The rowing machine is one of the few pieces of training apparatus found in a gym that requires a moderate degree of technical competence to both maximize the benefit of training and ensure that you do not injure yourself.
There can be a wide variety of differing techniques. Although not all of these can result in injury, the rowing machine is a training apparatus and you need to maintain a degree of competence in order to minimize any risk.
Good technique produces maximum speed for minimum effort!
The model of British Rowing Technique has been developed by the GB High Performance Coaches on the Technical Panel of British Rowing.
You can look through the sequence of photos of Fran Houghton and accompanying explanation to help you perfect your indoor rowing technique.
The rowing stroke is defined by a long drive phase and a relaxed and controlled recovery.
The recovery phase is as important as the drive. If this element is coordinated correctly it makes the drive phase instinctive. It is therefore this element that many rowers concentrate on during practice. The recovery is very similar to the drive phase but in reverse.
Check out this technique video with double Olympic champion Alex Gregory... note the positioning of the foot straps and damper (resistance) setting. On the Concept 2 rower, you can access "drag factor" settings via the monitor. For men, the damper should be set at 120 drag factor, women, 110 drag factor. This will have the damper in between settings 4 and 5.
Want to learn more?
The most effective way to learn any skill is with a qualified coach. Tri-Cities Indoor Rowing Club, Port Moody has several classes per week where you can try an introduction to rowing class free of charge. This is a chance for you to get some feedback from a certified rowing coach as well as seeing if you like the discipline. For more information and to book a class see here