This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a Smooth Rowing Seminar hosted at Alpine CrossFit (Robby) in Wheat Ridge. Aaron Varcasio has built a rowing background into coaching, rower maintenance and rowing technique seminars. 7 of us attending, including Scott from MBS, Angela, and 2 couples.
We covered a lot of material in 2 hours, including terminology, technique, drills, and maintenance of rowing machines.
Rowing Phases: Catch, Drive, Finish, Recovery
Drag Factor: Should be set to 124
Damper setting should be around 5-6 for men, higher for calories, lower for sprint
Quick arms, should touch and go handle off of sternum
Allow heels to lift during catch, up to 1 thumb's distance, want shins to be parallel
Reach forward during recovery phase
Extend legs and then pivot back during pull
Reach and then bend knees during recovery
Keep chin up
Keep knees in
Squeeze shoulder blades at finish
Pick Drills - Arms only, Arms and Pivot Back (Back stays straight), Arms and Back and 50% legs
Pause Drills - Pause at Finish, Arms Extended, Back pivoted forward, 50% of legs into recovery
We also played with stroke rate (between 22-30 strokes/minute) and pressure (25% to 75%). Most folks will be more successful in a distance spring with higher strokes/minute.
500m for time
2:01 at beginning of clinic
1:56 at end of clinic (Aaron's record is 1:25)
Finally Aaron recommended getting out on the water with Rocky Mountain Rowing or Boulder Community Rowing.
All in all, I would definitely recommend the seminar which was priced at $64. The touch and go off sternum and knowing it is OK to lift heels at recovery was worth the price of admission. I am sure everybody took something different away from the workshop.