Technique (yes, that again) improvements

I fully realise I’m probably working on the wrong aspect of my rowing. Rather than just slogging through, getting stronger, fitter, more mentally prepared etc, I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to improve my technique – with the hope that I can rid ‘energy leaks’ and become faster with what I have.

(Ultimately, if I can then get stronger and fitter etc – I’ll be faster than I’ve ever been).

Anyway, this week was an up and down week. Started off terribly. Still uncomfortable, still not happy, and still with a force curve that looks like the Himalayas.

And then I posted a ‘technique’ request video. My request being a simple “Why can’t I hit the catch right”


The result was enigmatic. I was asked to row strapless. I didn’t question it – I just did it. Even though strapless seems un-connected to connection at the catch.

And what came out of this second video was that my recovery was a lot more relaxed. I was hitting the catch a lot better, but more importantly, the drive was more controlled – and my curve was back to a curve again.

Going back to straps – the key now is that as I drive, I now try not to exert any pulling force on the straps in order to hit the return. They’re there almost as a safety net now. Very little effort of my stroke is wasted by stopping through the straps – all of the power of the drive goes into the drive instead. Finishing it before the ‘finish’ as the arms draw in.

Now, I’m still not hitting the backswing right – that’s still way too soon. But I’m left with these thoughts.

  1. Drive – hard with the legs, and a ‘light’ feel, through the hips
  2. Delay the backswing as long as possible
  3. Don’t pull on the footstraps with my feet
  4. Arms and back-hinge happen before knee bend
  5. Try to connect full with the catch. No ‘ass-scoot’ before the drive hits.


I can get 3 out of 5 at any one time – but it seems all 5 happens rarely. And this is the improvement I need to concentrate on.

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