When rowing on the water balance and single leg strength come into play much more than rowing indoors on the erg. Exercises like the pistol (single leg squat) really help develop the sense of balance and power needed to move a boat. Think about making a big turn in a sculling shell mid race, like any of the turns in the Head of the Charles. A sculler must be able to balance (a.k.a. set) the boat and transfer force to the water. Those that do this well maintain boat speed around turns and can walk through opponents. If you can’t do a pistol yet substitute goblet squats.
Keep a firm core
The inch worm is a great stabilizing exercise if you try to keep the hips and torso quiet. Then when you add the push up, connection of the feet and hands come into play. Keep that core firm and ensure everything touches and leaves the ground at the same time. Last but not least there is the kettle bell swing. Really focus on driving through the heels and activating the glutes and hamstrings while keeping a solid core.
Full depth push up!
Now hold up! What about all of the athletes out there that are using rowing as a cross training tool? You’re in luck. If you can piece together good efficient movement in the first three exercises then you should be able to crush the row for calories at the end of each round.
Your goal should be consistent, efficient strokes. For those that have been working on suspension and have tried a drill like the strap drill, you’ll want to fully suspend throughout each stroke in order to get done in as few strokes as possible. If you suspend well and can maintain a nice ratio then the rowing part of this workout will become active rest and allow you to breathe. Don’t get me wrong, 10 calories is not much and you should be pushing the pace, but work on suspension and make the rowing as effortless as possible so you can crush the rest of this Rowing WOD.
Post your time and the fewest number of strokes it took to complete 10 calories!
What do you think about using Olympic Lifting in training to be a Rower or using Rowing to be a better Olympic Lifter? Both require speed and power and incorporate similar movement patterns. However, in rowing you sit down and are in contact with three surfaces. In Olympic Lifting you are only in contact with two. In Olympic lifting the goal is to transfer forces vertically and in rowing the goal is to transfer forces horizontally. Where do you see the most benefit in training with both? Are there downfalls?
One skill, concept, and idea that I keep coming back to is Connection. Coaching people in the gym and on the water allows me to see many different movement patterns and levels of ability. Athletes that grasp this idea of connection from one joint to another and one external object to another are able to learn faster, create more power, and transfer skills to other movements. Learning to connect the hips to the hands as you initiate a movement or connect your feet to your hands at the catch, both in rowing and snatching, is invaluable. Once this skill is perfected the possibilities are endless.
Yesterday morning I introduced the snatch to the BC Men’s Crew Team. While we only worked with PVC pipes to begin with and 45# bars in the workout, the importance of generating speed through the middle of the drive and being turned on at the catch became apparent. Those that had explosive hip extension from rowing and knew how to create speed on the oar through the middle of the drive in the boat had a lot more success transferring that skill to the barbell.
Using the Clean and the Snatch to generate speed on the drive through good connection is a lot of fun. Rowers become athletes and are empowered to push harder by learning new movements and finding power they never knew they had. It’s also a lot of fun seeing olympic lifters and other athletes learn to row because it helps them to find more connection and speed in their lifts.
Post your thoughts to comments! Any experience transferring skills from one sport to another?
The ability to work at high intensity depends largely on mechanics and consistency. If your rowing is smooth and efficient you should be able to push this Rowing WOD and hold sub-2k pace for every piece. A good goal might be to hold your 2k split for every piece or negative split so that each piece is one split second faster. Same goes for the medicine ball cleans. If you can focus on using the legs and hips to move the ball, then your arms will remain loose and fluid providing a greater efficiency of movement. This will allow you to push the pace and go unbroken for every round. Try to only pause for brief breaks in between exercises if you have to. If you don’t have a medicine ball to clean than you could modify with a loaded back pack or just make the movement a Dumbbell Clean. No matter what focus on good overall movement and ensure you have the mechanics and consistency dialed in during your warmup.
While it’s good to constantly vary your training to push your boundaries, there is something to be said about repetition to build your confidence! Today’s Rowing WOD is an opportunity to build your aerobic capacity and work on a couple of tactical and technique fixes.
Have a game plan for each piece including the split and stroke rating you want to hold. Ideally each piece will be done consistently or a little bit faster. If you’re working on efficiency or sequencing, focus on one fix each piece. Perhaps you find your breath and rhythm on the first. Or maybe it’s sequencing and body preparation that needs attention on the second. If you choose the right pace it will build your confidence and you will be ready to tear up your next 2k and Rowing WOD. Below are some goals and times to think about. Our next 2k will be the Renegade Rowing League on Saturday, December 21st!Register Here!
One thing that all good athletes have in common is a sense of efficiency. The athlete that can maintain proper mechanics and spend the least amount of energy to complete a task will be able to push harder and farther compared to the athlete that just flies and dies. Todays Rowing WOD introduces a key concept to being efficient in rowing and may improve your efficiency in longer wods.
Start the workout by rowing 1,000m at 24-26 strokes per minute. Effort should be about 60% – 75% as if you were jogging a half-mile, don’t go all out. The average split for the 1k will be your goal split to hold through all of the 3 minute pieces. Set the monitor for 3′ of work and 1′ of rest. Each 3-minute piece is broken into 1-minute sections that should be rowed at the designated stroke rating.
In order to hold the goal split while decreasing the stroke rating you must perform a ratio shift. A ratio shift changes the timing of the stroke on the drive and the recovery. For example, shifting from 1 on the drive: 2 on the recovery, to 1 on the drive: 3 on the recovery. This is a challenging workout. Use it to develop a sense of efficiency. A proper ratio shift maintains the power per stroke but allows the rower time to breath and prepare for the next stroke.
Post Total Distance and your Experience with ratio shifts.
Below are some pictures of Mike T. on Saturday after working on staying connected through the finish. What does your finish look like? Is it efficient? How fast do your hands move through the finish? … Just a few things to think about as we continue to work on suspension through the stroke and balanced finishes.