My daughter is rowing mad – how can I help her get fitter


My question is, my daughter is 14 she was inspired by the Olympics and in August joined a sculling club, it is a lovely club but lacks funds and has very old equipment with hardly any coaches and so gets hardly any time training, she has showed promise and the founder of the club has taken an interest in helping her, he has lent her a competitive single boat and blades and has entered hera race

He said she is up against other Juniors that will have had much more training than herself, but must start somewhere and it will give her an idea of where she needs to be next year and what times she must work towards.

She is in her opinion not fit enough, can you suggest a fitness program in a short space of time, to bring her fitness up to a suitable level. She has only a couple of weeks to get fitter, she does extra curricular P.E. every lunch time and has a rowing machine at home, not a concept 2 just an air wheel one. This would help greatly if you have time to answer thank you in advance.

Our suggestions for quick rowing fitness gains

As far as fitness goes, the best thing she can do is running or body weight circuits.  Until you are skillful in a rowing or sculling boat, it’s hard to get fit while training on the water.

For running, find a hill and sprint up it and jog slowly down – try to run up for 1-2 minutes and do this 8 times to start and build up to longer sprints or more repetitions, or both. Or you can run up stairs – is there a multi-storey car park nearby as several flights of stairs works just as well. If she gets fit enough, she’ll be able to go up running  two stairs at a time.

She can also do body weight circuits like these ‘home exercises’  we put up in a blog post about how to stay fit when away from home

Do let us know how she goes.

Any other suggestions from readers?


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Roo

    Very little time to improve dramatically, but leg strength (lunges, squats etc) might help. Would suggest that good form should not be sacrificed for one so young. The tendency is for effort to overide form, but that could lead to injury and long term disappointment. There is a fine balance increasing performance by fitness and technique, ideally they go hand in hand but the quickest gains are by improving technique, once that is perfected fitness improvements are limited by genetics, diet, training and recuperation. If it was easy everyone would becan Olympian!

  2. rob

    Well put Roo . Egooooos get in out way. Some parent’s need to take up rowing to win their own medal . Undoubtedly you want the best for your child but at what expense?

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