Row Row Row… Your Rower
Let’s be honest here, a huge part of CrossFit is rowing.
Rowing rowing rowing rowing. That is probably the most used word in my vocabulary at this point in my life. Though it’s a great workout to strength your legs, core, back and arms, it can be a doozy to get through it. So what can you do to row the maximum amount of calories and the most meters without wanting to keel over and die?
Well, here are a couple tips to help you! To conserve energy use these tried and true concepts:
1. Learn to relax on the recovery phase of the stroke.
The recovery is the transition from the back of the stroke (the finish: where the handle is near your chest) to the front of the rower.
Contrary to some beliefs, this is not a stop and pause point. Instead, as you finish the stroke close to your chest, immediately and quickly push your hands towards your feet. Next close your hips. Finally, and make sure this happens LAST: let your knees bend.
Now, here’s how you are able to relax. Avoid pulling yourself forward with your legs, rely instead on the forward momentum you created by pushing your hands away quickly and then let your legs relax as the knees bend.
2. Quick, explosive catches will shave seconds off your split.
The catch to this is the phase of the stroke where you transition from the recovery to the drive. Any lag time here slows the flywheel while you wait. In turn, you spend more energy than necessary getting the flywheel up to speed—and flywheel speed equals power.
On the other hand, if you transition seamlessly from the recovery into the drive by driving your legs down quickly and powerfully, you’ll notice a positive impact on your time. Yay!
Keep your arms and hands as relaxed as possible. Between them they make up a very small percentage of your power output, avoid spending unnecessary energy by gripping too hard or pulling too early.
As one CrossFit coach, Mike Burgener says, “When the arm bends, the power ends.”
Reminder: we have open gym three times a week and have amazing coaches who are waiting to help you achieve your goal for the #IWillChallenge so we hope to see you there!