A critical workout strategy, the rowing sprint start gets the flywheel spinning quickly so there is no fight to bring down the split time.
“You need to know how to come out of the gates nice and strong to get yourself set up for the remainder of the piece,” says CrossFit Rowing’s Shane Farmer, who is also a coach at CrossFit Invictus.
The sprint start is a five-stroke sequence, he explains:
- The three-quarter-slide stroke.
- The half-slide stroke.
- Another three-quarter-slide stroke.
- Two full strokes.
“Notice he’s not laying back,” Farmer says as fellow Invictus coach Dave Lipson demonstrates on the erg. “He’s using his legs and his arms and that’s it, every stroke. Now the reason we do that is to speed the stroke up. That back takes up a lot of time.”
The sprint start is for speed, not power, he emphasizes.
“And you guys can hear how quickly that flywheel spins up,” Farmer adds, “which is exactly what we’re looking for.”
Video by Again Faster.
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Additional reading: Smoother Rowing for More Power by Tom Bohrer, published April 1, 2008.