Rowing drills and exercises


The weather is getting nicer (at least a couple of hours a day when it doesn’t snow or rain) and you hopefully find some time to get in your boat again. Let’s have a look at catch-, power-, and finish-exercises (with some videos for a better understanding).

Try to do one of these each outing in the boat and always do them at firm pressure.

Catch Exercises

  1.   Early square
  2.   Early catches using your thumbs to press sideways on the handles as you go over your shins
  3.   Backsplash catches – press handles higher on the last bit of recovery to get a small splash with the water surface as you place the blade
  4.   The ‘catch exercise’ sequence starting with dibbing into the water, then take 1/4 slide; 1/2 slide etc But do this square blade and FIRM pressure in pairs and then all four if you can keep the boat level.

Power exercises

  1.   Standing up off the seat in pairs – progressing from standing high; lifting 2 cms off the seat; 1 cm off the seat; sheet of paper off the seat.  Then row off continuous in the pair and join in 1 more athlete keeping the same feeling of pressure and then join in 1 more athlete keeping the same feeling of pressure.  Swap and do it the other pair first.
  2.   Body swing only (straight legs and straight arms).  Square blade and firm pressure.  Use your lateral muscles under the shoulder blades/armpits to swing your back.  Add in the arm draw rowing back and arms only with straight legs.  Then go to half slide rowing and try to finish legs/back and arms all at the same time.  Then go to full slide normal rowing trying to keep the second half of the drive just like it was during the exercise.

Finish exercises:

  1.   Holding elbows high at the finish – keeps the spoons under the water longer
  2.   Hold onto the finish half a second longer – keeps the power on the spoon all the way to the extraction point

Here are the videos I was talking about:

Rowing Drills

Holding an Oar


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