RowErg Confidently- Our Top 10 Tips

Written by Concept2 NZ on May 31st, 2019.

Rowing may not look like the easiest exercise you can do in the gym, but it is the best way to stay fit and it will compliment your sport, regardless of whether or not rowing is your primary sport.

You can identify the people who are familiar with rowing machine in the gym as their stroke is generally smooth, powerful and rhythmic. 

The rowing stroke looks easy when done right but doesn’t always come naturally (to some). Check out some trusty trips below so you can approach the RowErg a little more confidently. 

  1. Active Wear- Be mindful of the clothing you wear prior to your workout as baggy clothing (shorts, pants, t-shirts or hoodies) can get caught in the seat rollers and could put you at risk of injury or could interrupt your rowing stroke. We suggest to wear tighter fitting clothing like active wear that doesn’t hang so you’re prepared for your workout on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. 
  2. Row along- Make sure you visit our YouTube channel and familiarise yourself with our technique video before you head to the gym so you have an idea on the basics of the rowing stroke. If you can, we recommend watching yourself in the mirror to see if your reflection matches the body positioning on the technique video. If you need to check your body positions again there is an animated technique on the Performance Monitor (More Options > Information > How To Row) 
  3. Getting Set up- Pull the handle down so it fits into the handle holder, this will help to begin rowing as you won’t have to overstretch yourself. Ensure your feet have been secured in the right position- this means that the Footstraps should be tightened across the widest part of your foot. Move the Flexfoot up and down to get the correct positioning for you. Finally tilt the Performance Monitor so that you have a clear view.
  4. Damper Set- The damper is NOT resistance and a setting of ’10’ will NOT be a better workout. Check out ‘What should my damper setting be?’ 
  5. Set your workout- Once your Performance Monitor turns on you will have the option to ‘Just Row’- but a time or distance workout will help you measure your workout performance a lot more accurately. If you decide to row for 10 minutes as an example, you will get a final distance and time. This means that you can repeat the workout the following week to see your progress.
  6. Change Your Units (Pace, Calories or Watts)- The Performance monitors can display your efforts in may different units. You final distance won’t change regardless of whether you decide to work in Calories, Watts or Pace. Rowing athletes typically use pace, but Calories and Watts are just as helpful. The faster your pace the smaller the number as effort increases. However this is the total opposite for Calories and Watts as the higher the number the harder you’re rowing. 
  7. Stroke Rate- ’S/M’ stand for Strokes per Minute- this counts the number of times you slide up and down the monorail per minute. Try and aim for a Stroke Rate between 22-28 spm. The higher your stroke rate does not necessarily mean a harder or better workout. WE recommend a controlled and powerful stroke. 
  8. Keep Connected- Stay motivated whilst you do your rower by listening to your favourite playlists or keeping up with the latest episode of your series. Wireless headphones are a game changer and save any cords getting in the way of your stroke. Make sure you have a Smartphone Cradle as it helps you perch your phone above the Performance Monitor so you have easy access to your device.
  9. Record your workouts- There are a few ways that you can now record your data. We would recommend downloading the free app ErgData from the App Store which is available for Apple and Android. ErgData allows you to connect wirelessly to your PM5 and sync’s with your Online Logbook. You are still able to enter your results manually into the Online Logbook otherwise feel free to write them down and keep track that way.
  10. Clean up- When you have finished your workout its a great idea to wipe down your handle, monorail and seat with a non abrasive cleaner. With your damp cloth or paper towel wipe over the buttons on the performance monitor- DO NOT spray directly onto the screen. Cleaning doesn’t take long but it is a courteous gesture for the next user. 

Let us leave you with this quote from Eric Murray:
“The Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine has the beauty of simplicity, but the accurate and honest measure of your ability. Human Vs Machine”