Remember this words when you rowing. Catch, drive, finish, recovery, catch, drive… This will be your music for next few minutes, half an hour… or…

The rowing technique is the most important factor when using the rowing machine. If you get your technique right you’ll be efficient and produce better results. With good rowing technique you will burn more calories, get more vital energy with less effort. And if you will want more, that’s not a problem. Just start rowing harder, because you still have some reserve in you. And this is made all by great rowing technique.

The four phases of rowing machine technique are:

1. The rowing machine catch

You start rowing machine stroke circle with a catch. This means that knees are bent with the shins vertical. The shins must be vertical, no less no more. This is very important for the proper rowing machine technique and for the best workout.

The shoulders and arms are reaching forward. Your arms should be straight and relaxed. It is very important, that catch position should not feel uncomfortable.

You can get a very good look at this position at the start of every rowing race.

Rowing techinque - catch_position

2. The rowing machine drive

The drive phase is initiated by the legs as they extend. The arms remain straight until the knees are mostly extended, and then the elbows flex bringing the handle into the upper stomach.

Or in for phases:

  1. The legs push down and the body begins to lever back.
  2. The legs continue to push as the body levers back.
  3. The arms remain straight.
  4. The arms draw the handle past the knees and then strongly to the body, returning to the Finish position.
  5. Legs flat.
  6. Forearms horizontal.
Rowing technique drive postion

3. The rowing machine finish

This one is easy. The drive ends at the finish when the legs are fully extended, shoulders are back, elbows are flexed and the handle is against the upper stomach. Your forearms are vertical.

Rowing machine technique - finish position - Iztok Cop, Luka Spik

4. The rowing machine recovery

This is the phase where you can rest. The recovery phase is the phase of the rowing stroke where the rower returns to the catch position to initiate another drive phase.

You start this phase with stretching arms away from the body and the elbows extending. The body moves forward over the hips. Hands then move past the knees. With this motion it is natural, that knees begin to flex and the rowing machine seat moves up the slide to the catch position.