Foot position on the Concept 2 rowing machine is important. Where we place our feet will yield huge changes in our performance and comfort.
I became a coach at CrossFit Garden City in January 2016. I have noticed a lot of athletes don’t pay attention to their foot placement on the foot stretchers. I see most people get on the rower and start rowing. This without checking their drag factor, or where the foot is sitting in the stretcher. People who have more experience on the rower will check drag factor and foot placement.
The problem is most people don’t know how to adjust the foot stretchers. Things that contribute to determining stretcher height is foot size and shin length. Down the middle of the foot pad are the numbers 1-5. The higher the number the bigger your shoe size. For instance, I have a rower in my class who is 6’6 with a size 14 foot and long shins. His setting is 5.
To adjust your feet the next time you’re on a concept2 rower pay attention to how you feel. If your feet are too low you won’t have a good leg drive. This can also put your lumbar spine in a vulnerable position. When your feet are too low, your lower back will be overstretched. Just like in anything else we do, overstretching is dangerous and can lead to injury. Improper foot placement could also have major implications on the power of your stroke.
If the feet are too high in the foot stretcher you can not achieve proper position in the catch. It will be hard to have vertical shins if we are setting up too high on the foot stretchers. Without vertical shins, you can not get close to the flywheel at the start of your stroke. Without a good catch position, we won’t have a long powerful stroke. Like Shane always says “if you miss the catch you miss the whole stroke”. Having a proper foot setting will lead us towards that perfect stroke.
Athletes that lack flexibility have trouble getting into the proper catch position. This could be regardless of their foot positioning. I like to tell my athletes to generally have their armpits over there knees. Setting up the foot stretcher at a lower setting may help them.
Overall, good placement of the foot in the stretcher will have the strap running across the widest part of the foot. If you can just do that, you should be in proper position.
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