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.
In Part 2, Cafaro provides some tips to fine tune your rowing technique.
“The idea is to keep this chain as tight as possible. You never want any slack because that is ... a loss of energy,” she says.
A drill she suggests is watching the chain and making sure it isn’t “wobbling around,” which signals a lack of recovery. Cafaro suggests a tempo of 1:3—a 1-second drive and 3 seconds spent on the recovery.
“There’s rest built into this exercise, so why not use it?” she says.
Cafaro also identifies another rowing fault: body position at the catch. When your heels and butt touch, “there is no way you can keep your hamstrings turned on and get into a good powerful position,” she says.
Rowing technique is developed through practice, so Cafaro introduces drills for fixing some of these common errors. One drill is to unstrap your feet and let them rest in the footpads.
“So if you have somebody who’s pulling in too hard or laying back too much, even opening up too early, that’s a good quick fix because they’ll fall right off the erg,” she says.
Additional reading: What Is an Erg? by Judy Geer, published Aug. 1, 2008.