What makes a great rowing technique?

What makes a great rowing technique?

A great rowing technique often looks easy from the outside.

Why is that?

In an efficient rowing movement, only the muscle groups that are important for rowing performance are activated. Rowing uses more than 80% of all muscles. But not all of them at the same time! The various muscle movements are coupled in a flowing yet dynamic sequence. During the recovery phase the muscles can relax. There is a change between tension and relaxation, whereby the deep core muscles are also activated in the recovery phase. The rowing movement looks easy and elegant. 

How can you learn an efficient rowing movement? 

During your rowing workout, ask yourself if there are any muscles that are unnecessarily tense. Observe yourself and feel into the different muscles while rowing. With practice you will notice that there are muscles that are tight even though they are (at that point in time) not contributing to your rowing performance. When you have found these muscles, feel how tight they are for several strokes. For example, you can use a scale from 1 to 10. It is important that you do not instruct yourself to relax the muscles. An instruction to relax does not work. It is better to observe yourself with interest. If you have a little patience, the unnecessary tension will dissolve “by itself”. 

An experienced coach can help you find the muscles that are unnecessarily tense. He or she will suggest exercises or offer pictures or movement ideas that will help you to row efficiently.

If you have muscles that feel very often tense and painful, this can also be an indication that you are tightening these muscles unnecessarily during your rowing workout.

Take a look at the videos below to see the great technique and dynamics of the juniors from the Mainzer Ruderverein and the elite athletes from the Bundesstützpunkt Berlin.


The FlowRow Board brings variety to the ergometer training of the junior rowers of the Mainzer Ruderverein and the elite female rowers at the Bundesstützpunkt Berlin. The FlowRow Board also helps to ensure that the deep core muscles are activated both in the drive phase and in the recovery phase. 

Read below what Judith Guhse und Sarah Wibberenz say about the FlowRow Board.

Judith: “Ich finde, daß man durch das FlowRow Board Abwechslung in das Wintertraining bringt und die Stabilität übt”

Sarah: “The FlowRow Board is great to bring some variety in every day’s winter training and to train your stability”

All Rowing Technique

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