These are my tips and tricks to being able to row faster and longer on an erg! (Kara C from AUT Rowing http://www.autshop.ac.nz/aut-rowing-fees-nz-university-rowing-champs/)
- The best place to start getting the correct technique!
You need to start at the catch, this is the starting position and in this position your arms should be straight out in front of you, you should lean your upper body forward from the hips while keeping the back straight and relaxed. In this position your legs will be bent and but try to keep your shins as vertical as possible. When you are starting your stroke, you must push with your legs and keep the body in the same position until the legs are fully straightened. Once your legs are straight, but your body is still slightly lent over then you need to engage the core and swing the body back and pull your arms, they should come into the body at around the height of your ribs. Then repeat!
Being able to apply correct technique will allow you to row for longer without receiving an injury!
2. Find your own pace!
When you are erging for long periods of time you need to find at pace at which you are comfortable to maintain while also applying pressure. This is important so that you are able to finish the erg and not burn out halfway through. To do this it helps to focus on consistent steady movements as these will be more efficient and allow you to go faster and for longer than jerky strokes will. Long strokes will also help to maintain a constant pace this is because it will allow you to use more power and sharpen up your technique.
3. Focus on the legs and not the arms!
Rowing is 60% legs therefore focusing on driving with the legs is extremely important as this is where most of your power in the drive of the stroke will come from. This is because your legs are much stronger than your arms, if you try and complete a stroke mainly using your arms then you are likely to cause injury to shoulders and backs. Using the legs will mean that you are able to erg for longer as your won’t be expending as much energy as if you were trying to use your arms as your main source of power.
It is very important to breath when you are erging, you should exhale on the drive and inhale on the recovery portion of the stroke. The stoke should have 2:1 ratio, 2 counts on the way forward and one count on the way back. If your try to remember this ratio when erging then maintaining a breathing pattern will be easier! If you are struggling to breath, you are possibly rushing forward and limiting the time you have to take a nice big breath.
5. Practice makes perfect!
Everybody says it and its true if your practice enough then you will get better. In rowing, erging is an important part of the training as it allows you to build up stamina and strength for when you are in a real race. Erging is a great way to increase fitness, you don’t have to spend hours on the machine at once, but it is a great exercise to incorporate into your weekly workouts. The rowing machine is an activity that effectively raises your heart rate and provides an excellent overall aerobic workout, and the more you practice your stroke and the more time you spend on an erg the faster you will get! You can get many tips on rowing faster but the best ways to get faster on the erg is to use the right technique and get on and row!
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