Whether you are a novice rower or a professional, there is always something to learn when it comes to technique and form in your sport. It is because of new techniques or strategies that good coaches are imperative to winning at your sport and helping you train to be at your absolute best. No matter how long you have been working at your sport, there is always something to learn and improve upon. This article will focus on some tips to avoid common rowing mistakes and is geared towards rowers who are just beginning to partake in the sport. For additional information, consult the Body Gear Guide.
- Avoid rowing with only your arms. It is easy to think that rowing should be done with mostly your arms. It only seems natural to row with your arms and not use your legs but it is imperative to use your legs to help you glide through the water. When you only use your upper body to row, you can cause strain on your arms, shoulders, and hands which can cause you to experience back pain or blisters on your hands. To get the best results, be sure to use your legs as your powerhouse and push off with them. This can help give you more speed and will also help with your form.
- Work on not rounding your back. When you are a new rower, it is normal to want to round your back when you are reaching for a stroke. A great way to avoid this is to relax your shoulder muscles and make sure that you are using your core to help with the strokes. This will help your spine remain neutral and it will help your posture a great deal.
- Keep your movements in sequence. It is tempting to rush through the workout and not be able to complete all the proper movements in a stroke. The first part of your stroke should be pushing off with your legs. The second part should result in you being in a slight lay back position with your shoulders reaching past your mid-point, or pelvis. Finally, the third aspect of a stroke is to pull your hands to your chest. After you have completed these three steps, repeat.
- Check the damper setting and make sure it isn’t too high. It is tempting when you are first starting out on your rowing journey to want to speed through a workout or put your rowing machine on a level that is too high. If you find that your feet are hitting your bottom at the top of a stroke or that it is too hard to pull towards your chest, you will want to adjust the damper to allow for better form and overall rowing experience. The goal is to be in control of your workout and having the damper set on an inappropriate setting can throw things off.
- Refrain from going too fast. It may be tempting to go insanely fast as a way to reach the finish line and complete your workout. While this may be the case, avoid doing so as you could pull a muscle or have your damper setting so low that you are not exerting your body enough to have a good workout.