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How to Row

PROPER ROWING TECHNIQUE


There are two parts to the rowing stroke, the drive and the recovery, but the movements are blended together to make the stroke smooth and continuous. There should be no stopping at any point in the stroke.

We suggest you have someone watch you row and compare your body position to that shown below. Improper technique can result in injury.

For the biomechanics of rowing, please see section on Muscles Used.

Click here to see a video on proper rowing technique

1. THE CATCH

  • Extend arms straight toward the flywheel.
  • Keep wrists flat.
  • Lean your upper body slightly forward with back straight but not stiff.
  • Slide forward on the seat until your shins are vertical (or as close to this as your flexibility will allow).

2. THE DRIVE

  • Begin the drive by pressing down your legs.
  • Keep your arms straight and hold your back firm to transfer your leg power up to the handle.
  • Gradually bend your arms and swing back with your upper body, prying against the legs until you reach a slight backward lean at the finish.

3. THE FINISH

  • Pull handle all the way into your abdomen.
  • Straighten your legs.
  • Lean your upper body back slightly.

4. THE RECOVERY

  • Extend your arms toward the flywheel.
  • Lean your upper body forward at the hips to follow the arms.
  • Gradually bend legs to slide forward on the seat.

5. THE CATCH

  • Draw your body forward until the shins are vertical.
  • Upper body should be leaning forward at the hips.
  • Arms should be fully extended.
  • You are ready to take the next stroke.