In Coaching, HD Videos, Rowing

August 05, 2012

Video Article

Too high of a stroke rate, falling out of the saddle, wishing for more height, pulling from the hole and trapping the handle—all are common rowing issues according to Greg Hammond of Concept2.

“People say, ‘Row faster, row faster.’ So what do people do? They go back and forth faster, which has really very little to do with actually rowing faster,” he explains during the CrossFit Experience at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. “Rowing faster means get those meters to click by quicker than the person next to you.”

You must reset at the catch, Hammond says.

“I’m actually going to go faster by slowing down my stroke rate, getting a good set-up … . I’ll finish that distance quicker with a slower stroke rating.”

Hammond’s other advice: hands and shoulders should be level so the chain is linear, you should bring the handle to the sternum and keep the elbows down, you should row with a tall chest and retracted shoulder blades, and you must ensure the knees are out of the way before the recovery.

“Over the years we’ve been working with CrossFit,” Hammond says, “you’ll see rowing is getting much, much better.”

10min 1sec

HD file size: 354 MB
SD wmv file size: 120 MB
SD mov file size: 56 MB

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Additional reading: Why Indoor Rowing? A Quick List by Greg Hammond, published Feb. 1, 2008.

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6 Comments on “The CrossFit Experience With Greg Hammond”


wrote …

Excellent video.

A question on opening the shoulders too early. I'm not sure this will make sense, but I know I tend to so and have figured out that it is because I'm looking for resistance. I feel like if I don't open the shoulders a bit at the catch or immediately after beginning the drive, I don't experience much resistance during the drive phase and the legs are not powering the fly wheel. And I know that I generate more power (as measured by 500m pace on the monitor) with a bit of an early shoulder opening. Do you hear this much?


wrote …

Great video.

I think point #5 should be #1. Legs, body, arms; arms, body, legs. Simple, especially if you slow down the stroke and work on technique. I still see that waaay too often. I love the window analogy and will use that. I think that's a great cue.


wrote …

Great que with creating the "window" to reinforce the sequence of the return movement part of the stroke.
Great video... very informative and nicely simplified.


wrote …

Thomas -

Yes, there are at least two different ways to row. You can row for maximum efficiency, and you can row for max power. The early "shoulders", really back/or hip drive, is faster but very inefficient and not worth the effort after 500m. Dave Lipson does this very well, by accident, in all of Shane Farmer's videos. The full stroke that you're being taught in this video, is what you should focus on until the habit is fully ingrained. Technique, consistency, intensity.


wrote …


I see a lot of people with relaxed scapulae or upper back during rowing. I don't know if this due to a deep catch or just fatigue. I find this makes a big spring in the system, what you were describing as resistance or pre-load. I try to engage my lats and externally rotate my arms in the catch...keep the back wound up and tight, so the system is rigid. The same thing you would do prior to doing a ring-row or strict pull-up. BTW, I was observing the Olympic rowers and their back position. There was a lot of flexion in the whole spine, but it still looked strong and rigid, and I suspect that the flexion was to increase the stroke length.


wrote …

I think i was guilty of doing most of (if not all)the mistakes highlighted in this video and up until now I've hating the rowing part of WOD's at my box, now i'm looking forward to the next rowing session to make the necessary corrections and see if my performance improves, great video and very simple instructions on how to improve technique

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