Learn how to use a rowing machine, perfect your form and eventually get your 2k time under 7 minutes…
These are our favourite rowing machines
More specifically, the 2,000m – the distance of every Olympic event – emphasises endurance, power delivery and mental toughness. It’s also one of the few forms of cardio that packs on serious muscle.
A 7min 30sec 2k row is respectable; less than 7 minutes is impressive.
Benefits of rowing
The drive phase engages your leg muscles, then your core and finally your upper body. No wonder it’s part of so many CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) and a regular fixture at the CrossFit Games.
What damper setting to use on the rower?
It’s simple: if you’re a big guy, go for eight to nine and hit a lower stroke-per-minute rating.
Smaller? Set it at six or seven and go faster.
How to use a rowing machine correctly
1. The catch
- Keep your arms straight, head up and upper body leaning forwards from the hips.
- “Your shins shouldn’t go past vertical,” says David Hart of rowing machine company Concept2. “And don’t overreach.”
2. The drive
- Start the drive by pressing with your legs.
- As you move, lean back slightly, then finally add the arm pull.
- “Your hands move in a straight line to and from the flywheel,” says Hart.
3. The finish
- “At the end of the stroke, your upper body should be leaning back to about 11 o’clock,’ says Hart.
- “Keep the handle held lightly below your ribs and don’t ‘chicken wing’ it – keep your elbows in.”
4. The recovery
- “Extend your arms until they’re straight, then lean forwards from your hips,” says Hart.
- “Once your hands have cleared your knees, allow your knees to bend and slide the seat forward.”
2K Row Training Plan
Devised by Gym Jones coach Pieter Vodden, this 2k-smashing strategy takes just 11 days
30sec row, 90 sec recovery
- Aim for 150m per 30sec and increase that by 1m per round.
- Take it as far as you can – 170 is the goal.
10 x 500m row, 1min rest
- Try to hold your intended 2k split time pace.
- If you’re shooting for a 7min 2k, you need to hit 1min 45sec.
- On the last round, go all out.
Day 4 & 5:
10 min warm-up, 1,000m row as fast as possible
10min warm-up, 1,500m row as fast as possible
Day 9 & 10:
20min warm-up at slow place
- Include occasional ‘power 10s’ – ten hard strokes at your target 2k pace
2,000m row, fast