Rowing is one of the most enjoyable sports you can do. Not only is it great fun, but it also provides a great overall workout. In order to be the best rower you can be, it is important to master proper stroke technique. Once you have settled into the boat and have properly strapped in your feet, you are ready to learn proper rowing technique.
A stroke is divided into four steps:
- Extend your legs so that you are pushed as far back on the slide as possible.
- Lean your body back slightly.
- Hold the oar handle to your chest, about the width of a fist above your belly button.
- Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the handle, with the outside hand on the edge of the handle.
- Tap the handle straight down with your outside hand (towards your lap) so that the blade of the oar is completely out of the water.
- Feather your blade by turning the handle with your inside hand so that the blade is parallel with the water.
- Push your arms away from your body so that your elbows are nearly locked.
- Bend your body forward at the hips until you are leaning slightly forward with your arms extended. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the entire stroke.
- Pull your body forward along the slide until your shins are vertical. As you do this, remember to keep the blade of your oar a few inches above the surface of the water.
- Square your blade while you come up the slide by gradually rotating the oar handle back into its original position, with the blade perpendicular to the water.
- Reach as far as you can with your arms without hunching or overextending your back. You should be as far forward as possible on your slide.
- Make sure your blade is squared, or perpendicular to the water.
- Drop the blade into the water by lifting your arms a few inches.
- Make sure the blade is submerged just under the water.
- Push your body back with your legs, with your arms straight and your body still leaning forward.
- Pull with your back by leaning back from the forward position it was in (your back should end up at the same angle as it was at the Finish position) when your legs are almost fully extended.
- Pull your arms back into your chest (the width of a fist above your belly button) so that you are back in the Finish position.
and finally repeat.