions, please ask a coach that’s what we are here for!