For the longest time we here at Dark Horse HQ have preached and preached the importance of the rowing movement and mechanics. Not because we want to stop anyone from jumping on the erg and getting a workout in (far from it!), but because we believe from the bottom of our hearts, that if you are going to be using this machine as your go to piece of equipment to improve your fitness, your quality of movement, or just your life in general, you have to be doing it in a manner that is going to provide longevity and the minimal amount of stress and strain to your body.
With that in mind, we are also want to give you guys the tools to be able to measure your own performance and be able to feel what good should look like.
So this week we’re throwing out a test to see exactly where you are with your movements and can you keep that form for a whole 200m.
Here’s how it goes…
Set your PM for 200m. (New workout → Single distance → 200m → checkbox when ready).
Set your Damper setting to where you would normally row.
Set your foot stretchers where you would normally have them (widest part of your foot).
Then put your feet onto the stretchers but DO NOT strap your feet in. Do not even have the straps over your feet. Just loosen them right off or put them under the sole of your feet for this.
Your feet should be unstrapped at all times during this test.
Pick up your handle, assume the catch position.
Row 200m at 24 strokes per minute, once complete return handle to rest position and relax.
So why are we asking you to row 200m strapless?
Well if you haven’t guessed it by now, the whole idea of this is to highlight where you can improve your row and your bodies ability to ensure you are being efficient with your mechanics on the rowing stroke.
If you are delivering power efficiently then nothing about your normal technique should change and you should be able to row 200m as efficiently as you would with your feet strapped in.
If however you are at any point in the rowing stroke mistiming your sequence, you are opening your hips too far, or not pushing your hands away fast enough on the release phase, then what you are going to find is a nice quick way of falling off the back of the erg.
How do I get better at moving on an erg?
Last week Shane posted the best 20 min workout you will EVER do to improve your technique on a rowing machine. Click here to watch it. DO THIS 1-2 a week until you start to feel the improvements in your stroke and you can consistently follow along for the full 20 mins.
Once you’ve mastered this, retest that 200m row strapless and see where you now stand. If you’ve made the required improvements then this should now be a walk in the park. If not, go back and keep practicing – you will get better.
We love seeing people row so if you can hit the full 200m strapless and not fall off the erg, then post up a video on social media and tag us will the @darkhorserowing tag so we can see how awesome you guys are.
If you want to make us laugh then also post up your fails as we love a good rowing fail montage.
Yours in fitness, education and rowing mechanics.