Join Rory McKernan of CrossFit HQ Media as he receives some rowing tips from Rowing Seminar trainer Erin Cafaro, who won an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in the women’s eights event.
Cafaro coaches McKernan through a rowing session on a Concept2, and her first instructions focus on the set-up.
“Every time you sit on an erg, you want to kind of personalize it for yourself,” she says as she sets him up on the footpad and explains the damper setting, which varies by altitude.
“This lever is never very reliable, based on erg to erg and location to location,” she says. She shows McKernan how to find his personal number using the drag factor of the rower.
To analyze his rowing stroke, Cafaro sets the rower to display the power curve.
“You want it to be kind of like a bell curve that means that your power curve is nice and even. If you see any little loop-de-loops in there, that means there is a loss of energy,” she says.
Finally, Cafaro coaches McKernan on his rowing technique using drills to help improve his power and efficiency. One of the insights she provides is on not opening up the hip angle immediately after the catch.
“You want to keep your stomach and your midline really tight to connect the power that you are producing from your feet all the way to your hands,” she says.
Additional reading: Why Indoor Rowing? A Quick List by Greg Hammond, published Feb. 1, 2008.