Correct Rowing Technique

Correct Indoor Rowing Technique to Maximise Your Workout Experience

Too often the rowing machine is overlooked on the gym floor, appearing menacing if you haven’t learnt the basics of proper indoor rowing technique. Learning the six stages of a robust indoor rowing stroke will help you get the most from each workout and ensure you are using your FluidROWER correctly.

Indoor rowing improves cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength by engaging all major muscle groups simultaneously. Not only will a rigorous workout on a FluidROWER burn fat and combust serious calories, but it will also challenge you no matter what your level of fitness.

Good indoor rowing technique explained in 6 simple steps

Learning to master an excellent indoor rowing technique means you can achieve a smooth repetitive cyclic motion on the rower. The three phases from catch to finish are generally grouped as “The Stroke”, as this is when the effective work is done, and the three phases from Finish to Catch are called “The Recovery”. The key to proper indoor rowing technique is to think of all six movements as a complete cycle, in which one phase flows seamlessly into the next.

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Top indoor rowing form explained

The six phases to complete a rowing stroke.

POSITION ONE – HANDS AWAY

Sit with the legs straight, back straight but leaning slightly back from the hips, arms straight and hands level with the lower ribs. Now swing back.

POSITION TWO – BODY PREP

Legs still straight, back still straight, but now leaning slightly forward from the hips, arms still out in front. Now slide and lean forward. NOTE: your hands should now be ahead of your knees while your legs are still straight.

POSITION THREE – THE CATCH

Legs fully compressed – aim to get shins close to the vertical, but not beyond. Back still straight, leaning slightly forward, and arms still out in front. Now drive hard – this is THE CATCH

POSITION FOUR – DRIVE PHASE ONE

Knees partially straightened, so the seat is now at mid-point of travel, back and arms still just as in positions 2 and 3. Now maintain the stroke.

POSITION FIVE – DRIVE PHASE TWO

Knees nearly straight, so the seat is at 3/4 point of travel, back still straight but now leaning slightly back from hips. Arms still straight. Now squeeze through.

POSITION SIX – THE FINISH

Legs now fully extended and with back still straight as per position 5. Keep arms pulled in, so hands are close to the chest, forearms horizontal, and elbows close into the rib cage. This is THE FINISH.

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Now the 6 steps are repeated. Your hands are away first (Position 1) and your legs don’t follow until the handle is past your knees. To quickly improve your technique find a mentor to watch and study &/ or film your technique so you can see for yourself exactly how you are rowing. You can slow the video down and compare it to the 6 phases presented here. Check your technique like this at regular intervals to make sure you are not developing any bad habits and keep refining your technique.


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