Rest Day 11/29: Olympic Lifting and Rowing? Thoughts?

Rest Day 11/29:

Olympic Lifting and Rowing?

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?

Post your thoughts to comments!

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5 thoughts on “Rest Day 11/29: Olympic Lifting and Rowing? Thoughts?

  1. I think rowers have always used certain Olympic lifts (with incorrect form) such as the squat clean, squat, and deadlift, but with a quad-dominant focus. I know I was trained to clean up 225 back in 1991, and was happy to catch it with my quads. What I’ve learned via CrossFit is to focus on the speed element of lifts like the snatch to develop power, and that translates directly into quickness and precision in the rowing stroke. The glute/hamstring focus I’ve learned through correct squat and deadlift form has helped the second half of the drive and the finish of my stroke, and that was something that was never emphasized even by the highest level rowing coaches. So while I still bias my CrossFit workouts toward rowing-specific exercises like kettlebell swings and pistols, the discipline of Olympic lifting has presented a whole new challenge for me, and allowed me to focus on power and neurological control, both of which are important for on-water rowing.

    • Thanks for sharing ScullerX! Totally agree with you. I’m a big fan of the speed and power the Olympic Lifts give us as well as the finer motor control, timing, and feel required to move well in both disciplines. Hope everything is going well on the Passaic after Sandy!

      • Thanks – we never put the docks back in so it was an early end to the fall season down here. My boat was fine – the rigger had some leaves on it but the water just missed reaching the hull, which is face-high on the 3rd rack up! So I’ve been hitting the CrossFit hard, doing some slo-mo video of ergo technique (and eating some humble pie), and doing lots of skills practice on burpees, running, and swimming. Love the “Sculler X” WOD you just posted – I’ll have to try it out!

  2. I use rowing and power lifting as core exercise regimes and find it works well. Whilst Power lifting is not quite the same as Olympic lifting I’ve been happy with the way they compliment each other…

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