Jon Kissick of Front Range CrossFit is a rower who competed in college and on the U.S. team. He coaches a specialized rowing program at Front Range CrossFit.
Kissick’s CrossFit community benefits from rowing seminars to improve technique for greater efficiency. The higher-level athletes and those interested in competing in rowing have more training and workouts to learn more advanced skills.
One of these skills is pacing.
“We want to make sure they have a good sense of their pace for a CrossFit workout,” Kissick says. “And what we have to work here is comfort level with not being the first one off the machine.”
He continues: “We encourage in our workouts for people to set the fan and their cadence to their body type. Bigger, stronger guys can pull heavier, can set the damper higher and row a lower cadence and cover more ground. Lighter, more aerobic people will set the fan lower but take more strokes per minute.”
He uses drills to help his athletes find their personal settings, including the “ring drill,” where athletes pull against great resistance to learn proper technique.
“The point of this exercise is if you put enough resistance on someone trying to row, there’s really only one way your body will solve the problem, which is the correct way: drive the legs first, then open the back, then bend the arms,” Kissick says.
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Rowing Workouts by Angela Hart, published May 1, 2007.