How to Level your Rowperfect Erg


We recently received a customer enquiry

Hi, I recently bought a 2nd hand RP ( early model) I am an oarsman and coach and thought I could row it – but cannot stop hitting frontstops. The upward curve is at the front end of the machine, is that correct? or should it be at the seat end, has the previous owner assembled it back to front? Hope you can clarify.

This was our answer

First you have to check the unit is levelled.  If it is downhill towards the front leg then you will tend to drift forwards (or backwards if it’s uphill to the front leg).

Download the original RP owners manual from here and read the instructions on how to level the unit.

Then if that is all good, try rowing in this manner

  1. Leave the handle down and sit on the RP and “row” without holding the handle. Can you manage not to hit the front leg?
  2. Pick up the handle and start rowing legs only (arms straight and back still). Can you manage not to hit the front leg?
  3. Keep legs going and add in the back swing. Can you manage not to hit the front leg?
  4. Keep legs and back going and add in the arms. Can you manage not to hit the front leg?

I am guessing that at step 3 or 4 you will start hitting the front leg….two reasons. Either you are using your leg muscles to pull the flywheel towards you during the recovery phase which interrupts the smooth flowing of the momentum of the flywheel down the bar or your arm draw through to the recovery movement is not quite skilled enough to keep your seat in one place.

The ‘cure’ is to row steps 2, 3 and keep trying to add in 4 until you have mastered how to let the flywheel return to you.  On the recovery, when your knees just start to bend, let your legs go very loose and let the foot stretcher come towards you at its own pace.  If you use your hamstrings / legs to pull yourself up the slide which is what you do on a concept2 erg then you may create the situation you describe.

Please let us know how you get on… we can arrange a skype coaching session for you to give you some tuition if that helps?

To get more coaching for free on Rowperfect use visit – he writes a daily feature on how to use the machine, coach on it and improve rowing performance.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. peter mills

    Hi you did not understand and answer the question correctly.
    The bar is in effect assembled backwards with the curve in the bar at the floating head end rather than the seat end
    its no wonder they keep hitting the front stops
    yes the previous owner has assembled incorrectly.


    1. Rebecca Caroe

      Thanks Peter – sounds like you diagnosed that pretty quickly. Makes you wonder who the previous owner was….

      1. peter

        happy to help, enjoy reading the site and all the information. cheers pete

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