Warming up for Rowing – How to get it right Part 2


This is similar to Mike Spraklen’s crew pre-race warmup which Dave Calder kindly shared with us.


There is a pressure pyramid to start. For races we often will step up and then stop shortly into the first step down. So it will look more like 3min, 2min, 1min, 1min @ half pressure, 3/4 pressure, full pressure and then back down to 3/4.

Then we do 4 x 20 strokes, raising the rate each time from mid 20s up to race pace, we do a 15 stroke burst above race pace, and then another 20 at race pace, all with lots of rest.  We then do a 5, 10 and 25 stroke start.

That is a Mike race warm up.

Warm up on water for non-race days

  • 3 minutes at half pressure
  • 2 minutes at 3/4 pressure
  • 1 min at full pressure
  • 2 mins at 3/4 pressure
  • 3 mins at half pressure
  • Paddle for a minute in between each of the bursts.  4 x 10 stroke bursts at maximum power and maximum rate (race pace)

How do you know you’re warm?

This is the best bit of advice Dave gave:  After doing the warm ups the crew does racing starts including 1 minute off the start to simulate the race.  And then if they feel they need it, they do another minute.

Here’s why

The minute on, minute off, minute on we will do after a full race warm up to ensure we are confident with our warm up.  If the second minute of work feels better [than the first] then we need more warm up…


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