Always focus on developing good rowing form and technique. Remember, form on the rowing machine is not everything but it can make a big difference in applying effective power and efficiency.
Starting Position - Backstops
1. Sit at backstops with your toes pointed away from you. Keep your core engaged to sit in position. Keep your chest open and keep your head in a neutral position - not looking up or down.
2. Move your arms to as far as they can reach, but don't use your body to tilt towards front stops. Keep your legs down and knees flat - but not pressed rigidly down - keep them relaxed. Keep your upper body still - remember to only use your arms.
3. Follow your hands and tilt your body forward and feel the weight of your body move from the back of the seat to the front of the seat. Don't bend your back - instead, look to rock from your hips while focusing on extending your chest forward and up. Keep your head neutral - don't bend it down.
4. Follow your body forward and feel your seat move forward to one-quarter slide. Keep your head and chest up.
5. Continue to feel your seat move forward smoothly through one-quarter slide to half slide. Keep your head and chest up and catch each stroke crisply.
6. Continue to feel your seat move foreward smoothly through one-half slide to full slide. Keep your head and chest up and prepare for the catch. Try not rush the seat forward - the art of rowing well allows you to use the slide and recovery phase to actually relax between strokes. Don't be in a rush.
7. From the catch, drive your legs from the balls of your feet. Keep your arms straight and loose. Keep your body braced. Remember most of the power is coming from your legs during this phase of the drive.
8. Swing your body and arms back smoothly as you exhaust the leg drive. Getting the coordination and timing of your legs, back and arms working together in the middle of the drive phase is important. When you get it right, it feels great and you can really see a difference in your power and efficiency.
9. Finish the stroke by pulling your arms into backstops, engaging your core and feeling your body weight transfer to the back of the seat.