rowing....with no legs


God Almighty
Bethlehem knee problems, will do for ages. I've been looking at different excersizes to do to try and get soem CV fitness bac, swimming is pretty boring but I plan to start doing more of this soon. Anyway, is it possible to go onto the rowing machine, keep the legs straight and row away? If so, would this be all that different to a bent over barbell row?..... when rowing, does the body stay stiff, or is the core used to help the row?



Yes. In fact, doing just that is a main part of how I use my rowing machine.

I'll warm up for 5 minutes, then go into an interval pattern, going hard at it then relaxing by only using my arms and upper body, then I'll increase the pace again and cool down by only using my legs.

In a real boat, using core muscles is fundamental to good speed through the water. The legs extend as your body arcs backwards and the arms barely move until the end of the stroke, when a short sharp pull before lifting the blade gives the boat speed whilst you are recovering your starting position.

A similar technique on a rowing machine has a similar effect, and allows me to "cheat" over those who only use rowing machines as they can't figure out where I get my speed. I can row with a fairly slow stroke rate and still keep a good speed.

At least, that's how it worked when I was taught to row. Of course, it was different back then, it was important to be able to out-manoeuvre the Trojan hordes. :biggrin:


God Almighty
Cheers for the reply! How much "pulling" should be done by the back, and should the back be arched or straight? I really fancy avoiding injuries with this one.


montage said:
How much "pulling" should be done by the back, and should the back be arched or straight?
Golly. This one will be all-but impossible to describe, as I've only ever been taught, not taught how to teach. My efforts at getting the family to use a good technique have failed to date. :smile:

Try a video, though. I had a quick nose through YouTube and came up with this one...


Luckily, they are showing the what that I mentioned, leaving the arm work until last. *phew*

Bits to remember are:
* keep the back straight, you are pulling with the core muscles, not the spine
* wait until the hands have passed the knees on the back stroke, or you'll have a collision. :smile:
* if your knees are not good, you could try with the "quarter slide" as described by that guy. I find that rowing makes my knees move more easily
* I find a comfortable stroke rate to be around 30 for most of the session. Also, the stroke and the back stroke (the term "recovery" is used in that video) should take about the same amount of time. Put those two together and you get a good rhythm which can be marked out by having a clock with a loud tick.
* use the "recovery" period. Take a rest, don't rush it.
* (most important) do your foot straps up properly. Without your feet well locked in place, you will be fighting to keep yourself on the seat. Do the straps up tight, and then tighten them a bit more. You don't need to be worrying about them.
Similar threads
Top Bottom