friend may have actually noticed a rowing machine, otherwise recognized as an ergometer or “erg,” collection dust in the corner of your ar gym or as Frank and also Claire Underwood’s workout of choice in House that Cards. If you’re a CrossFitter, there’s a good chance you’ve probably even used one in a exercise before.

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There’s also a an excellent chance you’re using it all wrong.

While a rowing machine workout is an exceptionally efficient, full-body training method that permits the athlete to develop aerobic endurance and muscular toughness at the very same time, a absence of proper an approach and cultivate is common among gym-goers and also can result in injuries and misuse. So we asked experts from the number one collegiate men’s crew team in the country at the college of California – Berkeley—Head Coach Mike Teti and Associate Head Coach Scott Frandsen—to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know around the rowing machine. Both space Olympic medalists (Teti is both a medalist together an athlete and a coach) that know precisely what the takes, in the gym and on the water, to obtain in yellow medal-winning shape.

In stimulate to gain the most out of her time on the rowing maker you should:

Incorporate these erg workouts into your fitness routine.Make certain to stop the following typical mistakes and always keep an eye on technical focuses during the workout, even when you’re feeling fatigued.Take some time to obtain to recognize the device itself and also understand the way the screen settings work.

Proper rowing machine technique

Olympic rowers and also experienced collegiate crews make the rowing stroke look easy and pretty darn effortless. Yet make no mistake, the rowing stroke is nuanced, complex, and also can take years to grasp on the water. Luckily because that those of you at the gym, the erg is a far simpler an equipment that deserve to be perfected with some basic knowledge of technique and a little bit of practice.





Quite literally, the “finish” of the stroke. After completing the stroke sequence, you must be “sitting through your foot flat, shoulders behind her hips, and the handle attracted horizontally to the body at the reduced ribs,” follow to Teti.


When girlfriend rest! indigenous the “finish” position, the correct sequence is to relocate the hands away from the human body first, climate pivot from the hips to get back into that solid body place forward (your shoulders should be in former of your hips) and finally rest the knee to roll up the on slide to the beginning “catch” position. “This activity should be blended together for this reason as not to be too rigid, but the manage needs to obtain out past your knees before you begin to role up the on slide so the take care of doesn’t need to go up and also over her knees,” states Teti. It can also be helpful to store in mind that the take care of should stay on one horizontal aircraft for the whole stroke and also recovery, rather of bobbing up and down.

Body Swing/Posture

“I always try to reinforce the have to swing over from the hips and not just by curving you back. This is an important to stop injury and to obtain you into a stronger position to be ready for the following stroke,” states Frandsen. Even as you start to get tired or feeling fatigued, don’t enable yourself to slouch or to collapse into the “catch”–swing over beforehand in the stroke and also then think about your chest increasing up to the catch.

Rowing an equipment settings you have to know

Fan Setting

A common misconception is that placing the fan setting up to 10 is somehow much better or harder, however Frandsen completely disagrees. “In my 18 year of rowing, I never trained top top the erg at anything over a fan setting of 3 or 4. Anything higher puts a lot of unnecessary pack on the human body at the beginning of the stroke and also can result in injuries,” states Frandsen. He recommends maintaining the fan setup low and working ~ above posture and quickness roughly the capture to pick up the resistance, rather of depending on the an equipment to give you that heavy load.


The “split” advert to exactly how much time it would certainly take you come cover 500 meters if you keep that split. Because that example, if you space holding a 1:45 split, climate it will certainly take girlfriend 1 minute, 45 seconds to covering 500 meters. “It’s a great way to view if your training (and technique) is paying off with boosted splits,” states Frandsen. You space able to regimen your practice in by going to “Select Workout,” climate “New Workout,” and also then keying your job-related intervals based on time or distance, as well as your remainder interval.

Navigating the Screen


The most recent models that the erg, produced by ide 2 (pictured above), have actually a display with different options for what dimensions or numbers you desire to see throughout your workout. Utilizing the screen, you can monitor calories expended and also watts produced, but “the vast majority of rowers will set the screen to track their 500-meter separation or just simply ‘split,’” follow to Teti. The stroke rate, which appears on the display as “SPM,” describes the number of strokes you space taking per minute. Commonly the split and also stroke rating have an station relationship, definition that as soon as you boost your hit rating, the break-up should go down.

Rowing device workouts

For the workouts, it’s no only vital to make certain that you maintain ideal technique, but likewise that “you are effectively warmed up because that these workouts, specifically the power sessions,” says Frandsen. That recommends beginning slowly by including one or 2 of these sessions, many of i beg your pardon are in between 30 and also 40 minutes in duration, every week before your stamin training workout and also then build from there.

*During the remainder periods, you might take a couple of minutes to easy paddle out on the rowing maker and then usage the staying time to stand up, stretch her legs, and also grab a rapid drink.

Power 20’s

Sets: 2Reps: 8Rate: 20-24 strokes every minute

Take 20 strokes as powerfully together you have the right to while still preserving correct technique, then take 10 strokes really light. It is one rep. Rates for these power strokes have to be in between 20 and 24 strokes every minute. The goal should be to hold as short of a split as possible for each 20-stroke piece. Use the irradiate strokes in in between reps to regain length and also correct your posture. Take a quick break, no much longer than 6 minutes, between the sets.

Row 1 Minute On, 1 Minute Off

Sets: 3Reps: 5Rate: 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 (+2 on every rep, because that each set)

Row because that 1 minute applying as lot power and also force as you can, climate take 1 minute of an extremely light strokes for rest. That’s one rep. Complete 5 reps and then take a short break, no more than a few minutes, before moving on come the next set. Similarly, the score is to organize the shortest split possible in the tough pieces. The prescribed stroke prices are 18, 20, 22, 24, and also 26 for the very first set; 20, 22, 24, 26, and 28 for the second; and 22, 24, 26, 28, and also 30 for the third.

Row 1,000 Meters

Sets: 4Rest: 7 minutes in between each set

There isn’t a prescribed stroke price for this workout, but it is necessary to make certain that you space keeping full length on the on slide (legs). Be mindful not come shorten up or scramble, as this will negatively affect technique and posture. The target is to host the shortest average break-up possible, at a sprint speed that would certainly be unsustainable over much longer distances, because that all 4 pieces. Follow to Frandsen, a compete rower would “take benefit of every 2nd of remainder to ensure the each item is of the greatest intensity.”

Row 8 Minutes

Sets: 3Rest: 6 minutes between each setRates: very first four minutes at 24, then two minutes at 26, and last 2 minute at 28

These pieces are collection at mid-range rates with many rest between. Just like the 1,000-meter workout, you’ll want to take advantage of the long rest so that each item is of the greatest quality possible. The set rates action up throughout the piece, an interpretation that v each action up in rate, your 500-meter break-up should go down.

Row 10 Minutes 

Sets: 3Rest: 3 minutes in between each setRates: first 3 minutes at 20, then 4 minutes at 22, and last 3 minute at 24

Now we begin to to decrease the intensity and increase the volume of this workouts, which will improve in its entirety endurance and stamina. Complete this workout, 10 minute of rowing at a hard steady-state speed (that’s one set), and take 3 minute of rest between each set. The prices are collection slightly lower so friend should be able to focus on method and solidify your posture in ~ the catch, also improving in its entirety stroke length.

Row 3,000 Meters 

Sets: 3Rest: 4 minutes in between each setRates: 1,000 meter at 20, 1,000 meters at 22, and 1,000 meters at 24 because that each set

Complete this workout at a hard steady-state intensity throughout. Stick come the prescribed prices for each collection and continue to occupational on boosting length and also posture.

Row 6 Minutes

Sets: 6Rest: 2 minutes between each setRates: The prescribed price for each collection is as follows: the an initial set at 18; climate 20; 22; 20; 22; and the final set at 24

This practice increases in its entirety volume, when reining in the intensity. Heat 6 minute at a complicated pace, concentrating on maximum application of strength and also power. That’s one set. Use the short, 2-minute rest to stand up and stretch between each set, yet don’t let your heart rate come down also much.

Row 20 Minutes

Sets: 2Rest: 5 minutes in between each setRates: very first 5 minute at 20, then 10 minutes at 22, and last 5 minute at 24

This a really standard rowing workout, designed to stretch volume at a steady, attainable pace. The focus should it is in on preserving a hard 500-meter separation (not also high, not too low) and working on method and length.

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Row 15 Minutes

Sets: 3Rest: 3 minutes between each setRates: an initial 5 minutes at 20, middle 5 minute at 22, and last 5 minute at 24

Continue to stretch the volume at reduced rates and also with shorter rest.

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