When’s the last time you went for a row on the water or in the gym? When’s the last time you warmed up for rowing? When’s the last time you used Rowing as a warmup for something else? For many of you rowing is either your main sport or a foundational training tool that you use to get in wicked good shape. Regardless, anytime you pick up that handle you should be rowing with purpose and taking deliberate strokes. So how do we develop purpose and deliberate practice? A good place to start is the Reverse Pic Drill.
Every time I prescribe a rowing warmup I usually kick things off with the Reverse Pic Drill. It’s a drill that includes 4 progressions:
Reverse Pic Drill:
1. Half Legs – Taking short strokes at the front end using the first 3 inches of the leg drive.
2. Full Legs – Slightly longer strokes pushing the legs all the way down.
3. Legs and Bodies – Longer strokes adding in the swing of the body.
4. Full Strokes – Full length strokes with the arms finishing the stroke.
When done well and with awareness this drill allows us to focus on three important skills with regards to rowing:
1. Posture – The Torso should be stacked and strong in a neutral and braced position at all points in time during the stroke.
2. Control – As the seat slides forward toward the catch it maintains a constant speed and does not accelerate into the catch. With good control you should be able to stop at any point in time during the stroke and be in a strong position.
3. Connection – The hips and the hands move together into and out of the catch as if connected by a cable. If the hips move, the hands should move the same distance, no more no less. If you are connected you can also focus on your shoulders. The hips, hands, and shoulders all move together in the first three inches of the drive.
I believe that if you can learn to do the Reverse Pic Drill correctly in your warm up, you can and will become a better rower. The key is how you execute each progression and what you focus on. Here is a video review of an elite rower I’m working with. This is what the Reverse Pic Drill looks like in a single on the water. Check out what he’s doing well and what you can start to focus on every time you row.
If you’re interested in getting on the water, I will be organizing a sculling group to row out of Community Rowing Inc. in Brighton every Monday and Wednesday evening from 6:30pm – 8pm. If you can fit that into your schedule I’d love to get you on the water. We will be starting in May. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) now and let me know if you’re interested. I’ll keep you updated and get you setup to join us.
Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments!