Changing Sides – exercises to aide the switch

I've been asked a couple of times recently (by my crews and others) "What can I do to make it easier to row on the other side?"

Here are some ideas to be working on:

Best drills


1 – Wriggle your fingers of inside hand as you go up the slide. Helps remind you not to hold on too tight and not to lift the blade for the catch with the inside hand (if you do you'll be late)

2 – Check inside arm is bent on recovery. If it's straight chances are you are really holding on with that hand and using it to guide the movement – it should be outside arm.

3 – Wide arm rowing (aka inside hand down the loom) do this with hand just off handle and then progress to ultra-wide with hand on fat part of loom


4 – Alternate hands holding the oar – draw power phase with outside hand and when you get to the finish tap down.  Then let go with outside hand and catch handle with inside hand – feather and guide handle towards catch, feather.  As you get to catch let go with inside hand and grasp with outside as you lift into the catch.  Progress to just holding handle lightly with the hand not 'doing the work' and then progress back to normal rowing.  You should still be able to loosen off the hand not working as a check that each hand is doing the right thing.


5 – Look out the side of the boat that you are rowing – helps the rotation.

write your session reminder on your foot post-it and every time you see it, do the drill (even if the rest of the crew isn't doing that drill).  They will forgive you as you make the changes.

Best thing is all these drills can be done during steady state paddling.

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