How to Improve Your Rowing Time?
The first thing you need to do is understand what your goal is. You are not trying to go faster than other people or even yourself. You want to get closer to the world record time of 7:20. If you have been struggling with improving your speed, then this might seem like too much work at first. However, if you really want to increase your speed, then it will take some effort.
If you are just starting out and don’t know where to start, then I would suggest reading through this list of tips from my own experience. These are things that helped me when I was learning how to row faster. They may help you too!
1) Find a good coach/coach.
There is no substitute for one’s personal coaching skills and feedback from others.
2) Read up on the best practices for improving your technique.
This includes books such as “Rowing Faster” by Mike Zielinski and “The Science Behind Faster Rowing” by Tom Breen. (I highly recommend both!)
3) Try different strokes.
For example, try using a front crawl stroke instead of a backstroke stroke. If you are new to rowing, you may want to focus on only one type of stroke during your training period.
4) Always keep your upper body straight.
5) Keep your torso as still as possible while rowing.
6) Always make sure that your hands are aligned directly in the center.
7) When you are at the finish of your stroke, do not snap your elbows back too fast or else you will waste energy.
It is better to wait until the last second to pull the oar through the water.
8) While rowing, your torso and your legs should stay as still as possible.
In other words, do not bounce up and down. This wastes energy and you will slow down.
9) Try to keep your hands about nose level when you row.
If the handle is too high or too low, then it will be harder to row effectively and you will waste energy. Keep adjusting the height of the handle until it feels just right.
10) Always think about pushing the water backwards. Most rowers forget this important step and it slows them down a lot.
11) Try to think as little as possible when you row. Whenever you have a distraction inside your head, your body automatically begins to slow down. This is normal, but you can learn how to minimize these thoughts if you practice often.
12) When your arms are at your sides and not in use, keep them slightly bent. This is called “keeping your arms in reserve”. It may feel very uncomfortable at first, but it will help a lot when you start to push with your arms.
13) Learn how to breathe from your stomach instead of your chest. This will give you more endurance and it will also reduce the pain that you feel after an exercise.
14) Always sit all the way in the seat. If your hips are protruding from the seat, then you are wasting energy and slowing down your rowing.
15) Always stay relaxed. Tensing your muscles will only cause pain and it will slow you down as well.
16) Wear clothing that is comfortable to move in. If your clothing is too tight or complicated to put on, then you will spend more time worrying about that instead of your rowing.
17) Always warm up before you start rowing. Rowing is a very strenuous exercise, so it is important to make sure that your muscles are ready.
18) Always cool down after you finish rowing. When you stop, your muscles begin to get stiff very quickly. So stretch them out as soon as possible. Also, drink plenty of water and eat some food after a good workout.
19) Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted too much while you are rowing. A quiet place will help you to focus better.
20) Always try to take good care of your equipment. Rowing requires a lot of energy, so it is very important to make sure that all of the parts of your machine are working well. If you have a leaky hull, then you won’t be able to get the water out and you will sink!
As you may notice, I’ve used a lot of “rules” in this article. If you plan to become a good rower, then it is very important to follow all of these rules. Many coaches will not even let you on the team if you cannot follow these rules! So keep safety in mind whenever you are rowing and enjoy your time on the water.
Just remember to always have fun!
When you get a little more experience, come back to this page and see if you can follow all of these rules. You may find that it gets easier and easier as you go!
Thank you for reading this article, I hope that it has helped you to become a better rower. Please come back and see me if you get stuck on one of the articles. If enough people come back to me with questions, then I will add some more tips to this list.
Here is one last tip: Always make sure that your life jacket is buckled before you get in the boat! Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!
Important: Make sure that you always have either a life jacket or a U.S. Coast Guard–approved personal floatation device (PFD) while you are on the water in a rowboat. A life jacket will keep you afloat if you fall in and it is also a safety device.
It will keep you from getting hurt if the boat capsizes. A PFD is a little different. It looks like a life jacket, but it is not as bulky and heavy. It also has a foam float attached to it, so that you can stay afloat on your back. You can swim a lot faster with your PFD on than you could without one. I strongly suggest that you get a PFD if you do a lot of rowing. Remember, get the U.S. Coast Guard approved type!
Ready to try this out for yourself?
Find a lake, pond, or slow-moving river near you and get out there!
Remember to always check the water depth and the current before you start to row. If the water is too deep or fast, then pick a different spot. Don’t be afraid to change course or stop if you feel unsafe at any time. Always think safety first when you are on the water!
Good luck and have fun!
Sources & references used in this article:
Ribose versus dextrose supplementation, association with rowing performance: a double-blind study by L Dunne, S Worley, M Macknin – Clinical Journal of Sport …, 2006 – cdn.journals.lww.com
The effects of concurrent endurance and resistance training on 2,000-m rowing ergometer times in collegiate male rowers by D Gallagher, L DiPietro, AJ Visek… – The Journal of …, 2010 – journals.lww.com
Effect of Beta-alanine supplementation on 2,000-m rowing-ergometer performance by KJ Ducker, B Dawson… – … journal of sport …, 2013 – journals.humankinetics.com