Few workouts are won on the rower. But many workouts are lost on it.

A lack of rowing efficiency can hit you where it hurts. In fact, poor technique can make any movements after your bout on the rower hurt a lot more. Improving your rowing skills will enable you to do more work in less time, plus be fresher and sharper for other tasks at hand.

Some of the most common rowing errors relate to the rebound out of the finish position. This either takes the form of breaking at the knees first or crumpling up your body. Here’s a great and simple drill to fix these mistakes – the pause drill:

  1. Start paused in the finish position but with the arms locked out
  2. Lean the torso forward
  3. Let the legs bend

Pretty simple right? You’re going to pause in the arms-locked-out position for five seconds on every stroke. If you are working with a coach, let him or her cue you on the timing. Do twenty strokes pausing with your arms locked out (“arms away”) and another twenty strokes pausing with arms away and folding at the hips too (“body away”).

Now take it back to your regular stroke. Does it stick? If not, do the drill again. This serves as a great warm up for any rowing based workout too. Go get better!