4 Ways to Improve Your Rowing Skill

Rowing can make or break a workout. Becoming strong and efficient is the key to not hitting a wall with the rower. Use these tips to improve your technique and start preparing for the CrossFit Games Open!

Plant Your Feet

Rowing is all about leg drive. In order to have lag drive you must make contact with the foot mount at all times. Strapping your feet into the mount makes for more safe powerful drive. Find the right setting that fits your foot size.

Foot contact + Leg drive =power

Sit up Straight

Your back is that connects the rower (handles) to your power (legs) Sit up straight and tall with your shoulders back and down. Tighten your abs as if someone is tickling your sides. You will lean back a little as your legs extend but correct it on the way back in without rounding.

Use Your Legs

Your legs are the powerhouse of the rower, not the arms! Keeping a strong back will allow you to feel the tension of the chain in your legs. Push hard against that tension as if you are jumping over a house! Then you get to finish with the arms to get a little more chain length.


Just like the Olympic lifts, timing is everything. It is not about going as fast as you can but slowing down a bit to concentrate on power. With rowing the mantra is
Legs- back-arms-arms-back-legs

  • Start in a position in which your knees are bent, but your arms are straight, holding the handle in front of you. This is the Catch Position
  • Push away from the front of the rower with your legs
  • When your legs are fully straightened you’ll feel yourself leaning back slightly. Pull the handle towards right below your sternum by bending your arms
  • Tip forward at your hips to correct the lean and then straighten your arms again and let the handle pass your knees,  finish by bending your legs and start over again. This may feel a bit counterintuitive at the beginning, but fight the urge to be a jackrabbit and overuse your arms

For more help and great coaching, check out Coach Jamie’s Rowing clinic on Feb. 11,  10a


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