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