Rowing is a very natural motion and most people pick it up quickly. Have someone watch you row, comparing your body positions to those shown in the video below. Don't pull too hard until you are comfortable with the technique fundamentals.
The Rowing Stroke
The rowing stroke can be divided into two parts: The drive and the recovery.
You will learn a coordinated movement pattern built upon the following positions and phases:
The Recovery (Phase 1)
- Extend your arms until they straighten.
- Lean your upper body forward to the one o'clock position.
- Once your hands and the oar handle have cleared your knees, allow your knees to bend and gradually slide the seat forward on the monorail.
The Catch (Position 1)
- Arms are straight; head is neutral; shoulders are level and not hunched.
- Upper body is at the one o'clock position—shoulders in front of hips.
- Shins are vertical and not compressed beyond the perpendicular.
- Balls of the feet are in full contact with the footplate.
The Drive (Phase 2)
- With straight arms and while maintaining the position of the upper body at one o'clock, exert pressure on the foot plate and begin pushing with your legs.
- As your legs approach straight, lean the upper body back to the eleven o'clock position and draw the hands back to the lower ribs in a straight line.
The Finish (Position 2)
- Legs are extended and handle is held lightly at your lower ribs.
- Upper body is at the eleven o'clock position—slightly reclined with good support from your core muscles.
- Head is in a neutral position.
- Neck and shoulders are relaxed, and arms are drawn past the body with flat wrists.